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Deborah Balzhiser

Deborah Morton

Associate Professor, Rhetoric, Composition, and Technical Communication

Deborah Balzhiser joined the Department of English at Texas State University in 2005. She has taught rhetoric, composition, and technical communication since 1992, including designing customized courses for Mitsubishi and the Mayo Clinic Graduate School.  Her courses are hands on, so students can expect authentic writing experiences with projects they can put in their portfolios.  Dr. Balzhiser has worked as a technical communicator, technical editor, instructional designer, training analyst, and change management specialist in start-up, large corporate, and academic settings.  Most recently, she worked to co-ordinate the training and help development teams of 91 interrelated projects and to lead them into best practices of re-use.


  • Ph.D., English Studies, Illinois State University
  • M.S., Writing, Illinois State University 
  • B.A., English, Western Illinois University

Contact Information

Teaching & Research Interests

  • Workplace communication, processes, and best practices
  • Medical rhetoric
  • Visual rhetoric
  • Instructional technologies
  • Culture and technology
  • Design methodologies

Courses Commonly Taught

  • ENG 5383. Studies in Rhetorical Theory
  • ENG 5310. Studies in English Language and Linguistics
  • ENG 5313. Studies in Principles of Technical Communication
  • ENG 5317. Specializations in Rhetoric and Composition
  • ENG 3303. Technical Writing

Topics commonly include Digital Literacies, and Computers & Writing, and Writing for Publication & Presentation. 

Selected Publications

  • Balzhiser, Deborah, Paul Sawyer, J Smith, and Shen Womack. "Participatory Design Research for Curriculum Development of Graduate Programs for Workplace Professionals.” Programmatic Perspectives 7.2 (Fall 2015). Web.
  • Stephanie Vie, Deborah Balzhiser and Devon Fitzgerald Ralston. “Community Guides: Disrupting Oppression in Comment Threads on Social Sites.” Technoculture: An Online Journal of Technology in Society 4 (2014). Web.
  • Balzhiser, Deborah, Caroline Jones, and Julie Good. “Participatory Media & Culture: THe Spirit of the Human.” Technoculture: An Online Journal of Technology in Society 4 (2014). Web.
  • Pimentel, Charise, and Deborah Balzhiser. “Whites’ Panic: The Double Occupancy of Hispanics in the U.S. Census Questions.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 26.3 (2012): 311-339 Print.
  • Balzhiser, Deborah, and Ted Ingweresen. “Learning Communities, Success, and Perceptions.” Academic Exchange Quarterly 15.3 (2011). Print.
  • Balzhiser, Deborah, Jonathan D. Polk, Evelyn Lauer, Jon Zmikly, Mandy Grover, Sarah McNeely, Corey Saucier, Ellen Porter, Tiffany Swearigen, and Cade Holmes. “The Facebook Papers.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, & Pedagogy 16.1 (2011): n.p. Web.  Finalist for Kairos Best Webtext 2012.
  • Balzhiser, Deborah, and Susan McCleod. “The Undergraduate Writing Major. What Is It? What Should It Be?” College Composition and Communication 61.3 (2010): 415-33. Print. 
  • Jackson, Rebecca, and Deborah Balzhiser Morton. “Becoming Landscape Architects: A Postmodern Approach to WAC Sustainability.” The WAC Journal: Writing Across the Curriculum 18 (2007): 43-58. Print.