Kate Maddalena, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Writing
Kate Maddalena, WPU Professor

“I like connecting students to meaningful work in the community.”

Dr. Maddalena is a Raleigh native (go Enloe Eagles!) and is proud to be a Pacer. She has her MA in English Language and Literature from North Carolina State University, where she also received her Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media. Dr. Maddalena studies science communication and media theory, so her research comes together in crazy combinations of philosophies and objects: how do we think with building blocks? How is genetic engineering like writing? In Dr. Maddalena’s professional writing and communication classes, she asks more practical questions, like: how can good writing make life better, fairer, and easier for everybody?


  • MA English Language and Literature, North Carolina State University
  • Ph.D. Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media, North Carolina State University

Activities & Honors


  • Board of Directors, Little Raleigh Radio (2017)
  • Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine (2008-present)
  • UNCW Center for Teaching Excellence Summer Pedagogy Development (2015)


  • James Carey Media Research Award (2014)
  • NCSU English Department Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (2007)
  • NCSU Graduate Student Association Outstanding Teaching Award (2007)

Research & Publications


  • “Networks, Genres, and Complex Wholes: Citizen Science and How We Act Together Through Typified Text.” With Ashley Rose Kelly. The Canadian Journal of Communication. 2016
  • “Is the Earth an Optical Medium? An Interview with Chris Russill.” With Chris Russill. International Journal of Communication. 2015
  • “Harnessing Agency for Efficacy: Foldit and Citizen Science.” With Ashley Rose Kelly. POROI: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetorical Analysis and Invention. 2015
  • “The Digital Body: The U.S. Signal Corps, Telegraphy, and the Discourse Network of 1865.” With Jeremy Packer. Theory, Culture & Society. (Winner of the James Carey Media Research Award) 2014
  • “The Toys of Organic Chemistry: Material Manipulatives and Inductive Reasoning.” Teorie Vĕdy/Theory of Science Special Issue: Philosophical Toys Today. 2013
  • “Plastic Child-Gardening Tools: LEGO’s Nostalgia for the Open-ended Toy.” Technoculture. 2013


  • “I need you to say I: Why First Person is Important in College Writing.” Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing Volume I. Lowe and Zemliansky, eds. 2010
  • “Dissolving the Divide between Expert and Public: Improving the Science Communication Service Course.” With Colleen Reilly. Scientific Communication: Principles, Practices, and Methods. Han and Northcut, eds. 2017