Heather M. Falconer

Assistant Professor of Professional and Technical Writing
Neville Hall
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469

Office Phone: 207-581-3856

Office Hours – Spring 2024: Tu/Thur 8 am to 10:30 am & by appointment

As a Writing Studies scholar, I am deeply committed to work and inquiry that serves a larger purpose. Primarily, this larger purpose has been educational and disciplinary reform as it relates to inequity. My research focuses on the intersections of culture, discipline, and pedagogy, with a special emphasis on discursive identity development and disciplinary enculturation.

My current research projects involve participatory action research with neurodivergent students to explore their experience learning college-level reading and writing skills. I am also currently involved in a project aligning core concepts from first-year composition to other courses in the undergraduate curriculum. This Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) research considers self-efficacy and performance with writing as it relates to knowledge transfer.

I earned my doctorate at Northeastern University, where I taught First-Year Writing and advanced courses in disciplinary writing (e.g., science). I also hold a Master’s of Letters (MLitt) from the University of Glasgow and a Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) from Emerson College. In addition to teaching, I am an Associate Publisher with The WAC Clearinghouse, Vice-Chair for the North East Writing Across the Curriculum Consortium, and serve on multiple editorial boards. 

At UMaine, I teach undergraduate and graduate courses related to writing in the disciplines (e.g., engineering), writing studies theory and practice, and Technical and Professional Communication. I am also a faculty affiliate with the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education and occasionally teach research methods courses for the Master in Science Teaching program.


Recent Publications

Falconer, H.M., & McClary, L. (Eds.) (2024). Inclusive STEM: Transforming disciplinary writing instruction for a socially just future. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Falconer, H.M. (Forthcoming) Challenges and considerations in longitudinal research. In Bahl, E.K., Chad Iwertz Duffy, and Christa Teston, Methods for emerging researchers in rhetoric and composition.

Kelly, M., Falconer, H., Gonzalez, C., and Dahlman, J. (Eds.) (2023). Adapting the past to reimagine possible futures: Celebrating and critiquing WAC at 50. Proceedings for the 2020/2021 IWAC Conference . The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Falconer, H. M. (2022). Masking inequality with good intentions: Systemic bias, counterspaces, and discourse acquisition in STEM Education. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado. https://doi.org/10.37514/PRA-B.2022.1602

Falconer, H.M. (2022) Preparing disciplinary writing instructors: The Curry College faculty writing fellows program. Composition Forum, 48.

Falconer, H.M. (Fall 2022). Playing the expectation game: Negotiating disciplinary discourse in undergraduate research. In Ritter, K., Beyond fitting in: Rethinking First-Gen writing and literacy education, Modern Language Association.

Basgier, C., Cox, M., Falconer, H.M., Galin, J., Harahap, A., Hendrickson, B., Melzer, D., Palmquist, M., & Sherriff, S. (2020). The formation of a professional organization for writing across the curriculum. In Bartlett, L.E., Tarabochia, S., and Olinger, A. IWAC 25th Anniversary Edited Collection, The WAC Clearinghouse, Perspectives on Writing series.

Greer, J., Grobman, L., & Falconer, H.M. (2020). Contributing to knowledge: A defining characteristic of undergraduate research, a critical opportunity to empower students. In Dellacarpini, D., Fishman, J., & Greer, J., The Naylor Report on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies.

Falconer, H.M. (2019). Mentored writing at a Hispanic-serving institution: Improving student facility with scientific discourse, in Baca, I., Hinojosa, Y.I., & Murphy, S.W., Bordered Writers: Latinx Identities and Literacy Practices at Hispanic Serving Institutions, State University of New York Press.

Falconer, H.M. (2019). “I think when I speak, I don’t sound like that”: The influence on social positioning on rhetorical skill development in science. Written Communication, 36(1), 9-37. Listen to my interview with Editor Chad Wickman on this article.

Falconer, H.M. (2017). Assessing writing in undergraduate biology coursework: A review of the literature on practices and criteria. The WAC Journal, 28, 123-138.

Carpi, A., Ronan, D.M., Falconer, H.M., & Lents, N.H. (2017). Cultivating minority scientists: Undergraduate research increases self-efficacy and career ambitions for underrepresented students in STEM. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(2), 169-194. Published online before print August 5, 2016. doi: 10.1002/tea.21341


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