Global Rhetoric and Writing. I have been teaching and experimenting with intercultural rhetoric and writing courses since 1994 in Ecuador and have been exploring textbook options for almost ten years. Thus, in fall 2010, when I was approached by the publisher Kendal Hunt to produce a textbook on this topic, I decided to act on it and received the contract in May 2011. The text is designed for upper-level undergraduate writing courses that focus on global and intercultural writing in academic and non-academic contexts. I have finished only the outline and first chapter, so writing it will occupy much of my time in the next 18 months.
Border Health Literacy and Writing. My interest in border health literacy grew quickly because I sensed the great need to improve the health communications in this dynamic, multicultural area. I begin searching for colleagues and found a group in El Paso, primarily at UTEP. After two years of work, we developed a full proposal for the National Institute of Health (NIH), and eventually, we were funded 440k for two years. We setup two adult ESL classes for Spanish speakers, one with a cardiovascular and heart health curriculum, and one with a regular curriculum. We ran the two classes twice and evaluated the results. We have finished the project and are developing publications. We believe that the health curriculum further motivates English proficiency and general health literacy skills.
Cross Border Writing. In fall 2010, I formally initiated an effort to examine how U.S. universities work with bilingual, Generation 1.5, and Spanish-dominant students along the U.S.-Mexico border, I recruited a team of faculty and graduate students in writing program administration and ESL from UTEP and NMSU. We laid out plans for a comprehensive review, focusing initially on first year composition and have written ½ of the article, Exploring the Context of U.S.-Mexico Border Writing Programs. We are in the beginning stages of this very critical work and hope to develop a model of cross-border writing that can serve institutions that work with similar students.
Multidisciplinary Research. I have participated in a number of multidisciplinary research efforts. These include cross-border transportation software modeling and intercultural service computer simulations. Currently, I am working on a follow-up grant of the computer simulation modeling for intercultural banking services. I formed the team for this project at a National Science Foundation Conference in Puerto Rico where I was invited to attend. We are joint authors of Service systems in intercultural contexts: An interdisciplinary research agenda. My intercultural model of rhetoric and professional communication provides the behavioral logic for the computer simulations.