Still excited to be part of the Scientific and Technical Writing program after more than a decade at UWEC, Ruth Cronje teaches courses in communicating science to both public and expert audiences, grant writing, environmental communication, and editing and publications management. In Fall 2011, she will be teaching a section of the new Blugold Seminar and Critical Reading and Writing. Ruth also directs the English Department Writing Internship program.
Ruth is involved in both interdisciplinary teaching and in efforts to promote students' community engagement at UWEC. In addition to team teaching with faculty from various UWEC departments, Ruth often partners her students with community organizations to provide them with opportunities to work directly in the community as part of their coursework. For example, along with colleagues from Biology, Geography and Anthropology, and Social Work, she recently taught a course in Environmental Civic Agency that partnered students with local environmental groups to produce a Pedal and Paddle Tour of the Lower Chippewa River in Eau Claire. Her students produced both a video version of the tour and a map that has been distributed regionally to encourage citizens to hike, pedal, or paddle along the river and learn about some types of pollution currently threatening this beautiful natural resource.
Ruth's scholarship has investigated the application of scientific reasoning to the practice of medicine as well as ways to promote the scientific literacy of the general public. She is also interested in pedagogical research to improve the scientific literacy and communication skills of undergraduate science majors. Her recent scholarship has focused on ways to promote evidence-based medicine by partnering nursing students with practicing nurses in clinical settings. She has also recently completed a study of the potential of citizen science programs to improve the scientific literacy of the citizen participants and a study investigating the potential of writing-to-learn strategies to improve the scientific literacy of undergraduate science majors. Her work has been published in Health; Evidence-Based Medicine; Science; Clinical Journal of Pain; Journal of Professional Nursing; Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing; Laboratory Medicine; Technical Communication Quarterly; and Applied Environmental Education and Communication. She is currently the UWEC Wisconsin Teaching Fellow.