I am an assistant professor of technical communication and rhetoric at Texas Tech University on the indigenous land of Comanche and Mescalero Apache Peoples. I co-direct the User Experience (UX) Lab in the Department of English and teach courses in UX research, information design, and digital rhetorics. I am faculty sponsor to the TTU Society for Technical Communication student chapter and co-advisor to the Raider UI/UX organization, an undergraduate student club interested in UX design and research.
I hold a PhD in rhetoric and scientific and technical communication from the University of Minnesota. My dissertation involved a study of makerspaces and the cultivation of a maker pedagogy for technical communication studies. Between 2015-2019, I was a researcher affiliated with the Wearables Research Collaboratory at Minnesota. I investigated the sociocultural aspects of wearable technologies and embodied devices to examine their applications in various learning contexts. For this work, I was inducted as a research partner in the Digital Life Institute, an international research collective hosted at Ontario Tech University, Canada.
My books, listed below, focus on the application of design thinking mindsets in professional practice and writing pedagogy.
- Keywords in Design Thinking (WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado)
- Design Thinking in Technical Communication (Routledge)
- Collaborative Writing Playbook (Parlor Press, with Joe Moses)
- Designing Technical and Professional Communication (Routledge, with Deborah Andrews)
Currently, I am working on an edited collection on maker-culture keywords and a textbook on user experience (UX) writing. See my projects page for details.
My recent publications include the following (please find full publication details in my CV):
- Tham, J., Howard, T., & Verhulsdonck, G. (2022). Extending design thinking, content strategy, and artificial intelligence into technical communication and user experience design programs: Further pedagogical implications. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication. Advance online publication.
- Tham, J., Burnham, K., Hocutt, D., Ranade, N., Misak, J., Duin, A.H., Pedersen, I., & Campbell, J.L. (2021). Metaphors, mental models, and multiplicity: Understanding student perception of digital literacy. Computers and Composition, 59. Advance online publication.
- Tham, J. (2020). Engaging design thinking and making in technical communication pedagogy. Technical Communication Quarterly, 30(4), 392–409.
- Tham, J. & Grace, R. (2020). Reading born-digital scholarship: A study of webtext user experience. Computers and Composition. Advance online publication.
- Tham, J., Rosselot-Merritt, J., Veeramoothoo, S., Bollig, N.W., & Duin, A.H. (2020). Toward a radical collaboratory model for graduate research education: A collaborative autoethnography. Technical Communication Quarterly, 29(4), 341–357.
- Duin, A.H. & Tham, J. (2020). The current state of analytics: Implications for learning management systems use in writing pedagogy. Computers and Composition, 55. Advance online publication.
- Tham, J. (2018). Interactivity in an age of immersive media: Seven dimensions for wearable technology, internet of things, and technical communication. Technical Communication, 65(1), 46-65. (Awarded the STC Frank R. Smith Award for best article in Technical Communication.)
- Tham, J. (2017). Wearable writing: Enriching student peer reviews through point-of-view video feedback using Google Glass. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 47(1), 22-55.
I am continually intrigued by the impact of technologies on our personal, professional, and social lives, and I strive to better understand how we might facilitate better living and learning through these technologies.
Outside of work, I enjoy working out, cooking, running, and parenting an affectionate cat and two very energetic puppers with my partner.
PhD in Rhetoric & Scientific & Technical Communication, Minor in Human Factors and Ergonomics, University of Minnesota, 2019.
MA in English: Rhetoric & Writing, St. Cloud State University, 2014.
MS in Mass Communication: Advertising & Public Relations, St. Cloud State University, 2014.
BS in Mass Communication: Advertising, Minors in Communication Studies and Psychology, St. Cloud State University, 2011.