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Stephen A. Bernhardt

Dr. Stephen A. Bernhardt

Kirkpatrick Chair in Writing
Department English, College of Arts and Sciences
Joint Appointment in College of Health Sciences

132 Memorial Hall
English Department Web page



Research Interests

Medical communication, proposal development, teams and technologies, conduct of clinical trials, workforce literacy, problem-based learning


  • 1981 PhD, English And Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Dissertation: Rhetoric and Text Structure in Scientific Prose
  • 1974 M.S. Ed. in English and Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb
  • 1971 B.A.., High Honors, Philosophy, University of Illinois, Urbana

Professional Experience

  • Department Chair, English Department, University of Delaware, 2004-2009
  • Professor, English Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces 1995 -2001
  • Associate Professor, English Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces 1987 -1995
  • Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, 1987
  • Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, 1981-87
  • High School Teacher, American School, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 1976-77
  • High School Teacher, Addison Trail High School, Addison, IL, 1974-76

Recent Publications

  • Writer’s Help: A Bedford/St. Martin’s Online Handbook. Original author: Diana Hacker (deceased). Bedford Handbooks Series Author: Nancy Sommers. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Publishers, 2011. http://writershelp.com
  • Bedford Bits. A regular blog on the teaching of writing. 2011-http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/sbernhardt/
  • “Missed Opportunities in the Review and Revision of Clinical Study Reports.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 26 (Spring, 2012): 131-170. doi:10.1177/1050651911430624. (co-authored with Gregory P. Cuppan).
  • “The Evidence for Problem-Based Learning.” In Evidence-Based Teaching. Edited by William Buskist and James Groccia. Series: New Directions In Teaching and Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Winter 2011: 21-30. (with Deborah E. Allen and Richard S. Donham)
  • “The Genre of the Clinical Study Report in Drug Development.” In Rhetoric of Healthcare: Essays toward a New Disciplinary Inquiry. Barbara Heifferon and Stuart Brown, Eds. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2008. (pp. 115-132). (with Philip Bernick and Gregory Cuppan).
  • “Improving Document Review Practices in Pharmaceutical Companies.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 17.4 (October, 2003): 439-473.
  • “Knowledge Management and Pharmaceutical Development Teams: Using Writing to Guide Science.” Joint issue of Technical Communication, 47.1 (2000): 22-34 and IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 43 (2000): 22-34. (Lead article, with George McCulley).


  • “Integrated Science and Mathematics Education: A Model Course for Pre-Service Teachers.” NSF TUES. PI. Developed in collaboration with faculty in science and math. $200,000 over 3 years.
  • “IGERT: Systems Biology of Cells in Engineered Environments (SBE2).” NSF 11-533. Member of cross disciplinary team under PI Kelvin Lee. Will team-teach course in Business, Ethics, and Communication, Sp2013. ≈ $3m. over 5 years.
  • “ePortfolios for Professional Writing Concentrators in English.” With Rebecca Worley. UD CEE Grant, 2010-2012. $6,000.
  • “Case-Based Approaches to Technical Communication Instruction.” UD General Education Instructional Improvement Grants. 2002. $15,000.
  • “Multidisciplinary Teamwork in Research.” NSF IGERT Protein Structure, Function and Assembly. (Small collaborative role representing writing and teamwork with associated teaching and coaching in program). February 2002. $2.7 million.

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Service Award, Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication, 2003.
  • Fellow, Association of Teachers of Technical Writing, 2003.
  • Partnership Award, to NMSU from the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy, in recognition of Step Ahead and the University's efforts to promote public/private partnerships to enhance worker skills in New Mexico hospitals, 1993.
  • Christa McAuliffe Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities for the SIU-C Renewal Institute for Practicing Educators, 1986.

Professional Membership

Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (Past President); Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (Past President); College Composition and Communication; National Council of Teachers of English


  • Composition
  • grammar and style
  • professional rhetoric
  • science writing
  • proposal development
  • business and technical communication

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