Skip to the content of the web site.

Dr. Teena Carnegie (MA 1990, PhD 1999)

     A passion for the written word and a love for exploring intellectual ideas drew Dr. Teena A. M. Carnegie (MA 1990, PhD 1999) to the study of English. This passion led her first to a literary study at the University of British Columbia. When she graduated with her BA, she wanted to study practical applications of English and chose to enter the Professional Writing Master’s program at the University of Waterloo.

     The campus environment at that time was “very social,” Dr. Carnegie remembers, and even her office hours became a time when she could take part in academic discussions among the graduate students with whom she shared her office. Debates would often spill into the Grad House; “there was nothing better than spending a summer evening on the patio,” where she and her friends could relax and speak about the topics that interested them. At the time, Teena was a member of the GSA Women’s Issues Committee, which held special events and raised money for women’s shelters by organizing events such as Coffeehouses.

     Lively discussion also drove Teena’s favourite class, which focused on metaphor. The course, taught by Dr. Randy Harris, made her realize the importance of metaphor; metaphor plays a central role in language, thought, and rhetoric. It is instrumental to all forms of writing, from creative to technical, as well as to the design of information.

     Teena reinforced her communication skills through the co-op program, which provided her with excellent work opportunities. During one of her co-op terms, she worked for the Ministry of Transportation in Toronto, a position in which she gained a valuable proficiency in writing and editing reports. During another work term at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Teena contributed to publications about Canada’s accomplishments. The publications were sent to international opinion leaders, to promote a positive image of Canada. The co-op program taught her document design, editing, and managing skills while showing her the real-world applications of an English education.

     Through her co-op experience, she acquired a deep appreciation and value for hands-on learning. Her pedagogical practices now include service-learning in which students, as part of their courses, work with community and non-profit organizations. As part of these community projects, students have written and designed funding recommendation reports, newsletters, brochures, grant proposals, instructional manuals, and policy and procedure manuals for homeless programs, community centers, fair housing organizations, family support programs, libraries, and even the U.S. Navy. 

     When she graduated from UW with her doctoral degree in 1999, Dr. Carnegie went to Purdue University to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in professional communication. After this, she worked at Oregon State University for two years as an assistant professor. Today, she works at Eastern Washington University as an associate professor of technical communication and Chair of the Department of English. Now a very busy academic, Dr. Carnegie still values the UW experience for teaching her that balance is important in every individual’s life.