Published on February 7, 2018

Listen to George Hayhoe interview the three guest editors of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication special issue on Plain Language – Nataliya Mateeva, Michelle Moosally, and Russell Willerton – as they discuss the role, the history, and the future of plain language in professional communication.

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Natalya Matveeva received the Ph.D. degree in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA, in 2006. She is an associate professor of Technical Communication at the University of Houston–Downtown (UHD), Houston, TX, USA. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Institute for Plain English Research and Study at UHD (IPERS) and organizes events and oversees community projects related to plain language. She also teaches undergraduate and graduate plain-language courses at UHD. In 2017, she and her colleagues at UHD established a graduate certificate program in plain language. She has presented research related to plain language at national conferences and has co-organized training sessions for various audiences in the Houston area. Her publications appear in such journals as Technical Communication Quarterly, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, and Programmatic Perspectives.
Michelle Moosally received the Ph.D. degree in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA, in 1998. She is an associate professor in the English Department at the University of Houston–Downtown, Houston, TX, USA, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in technical writing, editing, and linguistics. She has a specialization in syntax and has presented papers at national conferences on the relationship between grammar and effective writing skills. She has also organized and presented talks to various community groups and teachers on linguistics and language issues, including nonstandard dialects, language acquisition, and grammar. Prof. Moosally is a member of the Institute for Plain English Research and Study, and has co-presented at conferences, workshops, and community venues on plain-language strategies and issues.
Russell Willerton received B.A. degrees in radio/TV and in English from Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX, USA, in 1994, the M.A. degree in English from the University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA, in 1999, and the Ph.D. degree in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA, in 2005. He holds the rank of Professor in the English Department, Boise State University, Boise, ID, USA. He has published a book on ethics and plain language, Plain Language and Ethical Action (Routledge, 2015). His work appears in journals such as Technical Communication Quarterly, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, and the Michigan Bar Journal. Prof. Willerton has served three times as a judge for the Clear Mark awards sponsored by the Center for Plain Language. He is the current Vice-President of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication.