Rachael W. Shah's Profile Image
Associate Professor

Personal Teaching Statement

My pedagogy is fueled by a vision of education as a public good and grounded in experiential learning. I seek to capacitate students—in the spirit of the ancient Greek term dunamis—in effective rhetorical action and collaborative civic problem-solving. Community partnerships with local schools and non-profits provide a context to teach rhetoric as action, and nearly all of my courses challenge students to write for audiences beyond the classroom.

Put simply, my pedagogy combines Dewey’s philosophy of collaborative experiential education with his theory that publics are rhetorically constructed: students learn to mobilize publics by attempting to do it, on the ground, with real audiences.


Rewriting Partnerships: Community Perspectives on Community-Based Learning. Utah State University Press, 2020.

Selected Publications

“The Courage of Community Members: Community Perspectives of Engaged Pedagogies.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 70, no 1, 2018, pp. 82-110. 

“Fostering eABCD: Asset-Based Community Development in Digital Service-Learning.” Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement vol. 22, no. 2, 2018, pp 189-221.  (Co-author with UNL English Education research team).

“Positionality and Possibility: Tactics and Strategies for Graduate Student Community Engagement.” Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, vol. 24, no. 1, 2017, pp. 93-103 (Co-author with UNL graduate students Katie McWain, Marcus Meade, & Adam Hubrig).

“Reciprocity with Power Dynamics: Community Members Grading Students.” Reflections: A Journal of Public Writing, Civic Rhetoric, and Service-Learning. vol 17, no. 2, 2017, pp. 5-42  (Co-author with Jess Shumake).

“Silent Partners: Developing a Critical Understanding of Community Partners in Technical Communication Service-Learning Pedagogies.”Technical Communication Quarterly. vol 25, no 1, 2016, pp. 48-66. (co-author with Amy C. Kimme Hea). 

“Socializing Democracy: The Community Literacy Pedagogy of Jane Addams.”  Community Literacy Journal  vol. 8, no. 4, Spring 2014, pp. 1-16.

“Human ‘Subjects’ Protection: A Source for Ethical Service-Learning Practice.”  Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, vol. 18, no. 2, 2012, pp. 29-39.

Community Engagement/Action Research

Husker Writers

National Writing Project’s College, Career, Community Writers Program

Community Voices Engagement Toolkit


MA, PhD, University of Arizona

BA, Wheaton College

Areas of Interest

Composition and Rhetoric

Community-Based Pedagogies

Public Rhetorics

Professional Writing

Action Research

Teaching of Writing