CHSS Distinguished Alumni - Faculty - Lawrence

CHSS Distinguished Alumni - Faculty

Dr. Heidi Y. Lawrence

MA English '07

Heidi Y. Lawrence is an associate professor in the Department of English at George Mason University and directs the English department’s professional and technical writing graduate programs. Her research focuses on the rhetoric of medical and scientific controversies, specifically public debates about vaccinations. She studies the role that professional communication produced by physicians, health officials, and researchers plays in shaping public debate and parental beliefs about vaccines.  
Her book on vaccine controversy, Vaccine Rhetorics, was published by the Ohio State University press in February 2020. Her research has also appeared in the journal,  Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, Critical Public Health,  Journal of the Medical Humanities, the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, and the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication.  
At Mason, she teaches courses in proposal writing, research methods, technical and professional writing. A proud product of public education in Virginia, Dr. Lawrence has a bachelor’s in English from Mary Washington College (2002), a master’s in English with a concentration in professional writing and editing from George Mason University (2007), and a PhD in rhetoric and writing from Virginia Tech (2013).