Exploring social life through language

I am a qualitative research methodologist & technologist, specializing in the analysis of online conversations and co-author of Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World (Sage, 2021), Looking for Insight, Transformation and Learning in Online Talk (Routledge, 2019), and Digital Tools for Qualitative Research (Sage, 2014).

I am a certified professional trainer for ATLAS.ti and an affiliate of the Center for Computer-Mediated Communication.

This video from the Qualitative Research Summer Intensive in Chapel Hill is a good introduction to my work.

My first formal teaching experience was as an English teacher in Lesotho, Southern Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. One of my favorite parts of the experience was learning to speak Sesotho and the opportunity to travel to Swaziland, South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

When I returned to the States I studied applied linguistics at Ohio University where I received my Master of Arts degree. I taught English as a second language as a graduate teaching assistant and won the outstanding teaching assistant award. I also published findings from my Master’s thesis in the Journal of Second Language Writing. (Effective teamwork, collaboration, and peer feedback have been an interest of mine from way back.)

After finishing my Master’s program I completed a two year internship with the English Language Center at Michigan State University, during which I taught intensive English and academic English classes for international students. I then moved back to Indiana, my home state, to pursue my Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology, minoring in computer-mediated communication, at Indiana University.

From 2003-2014 I was an assistant and tenured associate professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, serving as the coordinator of the qualitative research methods graduate certificate program, facilitating the Discourse Analysis Research Team, and helping to design and re-launch the instructional design Master’s program as an award-winning fully online program.

In 2014 I moved to the University of Georgia as a professor with the qualitative research program. Until 2019 I taught a variety of qualitative research courses in face-to-face, online and blended learning environments, including workshops on ATLAS.ti.

East Tennessee State University is now home, where I am Director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, affiliate faculty with the Applied Social Research Laboratory, and a Professor in the Research Division of the Department of Family Medicine.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to facilitate professional development programs at South East European University in Macedonia and for the University of Alabama in Quito, Ecuador. I have also worked on faculty development programs in online teaching with the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee and at the University of Michigan-Flint.

I consult and provide workshops on the use of digital tools in a variety of qualitative research contexts in the USA and abroad.

I am one of the co-founders of the Microanalysis of Online Data International Network and the Digital Tools Strand at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry.  Recent special issues of Qualitative Inquiry and The Qualitative Report and the Journal of Pragmatics have resulted from these endeavors.

After work and on the weekends I live to be outdoors – running, hiking, backpacking, gardening and biking. I have worked as a trail guide in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, served as an Appalachian Trail maintainer, coordinated a monthly hiking group for women, and was a founding member of Girls Outside. So far I have been to every continent except Antarctica.

You can follow me on Twitter or on ORCID, Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or SSRN.

Check out my SelectedWorks profile, Impactstory and Google Scholar pages

1 thought on “Exploring social life through language

  1. Pingback: SNAPSHOT: Trena Paulus - Geek Puff

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