Godwin Agboka (Ph.D.), a Ghanaian professor based in the United States (US), has received recognition from the prestigious National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). The professor is a reputable voice in Social Justice and teaches technical communication at the University of Houston-Downtown, in Texas.
He earned two Technical and Scientific Communication Awards this year from the CCCC for his academic publications and an honorary mention for a third work. The CCCC has been the greatest academic society for investigating and instructing composition, from writing to new media, since 1949.
Dr. Agboka won his first CCCC Award for “Best Original Collection of Essays in Technical or Scientific Communication” with a book titled Equipping Technical Communicators for Social Justice Work: Theories, Methodologies, and Pedagogies. He co-edited the book with Rebecca Walton, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at Utah State University in the US.
His second award is for “Best Article on Pedagogy or Curriculum in Technical or Scientific Communication for the publication,” with a publication titled ‘Curricular Efforts in Technical Communication After the Social Turn.’ He co-authored this article with Isidore Kafui Dorpenyo, an Associate Professor of Professional Writing and Rhetoric in the Department of English at George Mason University. It was published in Volume 36 Issue 1 of the Journal of Business and Technical or Scientific Communication.
Dr. Agboka also received an honorable mention for his publication, ‘What is on the Traditional Herbal Medicine Label? Technical Communication and Patient Safety in Ghana,’ which is an academic work that concentrates on the marketing, packaging, and use of herbal medicine in Ghana.
According to Dr. Agboka, a noticeable trend known as the “Social Justice” is taking place in the academic discipline of technical communication, which is allowing for diverse and inclusive approaches to study, teaching, and practise. Despite the fact that this field of study is expanding, Dr. Agboka told TheAfricanDream.net that “many scholars, both new and established, have a poor grasp of social justice and how to incorporate its objectives into their work.”
The awards selection committee couldn’t have agreed more. They claimed that the edited collection by Walton and Agboka fills a vacuum in social justice-focused technical communication work. They asserted that the collection provides frameworks for starting new projects in this area ethically.
The collection, in the committee’s opinion, provides an excellent balance between breadth and depth in social justice research and ought to be required for individuals working in the field who plan to make social justice a key component of technical communication.
“My classes give students the knowledge they need to be job-ready for the modern workplace while also encouraging them to think about the social justice implications of their work. To achieve this, I recently created a new graduate course called ‘TCOM 6311: Social Justice Issues in Technical and Professional Communication.’ And I’ve also started reworking all of my classes to integrate social justice themes,” said Dr. Agboka to TheAfricanDream.net.
Dr. Agboka values this award because it highlights the importance of social justice, particularly in light of how its goals help to focus more attention on oppressed or disenfranchised individuals. Dr. Agboka told TheAfricanDream.net that aside that, “the CCCC will give a unique and wider platform for projecting this essential work and to raise awareness of social justice concerns in higher education, given its thousands of worldwide membership.”
On February 17 at the CCCC Annual Convention, Professor Agboka will receive his awards for both academic publications. The CCCC, an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), supports and promotes the teaching and research of composition, rhetoric, and communication skills at the college level, in both undergraduate and graduate programs.
The mission of NCTE, which has more than 25,000 individual and institutional members worldwide, is to enhance language arts instruction at all educational levels.
Dr. Agboka is delighted that experts in his profession are taking note of the significant job he is carrying out. It not only shows how important his work is but also implies that the sleepless nights and long hours of research and writing were worthwhile.
According to him, the experience “gives me immense joy because what normally starts as a disconnected, hazy notion evolves into something important that will later have tangible consequence which I pray will benefit posterity and ultimately inspire others to improve upon what I’m doing here today,” he disclosed to TheAfricanDream.net over the phone.
About Godwin Y. Agboka, Ph.D
Dr. Agboka is the co-founder of Technical Communication & Social Justice, a journal dedicated to research and teaching on social justice. A professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston-Downtown in Texas, USA, Dr. Agboka teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in technical communication. His research interests include intercultural communication, social justice, human rights, medical and science communication, legal writing, and research methodologies as they relate to cross-cultural research.
His numerous publications have appeared in Technical Communication Quarterly, Technical Communication, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Connexions, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, and in books. He has also co-edited several book collections and journal special issues, all on themes of advocacy and social justice.
His book monograph, Social Justice Methodological Approaches for Conducting Research in Technical Communication, is under contract with Utah State University Press. Dr. Agboka currently serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals in his field, including Technical Communication Quarterly, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Technical Communication & Social Justice, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, and Communication Design Quarterly.
The professor, who completed his high school education at Chemu Secondary School located at Tema in his native country Ghana, is also a graduate of Ghana’s premier school of journalism. He presently lives in Houston, Texas, and visits Ghana often to undertake teaching and service at Ghanaian universities, including the University of Ghana.
Written by Oral Ofori