Diana Award Winner & Keynote

WIDE (Writing, Information & Digital Experience) Research Center at Michigan State University

The WIDE (Writing, Information, and Digital Experience) Research Center at Michigan State University focuses on researching and innovating experiences for emerging technologies in the Digital Humanities, including uses of social user experiences to solve social, cultural, and political problems; ways of constructing computational analytics for improving persuasive communication, and the need to create new forms of public engagement and democratic practice on a global scale. Leading WIDE are Director Liza Potts and Senior Researchers Jeff Grabill and Bill Hart-Davidson. Visit WIDE online at

The Diana Award is named after Diana Patterson, past President of SIGDOC for three terms. The award is given to an organization, institution, or business for their long-term contribution to the field of communication design.

Best Paper Award Winners

The SIGDOC Best Paper Award recognizes the best conference paper submitted to the Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Design of Communication.

Reviewers nominate papers after the second round of blind peer review, and the best paper is selected, also blindly, by the SIGDOC Executive and Conference Committees. The SIGDOC Conference Committee is thrilled to announce that the 2021 Best Paper Awards goes to Henry Covey and Soyeon Lee.

Henry Covey, “Disaster Documentation Revisited: The Evolving Damage Assessment of Oregon Emergency Management”

Henry is an instructor, researcher, and writer of professional and technical communication (PTC). After half a decade at Portland State University, he will be joining the Composition & Rhetoric PhD Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2022.

The photo seen here shows destruction from Oregon’s catastrophic 2020 megafires, which killed nine people, destroyed upwards of four thousand homes, scorched more than one million acres across numerous counties (twice the ten-year average), and cost approximately $380 million in public damages (see more photos and information about the fires here).

This relatively new level of devastation only promises to become more frequent and ferocious globally, not only wildfires, but also hurricanes, flooding, etc. “Disaster Documentation Revisited” was written to highlight the struggles of, and advocate for, emergency professionals and local communities who are creating and testing new technologies to solve mounting problems in crisis management, which in many ways affect us all but especially our most vulnerable.

Soyeon Lee, “Language Minorities, Localization, and COVID-19 Recovery”

Soyeon is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her research interests include community-based literacy studies, environmental rhetorics, cross-cultural approaches to technical communication, and user experience studies. Her current project traces how social media ecologies and post-disaster care practices of multilingual disaster survivors disrupt Western hegemonic discourses of disaster recovery.

Her work appears in an edited collection titled Self-Culture-Writing and is forthcoming in journals such as Prompt and Across the Disciplines. She is the recipient of the 2019 Cindy & Dickie Selfe DMAC Fellowship and the 2020 MLA Humanities Innovation Grants.

Disaster recovery often requires the lay public to be involved in a wealth of textual engagement and rhetorical activities in technological contexts. However, few studies have investigated language minority immigrant communities’ rhetorics and literacies in the context of disaster relief in the United States. This empirical study presents findings from a 12-month community-based participatory action research of how Korean-speaking immigrant communities interacted with documents and websites related to disaster recovery systems in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a case study of the COVID-19 recovery programs, this study describes the lived experiences of multilingual users in the aftermath of a public health disaster and thereby emphasizes the importance of integrating marginalized communities’ lived experiences and social justice in designing disaster recovery technologies for users from racially, linguistically, and culturally diverse backgrounds.