Senior Researcher, The Frameworks Institute (Feb 2010-present)
•Innovated and implemented a multi-stage, interdisciplinary, transparent method for designing and testing explanatory metaphors for complex and abstract processes and concepts.
•Created candidate metaphors using text analysis software, online search tools, lexical databases, and concept-mapping techniques.
•Conducted focus groups and on-the-street interviews to test the cognitive usability of metaphors; coded and analyzed transcript and video data; wrote reports of findings and user instructions for internal and external audiences.
•Defended and articulated theoretical basis for metaphor practice internally and externally, in blog posts, internal memos, and working papers; presented findings to professional groups.
•Focused on innovation, team support, deadlines, evidence-based practice.
Consulting Linguist, The Frameworks Institute (Sept. 2008-February 2010)
•Co-designed a method for designing and testing explanatory metaphors.
•Created sets of candidate metaphors using text analysis software, online search tools, lexical databases, and concept-mapping techniques.
Writer/Analyst at Message, Audience, Presentation (2002)
•During 2002 campaign cycle, wrote direct mail for award-winning political consultant focused on Hispanic audiences in Texas.
Erard, M. (2010). More to genes than that: Designing metaphors to explain epigenetics. Washington,
DC: FrameWorks Institute.
Erard, M. (2011). Teacher Support on the Rise: Increasing support for teachers’ unions through a
simplifying model. Washington, DC: FrameWorks Institute.
Erard, M., Kendall-Taylor, N., Simon, A., & Davey, L. (2010). The power of levelness: Making
child mental health visible and concrete through a simplifying model. Washington, DC: FrameWorks Institute.
Kendall-Taylor, N., Erard, M., Simon, A. and Davey, L. (2010). Air traffic control for your brain:
Using a simplifying model to clarify the science of executive function. Washington, DC: FrameWorks Institute.
Author and Journalist (2001 to present)
•Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners, a nonfiction trade book about the science of language learning talents and the people who possess them (Free Press, 2012).
•Um…: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean (Pantheon, 2007), a nonfiction trade book about the science of speaking and speech errors. Reviewed in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times, the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and numerous newspapers and magazines.
•Researched, pitched, and wrote 70+ articles, essays, and reviews about language, linguists, and linguistics at the intersection of technology and culture for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Science, The Atlantic, Wired, Slate, New Scientist, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and numerous other magazines and newspapers in the US, Canada, and the U.K.
•Published essays, reviews, and reportage in Texas Observer as a contributing writer, in The North American Review, and elsewhere.
•International assignments to India, China, Canada, and Europe; contributing writer for Design Observer. Represented by David Patterson, Foundry Literary + Media, New York City, NY.
•Undertook social media campaign for marketing Babel No More via crowd-sourced video, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as outreach to firms in the language industry.
Selected recent publications:
“What I Didn’t Write about When I Wrote about Quitting Facebook,” The Morning News, Nov. 9, 2011.
“In praise of verbal blunders,” Slate, July 26, 2011.
“Dreaming in English,” New York Times Book Review, February 4, 2011.
“The Life and Times of ‘Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously,'” Southwest Review, 95(3), 2010.
Independent Grants Writer/Editor (2003-2010)
•Consulted on, wrote, and edited funding proposals to the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and private foundations on behalf of research faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, the University of British Columbia, Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and Maine Medical Center. Topical focus: health promotion, cancer care, speech-language pathology.
Editor and Writing Consultant, the Cain Center for Nursing Research, School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin (2003-2007)
•Consulted on, edited, and/or substantively wrote 40 major (R01) funding proposals to the National Institutes of Health; proposals totaling $8 million were successfully funded.
•Helped 50 faculty members structure, revise, edit, and submit over 300 articles reporting biomedical and social scientific research findings in women’s health, cancer care, pain management, diabetes control, multiple sclerosis, aging, underserved populations, and others.
•Negotiated with academic journal publisher for rights and edited and coordinated all content for three years of a special supplement of Family and Community Health.
•Support faculty in designing writing assignments, incorporating writing into coursework, building grading rubrics, and matching curricular goals to writing.
•Liaised with relevant organizations on campus (Undergraduate Writing Center, UT libraries, UT writing curriculum office) and off-campus (building a database of outside editors for graduate students).
Sample funded proposals:
R01HD061458-02. Redford. Acquisition of temporal patterns in child speech and language. $275,313. 2010.
R03DC007518-02, Gildersleeve-Neumann. Typical speech sound development in 3 to 4-year old Spanish-English bilinguals. $68,941. 2007.
R01NR010568-01, Im. Ethnic Specific Midlife Women’s Attitudes Toward Physical Activity. $367,917. 2007.
R01NR003195-13. Stuifbergen. Health Promotion and Quality of Life in Chronic Illness. $316,627. 2007.
Ph.D., English, 2000. The University of Texas at Austin; concentrations in rhetoric and linguistics
M.A., Linguistics, 1996. The University of Texas at Austin
B.A., American Studies (honors), 1990. Williams College. Junior year in Bogotá, Colombia, studying
urban development and Latin American culture and history
Languages studied: Spanish, Mandarin Chinese
Visiting Assistant Professor (1999-2001)
•Designed and taught courses in first-year writing and creative writing at Southwestern University, a small liberal arts college in Georgetown, Texas.
Assistant Instructor (1996-2001)
•Designed and taught courses in first-year writing, advanced writing, linguistics, and American literature as an assistant instructor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Awards and Honors
•Lone Star Award, Houston Press Club, First Place for Magazine Column, 2008.
•Dobie Paisano Fellow, Ralph Johnston Writing Fellowship, UT-Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters, Fall 2008.
•First runner-up, Dobie Paisano Writing Fellowship, 2006.
•American Association of Political Consultants “Pollie” Awards for piece of political direct mail produced for Message, Audience, Presentation, an Austin political consulting firm, 2003.
•James Kinneavy Award for Scholarship in Rhetoric, University of Texas at Austin, May 1999.
•Fania Kruger Writing Fellowship, Dept. of Austin, UT-Austin, 1997 and 1998.
•Fresh Voices Essay Contest, Ecumenical and Cultural Research Center, St. John’s University, April 1998.
•William Bradford Turner Prize in American History, Williams College, May 1990.
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Linguistic Society of America