Kate Birdsall


264 Bessey Hall
434 Farm Ln
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyWriting, Rhetoric, and CulturesExperience ArchitectureRhetoric and WritingFirst Year WritingProfessional and Public Writing

Associate Professor
Director of The Cube

Curriculum Vitae


Kate Birdsall is director of The Cube (publishing | process | praxis), an experiential learning initiative that provides real-world large-scale project management, UX, editing, and client relations opportunities for students and is managing editor of The Current, East Lansing’s only student-run arts and culture magazine. She has extensive industry experience, including twenty years of project management experience and over a decade of experience in all facets of communications strategy for nonprofits.

Research Areas

Professional writing; project management; user experience/usability; content strategy; publishing in digital spaces; digital communities; editing; nonprofit communications; rhetoric and labor; multimodal composing; narrative identity; digital audio production


Ph.D., Michigan State University (English), 2014

M.A., The University of Akron, 2009

Research or Academic Affiliations 

Director of The Cube


DH@MSU Core Faculty

Awards and Honors


WRA 101: Writing as Inquiry

WRA 202: Introduction to Professional and Public Writing

WRA 331: Writing in the Public Interest / Nonprofit Communications

WRA 333: Writing in Corporate Contexts

WRA 355: Publication Workshop: Writing for Publications

WRA 453: Grant & Proposal Writing

WRA 455: Senior Portfolio Seminar

WRA 480: Publication Management/The Current

WRA 483: Community Publishing

WRA 491: The Past, Present, & Future of Book Publishing

IAH 208: Punk Rock Politics: Anarchy and Subversion in Youth Culture

IAH 221C: Criminals & Crime Fighters

ENG 210: Foundations of Literary Studies

ENG 226: Introduction to Creative Writing

ENG 290: Independent Study

ENG 353: Readings in Women Writers/Theories of Comedy

ENG 428: Advanced Fiction Writing

University News

Professional and Public Writing Major Establishes Nonprofit to Promote Accessibility
Published April 19, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
Class assignments provide opportunities to learn, practice, and demonstrate acquired knowledge, and sometimes they do more than that by planting seeds of creative and entrepreneurial inspiration for…Read now »
Creativity in the Time of COVID-19 Exhibit Displays Work from All Seven Continents
Published April 6, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
An equity-based art exhibition featuring more than 200 pieces of work from all around the world, exploring the use of creativity to cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, is opening this…Read now »
2022 Faculty Award Winners Recognized for Outstanding Achievement
Published October 20, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
A series of close-up headshots, arrange in a grid of 2x2.
The College of Arts & Letters recognizes its 2022 Faculty Award winners for the work they do to enhance curriculum and student experiences. These four impactful leaders have shown outstanding…Read now »
The Cube Wins Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant to Fund Three Projects
Published March 15, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
The Cube, which is housed in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) and offers publication resources for the Michigan State University campus community and…Read now »
Redefining Experiential Learning in the Humanities: The Cube
Published February 1, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05fWfdie4z4 To kick off 2022, Kate Birdsall, Associate Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, presented “Redefining…Read now »
College Honors Faculty Promoted in 2021
Published December 15, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
The College of Arts & Letters is pleased to recognize several faculty members who recently were promoted to full professor, associate professor, or associate professor-fixed term. These faculty…Read now »
New Minor in Writing Now Offered to Undergraduates
Published August 24, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
A new Minor in Writing is now being offered to undergraduate students at Michigan State University. This new minor, housed in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American…Read now »
The Cube Helps Local School District Provide Mental Health Support
Published June 2, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on our mental health, and at East Lansing Public Schools, they are combating mental health issues with the help of The Cube, MSU’s publishing hub, which…Read now »
A P2W Major’s Bittersweet Goodbye to the College That Gave Her So Much
Published May 11, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
When I came to MSU, I was a Business-preference student with high ambition but little direction. I was in Writing as Inquiry (WRA 101) during my first semester here, when my professor, Margaret…Read now »
Emily Jenkins Awarded PW Outstanding Major Award
Published May 1, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
Photo of girl with short blonde hair smiling wearing a grey short sleeve shirt, a silver necklace, and a Detroit Tigers navy baseball cap
Emily Jenkins is the 2019 recipient of the Professional Writing (PW) Outstanding Major Award, with honorable mentions going to Ellyse St. John and Timothy Snyder. Presented by…Read now »
UURAF First Place Winners Announced
Published April 11, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
four adults standing around a poster and smiling at the camera
Several College of Arts & Letters students received first-place awards for their research and creative scholarship presented at the 21st Annual University Undergraduate Research and Arts…Read now »
Students Gain Valuable Experience with ‘ing’ Magazine
Published December 26, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
photo of a pile of all of the same magazines that have a photo of a woman who is wearing a read dress on a white table
ing Magazine is a greater Lansing area, MSU student-run arts and culture publication that highlights MSU students, Lansing locals, and the things they love. The magazine is created by…Read now »
‘Ing’ Magazine Exposes Students to the Publishing World
Published November 22, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
graphic for the food issue
Students enrolled in the Professional Writing class WRA 480, Publication Management, get to experience what it’s like to work in the world of publishing by producing ing Magazine, a…Read now »