Rachael Graham Lussos Receives Mason's First NSF DDRIG Grant

Rachael Graham Lussos Receives Mason's First NSF DDRIG Grant

In spring 2019, Writing and Rhetoric PhD Candidate Rachael Graham Lussos received a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (DDRIG) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance her dissertation research on the rhetorics of quantification in the context of chronic pain. The $5,059 award funds transcription services for 30 interviews with persons in chronic pain. It is the first NSF DDRIG awarded to George Mason University.

With her adviser and principal investigator Dr. Heidi Y. Lawrence, Lussos continues investigating how persons in chronic pain use different rhetorical moves to describe the experience of living with and being in pain. The project raises awareness of the challenges of communicating about chronic pain, a condition shared by an estimated 10% to 30% of the U.S. population. The project also contributes to the fields of rhetoric and Science, Technology, and Society (STS), which represents the NSF program that awarded the grant. By studying how persons in chronic pain do or do not use numbers to describe their pain experiences, this project helps rhetoric and STS scholars understand how communication with numbers is persuasive and trustworthy.

For more information about the grant or the project, email Dr. Lawrence at hlawren2@gmu.edu.