Dr. Rick Cherwitz is a professor in the department of communication studies and in the department of rhetoric and writing at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). He is the founder and director of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE) in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). IE is a nationally acclaimed initiative designed to leverage knowledge for social good by educating "citizen-scholars." Recent awards received by professor Cherwitz for his work with IE include: Top Example of Excelencia (for accelerating the success of Latino students in higher education) by Excelencia in Education, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Innovation Award, the DiversityFIRST[tm] Leadership Award from the National Diversity Council, Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education Award (Conference of Graduate Schools), National Communication Association Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, and the Ernest A. Lynton Award for Faculty Professional Service & Academic Outreach (New England Resource Center for Higher Education). Cherwitz was also recognized by the Texas House of Representatives for innovative leadership in education.
Dr. Cherwitz’ publications include two books and over one hundred journal articles, chapters, reviews, and papers. Taking the study of rhetoric beyond its traditional disciplinary boundaries, he is a frequent contributor to professional associations and educational organizations, exploring issues pertaining to academic engagement and public scholarship—all documenting the enormous capacity of rhetoric to transform higher education and forge academic-community collaborations. In addition to writing about how theories of rhetoric are essential to efforts by research universities to create interdisciplinary, engaged learning, Cherwitz has concretely employed his concept of “intellectual entrepreneurship” to produce real change, assisting the University in partnering with members of its community to tackle complex problems such as overcrowding of emergency rooms. Over a dozen campus-wide IE courses and internships have enabled UT to educate thousands of graduate and undergraduate students who utilize their disciplinary knowledge to contribute to society as well as learned communities.