Professor Dr. Catherine Nickerson
(Zayed University, Dubai, U.A.E)
Catherine Nickerson is a Professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates, where she also serves as the Director of Educational Effectiveness. Prior to this, she held positions in India, at the Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru, and in the Netherlands, at the Radboud University. She has also lived and worked in the United States and the United Kingdom. She holds degrees from the Universities of Durham (BA) and Birmingham (MA) in the United Kingdom, and a Ph.D. from the Radboud University in the Netherlands.
Catherine’s work has been instrumental in the establishment of the multidisciplinary field of business discourse, at the intersection of discourse studies, language for specific purposes and the study of business English. Since 1999, she has co-authored a series of influential volumes on teaching and researching business discourse, on English for specific business purposes and on various aspects of business English. She has also guest-edited two Special Issues on business English for the English for Specific Purposes Journal, which appeared in 2005 and 2023 respectively, and has continued to publish widely on a broad range of topics focusing on how people communicate in workplace contexts. Her most recent publications have looked at the use of strategic corporate social responsibility communication on banking web-sites, at the impact of religion and religiosity on how advertising texts are perceived, and at the evolution of English for specific business purposes in the United Arab Emirates. In recognition of her research contributions, in 2008 she received the Association for Business Communication’s Distinguished Publication Award, in 2009 the Association’s Outstanding Researcher Award and in 2017 the Outstanding Article in the Business and Professional Communication Quarterly Award.
Catherine has been a teacher for more than three decades, working with business people and students across the world. Throughout her career, she has sought to bridge the gap between research and practice and to consider not only how the findings of academic research can be incorporated into the classroom, but also to identify additional fruitful areas of research that can be of immediate use for practitioners. In recent studies, she has explored the effects of mobile learning and of flipping the business English classroom, and she has also investigated the ways in which students with no previous business experience can be moved beyond the limits of conventional textbooks and placed in a writing space more similar to that of the modern business context. Her current work looks at how the effective online teaching of a business English course can also provide students who have little or no work experience, with a means of developing the digital communication skills they will eventually need for the workplace.