Carlos Evia, a Virginia Tech communication professor, has been named associate dean for transdisciplinary initiatives at the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, where he also now serves as chief technology officer.

Last year the college dean, Laura Belmonte, launched the Academy of Transdisciplinary Studies and appointed Evia to lead the program as the college’s first director of transdisciplinary initiatives.

The Academy of Transdisciplinary Studies seeks to bring together the many faculty members, programs, and courses at Virginia Tech that cross disciplinary boundaries. The academy also seeks to build on this synergistic strength across the university to address complex problems facing society.

“The job will combine the terrific work that Professor Evia is already doing in fostering transdisciplinary collaborations across campus with the new role of providing oversight of the college’s information technology program,” said Belmonte. “We are incredibly fortunate to have him on the college’s leadership team.”

An expert in cutting-edge technical communication, Evia holds a master’s degree in computer systems from Universidad La Salle in Mexico City and a doctorate in technical communication and rhetoric from Texas Tech University. In his doctoral program he specialized in technical documentation, content operations, and user experience, with an emphasis on misrepresented audiences.

Evia, who joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2004, focuses his research on planning and developing technology-based solutions for workplace communication problems, particularly in situations involving multicultural audiences. He is particularly interested in Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), which uses Extensible Markup Language, or XML, to define a set of guidelines for encoding documents in a format that can be read by both humans and machines.

He works with OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, as a voting member of the Technical Committee for DITA. He also co-chairs the organization’s subcommittee on Lightweight DITA, an authoring method he helped create that uses plain text with notations.

“With Lightweight DITA, you don’t have to write in a specific code format or even English,” he said. “You can write in diverse markup languages and then use an app or a computing agent to filter the information.”

Evia authored the book “Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA” in 2018 and co-edited “Outsourcing Technical Communication: Issues, Policies, and Practices” a decade earlier. He serves on the editorial boards of two journals, Communication Design Quarterly and IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication. He is also a co-administrator of the Hispanics in Computing LinkedIn group.

At Virginia Tech, Evia is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction, a faculty fellow at the Center for Communicating Science, and a member of the stakeholder committee of the Center for Humanities.

Evia is also a member of the Virginia Tech Hispanic/Latino Faculty and Staff Caucus. During the 2020-2021 academic year, he was the faculty fellow at El Centro, the Hispanic and Latinx Cultural and Community Center.