The Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences established the Academy of Transdisciplinary Studies in 2020 in response to some of the most daunting challenges facing humanity.
“By their very definition, transdisciplinary studies defy traditional curricular and programmatic boundaries,” said Laura Belmonte, dean of the college. “Our university already has a significant number of faculty, programs, and courses that are transdisciplinary in their focus and methodologies, but they’re dispersed across colleges and departments. The Academy of Transdisciplinary Studies is intended to be the catalyst that brings them together and takes advantage of their synergistic strength to address complex problems.”
Belmonte named Carlos Evia, a professor in the Virginia Tech School of Communication to direct the academy.
“Dr. Evia has long worked across disciplinary boundaries,” said Belmonte. “His ability to delve into the intersections of liberal arts and technology combined with his work in curricula and student support activities that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion make him a terrific fit for overseeing the academy’s multifaceted programs and working to promote transdisciplinary inquiry across campus.”
Carlos Evia, Associate Dean for Transdisciplinary Initiatives
Carlos Evia, associate dean for transdisciplinary initiatives at the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, directs the Academy of Transdisciplinary Studies. He also serves as a professor in the School of Communication and as chief technology officer of the college.
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.
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.