Linda S. Bergmann

Linda S. Bergmann, Ph.D.

Linda S. (Shell) Bergmann, Ph.D., 63, of West Lafayette, passed away, unexpectedly, at home on Saturday, January 11, 2014. Born November 12, 1950 in Syracuse, New York, she was the daughter of the late Stanley and Helen (Stankavitch) Shell. Dr. Bergmann received her B.A. with high honors in English from Oberlin College in 1972, her M. A. with Departmental Honors in English from the University of Chicago in 1973, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago in 1983. Her love of humor as an American rhetoric not only led to her dissertation, "American Historical Humor: The Tradition and the Contemporary Novel," but also informed her outlook on life. Students, family, colleagues, and friends valued her loyalty, intellect, and wit.

Before she moved to Purdue University in 2001, becoming director of the Purdue Writing Lab in 2003 and Professor of English in 2010, Dr. Bergmann served as director of Writing Across the Curriculum at the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1991 to 1996 and the director of Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing Center at the University of Missouri-Rolla from 1996 to 2001. Her work in rhetoric and composition reflected equal passions for language and student learning, and led to a $1.5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011 to create a new interactive internet tool for high school students based on the Purdue Online Writing Lab. In the Purdue English Department, Dr. Bergmann taught graduate seminars in Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing Center Administration International interest in her writing pedagogy led to invitations from places as disparate as Lebanon, Poland, Turkey, and Columbia. Her textbook Academic Research and Writing (Longman, 2010) complimented her teaching and scholarly research on composition by enabling students and instructors world-wide to benefit from her work.

Dr. Bergmann is survived by her husband, Dr. Bernard Bergmann III, and their son, Bernard "Bernie" Bergmann IV.

Memorial visitation is from 3-5 p.m., Friday, January 17, 2014 at the Purdue Memorial Union, in the Anniversary Drawing Room, Room 304. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 5 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Heifer, International (

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Published in the Journal & Courier from Jan. 15 to Jan. 16, 2014