Huatong Sun, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor ; Graduate Faculty

Specialty: Cross-Cultural Design, Digital Media Studies, Technical Communication

Sun, Huatong

Contact information

Dept: Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Room: GWP 405
Phone: 253-692-4376


  • Ph.D., Communication and Rhetoric/Human-Computer Interaction, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2004.
  • M.S., Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Michigan Technological University, 2000.
  • B.A., Chinese Literature, Fudan University, Shanghai, PRC, 1997.


Im a researcher who explores the relationship and interaction between technology, culture, and design in a glocalization age across multiple disciplines; a teacher who strives to nurture communication majors into competent professionals and socially responsible citizens with a sharp vision of critical media studies; and a designer who aims to articulate local voices with a culture-sensitive design approach.


My research explores the relationship and interaction between technology, culture, and design in a glocalization age with a focus on web technologies and mobile communication, informed by theories and methodologies from rhetoric and technical communication, intercultural communication, human-computer interaction, information studies, British cultural studies, and science and technology studies.


My teaching experience includes introductory and advanced courses in web and multimedia writing and design, document design, content management, computer-mediated communication, professional writing, technical and business communication, composition and ESL writing, and writing internship. I usually teach the following courses for the communication major:

  • TCOM 220 Social Media
  • TCOM 320 Principles of Web Design
  • TCOM 350 Editing and Design for Print Media
  • TCOM 420 Advanced Web Design

Selected Publications

    • Sun, H. (2012). Cross-cultural technology design: Creating culture-sensitive technology for local users. New York: Oxford University Press. 352 pages.
    • Sun, P., Sun, H., & Yang, H. (2012). Xian dai jing ji xie zuo (Contemporary Business Writing). 4e. Zhejiang University Press, PRC.
    • Sun, H. , Xie, Y., & Sun, P.(Eds.), (2008). Da xue yu wen (College Chinese). Zhejiang University Press, PRC.
    • Sun, H. (2009). Towards a rhetoric of locale: Localizing mobile messaging technology into everyday life. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 39(2), 245-261.
    • Sun, H. (2006). The triumph of users: Achieving cultural usability goals with user localization. Technical Communication Quarterly,15(4), 457-481.
    • Sun, H. (2013). Tracing technology diffusion of social media with culturally localized user experience approach. Design, User Experience and Usability/HCI International 2013 Conference Proceedings, LNCS 8013, Springer-Verlag, 115120.
    • Sun, H. (2012). The case of Facebook Japan: Cross-cultural design in postcolonial conditions. Proceedings of the 30th ACM international conference on Design of communication. New York: ACM: 367-368.
    • Sun, H. (2011). Designing for social commerce experience as cultural consumption. HCI International 2011 Proceedings, LNCS 6775, Internationalization, Design and Global Development. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 402-406.


  • Association of Teachers of Technical Writing
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication
  • Association of Internet Researchers

Professional Service

  • Program Board of HCI International 2014: 6th International Conference on Cross-Cultural Design
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Rhetoric, Professional Communication, and Globalization, 2009-present
  • Manuscript Reviewer for University of Chicago Press, journals such as Technical Communication Quarterly, Journal of Rhetoric, Professional Communication, and Globalization, and conferences in multiple disciplines ranging from Internet studies, HCI, technical communication, and composition & rhetoric.

Honors and Awards

  • 2013 Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication Award by NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English)
  • Nell Ann Picket Award for the Best Article of Technical Communication Quarterly, 2006
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication, 2005
  • The 8th Annual Localisation Research Centre Best Thesis Award, University of Limerick, Ireland, 2004