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Dr. Kathryn de Ridder-Vignone

Chair of the Faculty and English Instructor

843-383-3901 x 3936

Educational Background

  • 2013 Ph.D. Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University
    Dissertation: Democratizing Nanotechnology: The Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network and the Meaning of Civic Education
  • 2008 M.A. Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University
    Concentrations: Science Communication, Museums Studies, Images and Visualizations in Science, Users in 19th and 20th century History of Technology, Emerging Technologies
  • 2005 Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae, South Carolina Honors College, University of South Carolina


Dr. Kathryn de Ridder-Vignone moved to Greer, SC, in second grade. After graduating from Riverside High School, she attended the Honors College at the University of South Carolina where she completed the Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae, focusing on early 20th century American literature, art history, and history and interdisciplinary sciences, specifically nanotechnology. Dr. de Ridder-Vignone subsequently received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University. While at Cornell she was trained to teach writing and composition in the John S. Knight Writing Institute.

After Cornell, she moved to Tempe, AZ, where she worked as a post-doctoral research analyst in the Center for Nanotechnology in Society in the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes, a science policy think tank, at Arizona State University. Following her time at ASU, she became an assistant professor of social context in the department of Integrated Science & Technology at James Madison University. Upon moving to South Carolina she spent two years as the Director of GSSM Foundation’s Startsville Innovation Center, in Hartsville, SC, while also teaching in GSSM's residential program and PULSE program.

In 2017 she became a full-time instructor at GSSM teaching writing and communication in our virtual engineering program, Accelerate.  She has continued to teach future engineers, from across the state, about communicating the complexities of science, technology, and engineering in action. In 2019, she began teaching in the residential program as an instructor of writing and composition, as well.
Throughout this time, she has served as a research advisor for students in residential and virtual examining topics such as the role of robotics in our future economic systems and the role of Instagram in shaping our personal identities and values.
In her most recent research program, now in its third iteration, she co-leads a residential summer research experience with Dr. António de Ridder. With her students they address problems in contemporary transportation systems with a focus on bike-ped infrastructure.

In her free time, Dr. de Ridder-Vignone can be found riding bicycles with her family, speaking French, and traveling (preferably all at once). She's also enjoys gardening, staring at trees, and listening to bird songs.

She is proud to be part of the GSSM community and happy to be given the opportunity to give back to the state that raised her.

Tell us what you love about working at GSSM.    

The people.

Are you a member of any professional organizations?    

  • Society for the Social Study of Sciences
  • National Consortium of Specialized STEM Schools (NCSSS)
  • National Council of Teachers of English

Please list and describe any personal information you would like to share.

I'm married to the French instructor. I like to ride my bike with my kids. I speak some French. I like to people watch. And eat good food. And travel. And ride bikes with my family in foreign countries while people watching, interspersed with good food.

What would your students be surprised to learn about you?    

I was player of the year for the state of South Carolina in soccer in 2000.

What is your perfect pizza?    

White pizza with meatballs. And pineapple. And tomato sauce in which to dip the crust.

What's the best thing about Hartsville?    

The trees. And the reflection of the trees on the water in Prestwood lake.

Who would be invited to your fantasy dinner party (living or deceased) and why?    

My mom. So I could introduce her to my children.

What's your favorite quote?    

I always have trouble with this question. Who can pick just one? This is mine for today: "When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad. Being and non-being create each other. Difficult and easy support each other. Long and short define each other. High and low depend on each other. Before and after follow each other. Therefore the Master acts without doing anything and teaches without saying anything."- Tao Te Ching

Anything else you'd like to tell us?    

I like it here. I hope I get to stay awhile.