Debra Ruder Communications

Writing that matters

My writing portfolio includes magazine features, donor profiles, annual report content, e-newsletter pieces, ghost-written journal articles, and tip sheets for patients. As a freelancer I specialize in health care and education, and my work has appeared in such publications as Harvard MagazineVoice (Boston College School of Nursing), Vital Signs (Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences), Turning Point (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), Harvard MedicineHarvard Public Health ReviewLife with Teens, and Newsweek. Here’s a sampling of my published work.

Investigating Gut-Brain Communication

Brain research impact report at MIT


One of the short profiles I’ve written for MIT’s Yang Tan Collective to showcase the centers' cutting-edge brain research to improve human health.

Building Pandemic Resilience

Brown Alumni Magazine

November-December 2023

Brown U.’s Pandemic Center is helping communities prepare for future public health catastrophes. One in a series of spreads I’ve written for the President’s Office at Brown.

Tapping the Earth’s Ancient Secrets

Bryant University Website

December 2022

Bryant U. faculty and students unearth specimens from an ancient Idaho lakebed to study how ecosystems respond to climate warming.

Turning Up the Heat on Climate Change Solutions

Impact, Brown University


Magazine cover story on action-oriented climate change research being conducted across the university; starts on p. 18.

Welcoming New Faculty

Voice Magazine, Boston College Connell School of Nursing

November 2021

Short profiles of three outstanding nurse-scholars now teaching full-time at Boston College.

How Acupuncture Relieves Inflammation

Harvard Magazine

January-February 2021

A Harvard researcher sheds light on how acupuncture may help reduce unwanted inflammation in the body, if practiced properly.

Seacole Scholars

Voice Magazine, Boston College Connell School of Nursing

May 2020

Boston College creates a living-and-learning community to support first-year nursing students from diverse backgrounds.

Screen Time and the Brain

On The Brain newsletter, Harvard Medical School

June 2019

A Harvard pediatrician studies the pros and cons of digital media use. Part of a series of feature stories I've written for On The Brain.

Transforming the classroom

Bok Center for Teaching and Learning Annual Report 2017-18

Fall 2018

I wrote the stories on pages 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, and 21 to showcase innovative approaches to teaching and learning at Harvard.

Champion of equity and social justice

The Harvard Gazette

October 2018

Feature story on dean and professor Joan Reede, longtime leader of diversity initiatives at Harvard Medical School.

Connecting Body and Soul

Harvard Magazine

January-February 2017

Researchers explore how spirituality affects the patient experience.

There’s No Place Like NUHome

Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern U.

Summer 2017

Wrote cover story and alumni spotlight and co-edited overall content.

Remembering John Clark

Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, Mass.

July 4, 2017

Tribute to my old friend, talented musician John Clark.

Street Doctor

Harvard Magazine


A profile of Dr. James O'Connell, compassionate leader of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

Team Spirit Supports Women’s Lacrosse

Harvard alumni website

November 2015

Former members of Harvard women's lacrosse team rally together to endow coaching position.

A Global Citizen Gives Back

Harvard Alumni website

April 20, 2015

One of many alumni profiles I wrote for Harvard Alumni Affairs and Development.

An Extra Layer of Care

Harvard Magazine

March-April 2015

Palliative care, a growing trend, provides physical, emotional, and spiritual comfort to patients with serious illness.

What’s Going on in Your Teen’s Brain?

Life with Teens

September 2014

Experts see the teen years as a time to thrive, not just survive.

Paying Attention to Depression

Life with Teens

February 2014

Warning signs for parents about teen depression, a common and serious illness.

Spelunking for Genes

Harvard Medicine

Winter 2012

An ancient bone and a molar hold clues to a new branch of our family tree.