October Program to Discuss Face-to-Face Versus Computer-Mediated Communication

Do you consider email, video conferencing, social media, texting, and webinars “online,” “computer-mediated,” or “remote” communication? Do you think of it as faceless, inefficient, and unsettling, or contrariwise, very practical, or does it depend on who is at the other end of the communication? How do you deal with the problems? Is it just you who has trouble? [Hint: No, it is not!]

Please join STC-SM at Lawrence Tech on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, for a panel discussion about face-to-face and remote communication, the pros and cons, and best practices for various scenarios. Please register by Tuesday, October 24, 2017.

Our panelists will include

  • Maryann Bowen, STC Associate Fellow and Senior Manager of Education and User Experience at Saphran, Inc.,
  • Steven D. Krause, Professor of Rhetoric and Writing, Eastern Michigan University
  • Rich Leazer, Manager, Documentation and Publishing Health Information Technology & Services, at University of Michigan, and
  • Catherine Vera-Burgos, a graduate student at Wayne State University, and Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Dr. Corinne Stavish, Director of the Technical and Professional Communication Program at our sponsor, Lawrence Tech, will moderate the discussion.

There will be a conversation and question-and-answer period following the panel discussion. We will include a very brief overview of the types of research in academic and business settings that have been published over the last five years.


  • Wednesday, October 25, 2017
  • 6:30 pm: Networking
  • 7 pm: Program


Lawrence Technological University
A. Alfred Taubman Student Services Center, C406
21000 West Ten Mile Road
Southfield, MI, 48075

How much

  • Students: free with ID
  • Members*: $10
  • Non-members: $20

* Honorary members for the evening: employees of the sponsoring organization and members of sister organizations (UXPA, CHI, and ASTD)


More About Our Panelists

Our panelists have worked with clients and colleagues remotely and in person: Maryann Bowen works mostly remotely; Rich Leazer has worked mostly face to face. Wayne State graduate student Catherine Vera-Burgos has taken classes online and face to face.

Maryann Bowen
Senior Manager, Education and User Experience
Saphran, Inc.

Photo of Maryann Bowen
Maryann Bowen

Maryann Bowen is Senior Manager, Education and User Experience at Saphran, Inc., a business planning software company headquartered in Southfield, MI, with a distributed team and a global client base (mainly automotive suppliers). In a technical communications career spanning three decades, she has worked with many different organizations in both independent contractor and direct employment relationships, in both face-to-face and virtual workspaces. Most of her experience has been in the financial services and automotive industries, designing, developing, and delivering software user assistance and instruction.
Maryann is an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and a past officer of the STC Southeastern Michigan Chapter.

Steven D. Krause
Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Eastern Michigan University

Photo of Steven D. Krause
Steven D. Krause

Steven D. Krause is a Professor at Eastern Michigan University. Most of his teaching and scholarship explores the connections between writing and technology. He is the coeditor of the collection Invasion of the MOOCs: The Promise and Perils of Massive Open Online Courses and he is working on a book forthcoming from Utah State University Press tentatively titled MOOCs in Context.

Rich Leazer
Manager, Documentation and Publishing Health Information Technology & Services
University of Michigan

Photo of Rich Leazer
Rich Leazer

Rich Leazer has over twenty years of experience in the technical communication field. He has worked for corporations and business leaders such as Computer Associates, EDS, Compuware, McKesson Corporation, and the University of Michigan, in technical communication and management capacities. During the course of his career, Rich has focused on the development, distribution, and maintenance of technical communication, training, and at times, marketing deliverables, for a wide variety of products, processes, and services. Currently, Rich is an employee of the University of Michigan Health System, where he is responsible for a team that delivers documentation and training to developers and users of the Health System Data Warehouse, the Michigan Data Collaborative, and the team that supports reporting, business intelligence, and analytics. Rich received his BA from Purdue University.

Catherine Vera-Burgos
Graduate student, Wayne State University
Manager, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Photo of Catherine Vera‐Burgos
Catherine Vera‐Burgos

Cathy Vera-Burgos is a graduate student at Wayne State University where she is working on her Master of Arts in Public Relations and Organizational Communications. She is currently taking her ninth graduate class out of 11 needed to complete this degree. Her degree program includes seven traditional in-person classes, two online classes, a directed study and a Master’s Essay. Cathy has also successfully complete an online course in nutrition with coursera.org.

In her professional life, Cathy is the manager of Provider Communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a position she has held for 16 years. In this role, Cathy manages a team of professionals who create communications for health care providers, including: provider manuals, newsletters, websites, e-learning opportunities, letters, and brochures, as well as internal communications for employees who serve providers. Cathy also has experience in the nonprofit field as a program developer and grant writer.