STC-SM October Program Recap

Face-to-Face Versus Remote Communication

Format: Panel
Location: Lawrence Technological University (LTU)
Panelists:

  • Maryann Bowen—Senior Manager of Education and User Experience, Saphran, Inc.
  • Steven D. Krause—Professor of Rhetoric and Writing, Eastern Michigan University
  • Rich Leazer—Documentation and Publishing Manager, Health Information Technology & Services, Michigan Medicine (formerly University of Michigan Health System)
  • Catherine Vera-Burgos—Manager of BCN Provider Communications, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; graduate student at Wayne State University. For the purposes of this panel discussion, Catherine Vera-Burgos was asked to participate from the perspective of a graduate student rather than a manager.

Panel Moderator: Corinne Stavish—Director of the Technical and Professional Communication Program, LTU.
Continue reading “STC-SM October Program Recap”

Members Came from Far and Wide to Attend Royal Oak Networking Event

Pictured (l-r): Mary Jo David, Cheri Jerue, Sylvia Bandyke, Angel Belford, and Emily Distelrath
Pictured (l-r): Mary Jo David, Cheri Jerue, Sylvia Bandyke, Angel Belford, and Emily Distelrath

It’s interesting how the STC/SM casual networking events have evolved. The locations for our formal programs don’t vary a lot in order to keep them centrally located for a majority of our members. As a complement to the formal programs, our casual networking events were devised as a way for technical communicators to meet up closer to where they live.

And yet, at our most recent networking event, which was held in Royal Oak on Thursday, April 26, 2015, technical communicators traveled from Toledo, Canton, Novi, Auburn Hills, and Royal Oak to attend! I take this as a strong indicator of the perceived value of networking. In fact, when the topic came up about how best to land new jobs or new contracts, the #1 answer was—you guessed it—NETWORKING. Continue reading “Members Came from Far and Wide to Attend Royal Oak Networking Event”

Review of Essential User Experience Skills Presented at the 2010 Summit by Will Sansbury, Rachel Peters, and Yina Li

Will Sansbury, Rachel Peters, and Yina Li based their presentation on a workshop they put together for members of the Atlanta chapter of STC. A team of chapter members was interested in redesigning the Atlanta chapter’s website, thus the need for the workshop. The Atlanta chapter website being used at that time was designed in approximately 1994.

The presentation overviews three essential user experience skills: card sorting, heuristic evaluation, and usability testing. Although the main focus of the presentation was how to put these skills into practice designing a website, references were also made to the importance of these same skills for designing user guides and online help as well. Continue reading “Review of Essential User Experience Skills Presented at the 2010 Summit by Will Sansbury, Rachel Peters, and Yina Li”

Expanding Our Networks—One Event at a Time

Five of us commiserated during Happy Hour at Doc’s Sports Retreat in Livonia—the site of our latest casual networking event, which was held on March 19, 2014. Some ate, some drank, and each of us shared what it’s like to be a technical communicator for different companies around the metropolitan Detroit area. The make-up at these gatherings always varies, with some people employed, some self-employed, and some looking for work. At this particular happy hour, four of the attendees are currently employed by other companies and one is self-employed.

All sorts of topics worked their way into our conversation: Robohelp…Madcap Flare…Doc-to-Help…Framemaker…Word…WordPerfect (yes, you read that right!)…single sourcing and reuse…PDF collaboration…Pass the chips(!)…STC…The Summit…writing for insurance agents…ICD-10…training…hidden sources of gluten…company portals…best companies to work for…mergers… XML…Epic Editor…Arbortext (the company and the old building in Ann Arbor)…contracting… procedures and job aids…the Internet’s birthday…blogs vs. newsletters…STC SIGS…lone writers…the evolution of page layout and font cartridges…Paris…French…German…being a courteous traveler…and the list goes on!

Most importantly, those who attended have expanded their professional networks, which, over the course of years, can prove to be very beneficial. Welcome to my network, Cheri, and it was great seeing you again, Sharon, Marty, and George!

STC/SM Casual Networking events…a great way to network on a small scale

Six of us gathered at Mr.   Joe’s in Southfield this past Tuesday (February 25, 2014) for an STC/SM happy hour casual networking event. I met three technical communicators I didn’t know and caught up with two others whom I’ve met before. Enjoyed some good conversation   on many topics.The one that stands out was the discussion about content management systems—what they are, who uses them, and how effective they are. Future casual networking lunches and happy hours are scheduled in March and April. Hoping to see some old friends and meet some new ones! See the schedule below. RSVP if you’’ll be attending. That way we can make sure to   have enough seating available, and we can notify you if something changes due to inclement weather, etc. At these events, attendees are responsible for purchasing their own food/beverages, but the camaraderie and conversation are free!

  • Friday, March 7, 2014: Networking lunch, 11:30-1:00, at Palm Palace, 2370 Carpenter Rd., Ann Arbor. RSVP by noon on Thursday, March 6 to [email protected]
  • Wednesday, March 19, 2014: Networking happy hour, 4-6 p.m. at Doc’s Sports Retreat on   Victor Parkway in Livonia (near I-275 and 7 Mile Rd.) RSVP by noon on Tuesday, March 18, to [email protected]
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014: Networking lunch, 11:30-1:00, at Niki’s, 735 Beaubien (Greektown) in Downtown Detroit. RSVP by Wednesday, April 16, to [email protected]
  • TBD: Another networking event for Detroit’s northern suburbs…stay tuned for date and place!

Letter from the Membership Manager

Announcing a New Batch of Local Casual Networking Events

Your local Southeastern Michigan chapter of STC is unveiling some new dates for upcoming casual networking events around the metropolitan Detroit and Ann Arbor areas. Some are lunches and some are happy hour events this time. Please RSVP in advance if you’ll be attending so we make sure to have enough seating available and so we can notify you if something changes. At these events, attendees are responsible for purchasing their own food/beverages, but the camaraderie and conversation are free!

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014: Networking happy hour, 4–6 p.m., at Mr. Joe’s, 26077 West 12 Mile Road, Southfield. RSVP by noon on Monday, February24 to [email protected].
  • Friday, March 7, 2014: Networking lunch, 11:30–1:00, at Palm Palace, Carpenter Rd., Ann Arbor area. RSVP by noon on Thursday, 3/6 to [email protected].
  • Wednesday, March 19, 2014: Networking happy hour, 4–6 p.m., at Doc’s Sports Retreat on Victor Parkway in Livonia (off I-275 and 7 Mile). RSVP by noon on Tuesday 3/18 to [email protected].
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014: Networking lunch, 11:30 -1:00, at Niki’s, 735 Beaubien (Greektown) in Downtown Detroit. RSVP by Wednesday, April 16 to [email protected].
  • TBD: Another networking event for Detroit’s northern suburbs…stay tuned for date and place.

Free STC Webinar: Using STC Resources to Find Employment

  • Presenter: Dr. Jackie Damrau
  • When: Tuesday, February 18, 2014
  • Time: 12:30-1:30 p.m., EST

To register, send an email to [email protected]

Description

STC members will learn how to use STC website resources to help them in finding their ideal job. We start off by covering the Ten Tips to Your Ideal Dream Job with the associated STC website resources used to supplement each tip. We then conclude by quickly walking through Four Career Search Tips for What Not To Do, and the 80/20 Rule During Interviews.

About Dr. Damrau

Dr. Jackie Damrau is a Sr. Business Systems Analyst at CBRE. In her current role, Jackie models business processes and other department workgroup processes using BPMN modeling notation for determining workflow automation of existing paper-based processes or improving existing business processes. Jackie has more than 25 years of technical communication experience. She is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), member of the STC North Texas Lone Star chapter and the Instructional Design and Learning SIG, and the Book Review Editor for Technical Communication. Jackie’s past international positions have been as a SIG manager for the Instructional Design and Learning SIG; assistant SIG manager for the Management SIG; elected member of the Nominations Committee; and general manager of the STC International Summit Awards (2010-2012). Jackie enjoys reading literature, sociology, linguistics, and philosophy. Find her on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/jackiedamrau) or on Twitter (@damrauja).

—Mary Jo David, STC-SM Membership Manager