Program Recap: Usability in Health and Medical Contexts

On September 18, Kirk St. Amant presented a webinar through STC describing how to tailor your writing in the medical field to the user’s specific situation. Kirk has numerous credentials teaching UX and technical communication at various universities, including Louisiana Tech, University of Limerick, Southeast University in China, and University of Strasbourg. He’s currently researching how cognitive processes affect the usability of technology in the medical field and in online education. Continue reading “Program Recap: Usability in Health and Medical Contexts”

Program Recap: Extended Reality and Tech Comm

On October 29, 2019, STC-SM hosted a program at Lawrence Technological University’s Centrepolis Accelerator. David Pollock, CEO of Mirari, walked us through the space, which included a Re’flekt XR station, 3D printers, a small shop to build products, and workspaces— all of which serve to connect businesses and students to drive innovation. Mirari became engaged with the facility from their work related to CAD/engineering model data consumption to produce lightweight 3D/CGI content for users. Users can then interact with the content quickly and easily on multiple devices for support and training. Continue reading “Program Recap: Extended Reality and Tech Comm”

Program Recap: The Power of Single-Sourcing

On May 22, 2019, STC-SM welcomed Liz Fraley to Ann Arbor all the way from the STC East Bay Chapter in California. In addition to being a prolific speaker and well-known contributor in the technical communication community, Liz is the founder of Single-Sourcing Solutions, TC Camp, and the TC Dojo. Liz spoke with us for over an hour and engaged us in a fascinating discussion about a topic she understands deeply: The Power of Single-Sourcing. Continue reading “Program Recap: The Power of Single-Sourcing”

Recap: STC-SM & WMS Joint Networking Event

Photograph of Michigan STC members at MSU.
Left to right: Alison Phillips, Pat Martz, Deb Stacy, Katherine Baeckeroot, Kelly Smith, Maryann Bowen, and Peggy Fizzo in the greenhouse after a visit to Michigan State’s butterflies.

On April 28, 2019, the Southeastern Michigan and West Michigan Shores chapters held a joint networking event at the Michigan State Horticulture Gardens and Butterfly House in East Lansing. The April weather was kind to us—we dodged the snow and enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day among the butterflies and plants. Continue reading “Recap: STC-SM & WMS Joint Networking Event”

Program Recap: Part 2 of Face-to-face vs. Computer-Mediated Communication Panel Discussion at LTU

Our November panel and moderator. From left to right: Chalice Randazzo, Steven Krause, Rich Leazer, Maryann Bowen, and moderator, Corinne Stavish.

On Wednesday, November 28, an audience of students and technical communications professionals gathered at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in Southfield for a panel discussion that continued where our October 2017 program left off on discussing the advantages and drawbacks of face-to-face vs. computer-mediated communication. Because our last panel focused primarily on face-to-face interactions, this panel discussed computer-mediated communication (CMC) which, for many of us, is the dominant form of communication in our professional lives. Continue reading “Program Recap: Part 2 of Face-to-face vs. Computer-Mediated Communication Panel Discussion at LTU”

Program Recap: Clear and Simple With Speaker Ed Lanigan

On Wednesday, March 21, we met at Lawrence Technological University for our program Clear and Simple. Our speaker, Ed Lanigan, spoke on how clarifying information and presenting it in a simple way improves our ability to communicate with our readers and creates better customer experiences. Ed has more than 20 years of multi-industry experience focused on customer experience, service performance, and six-sigma continuous improvement, and we are very grateful to have had the opportunity to hear him speak.

This thought-provoking discussion detailed the process of implementing a company-wide strategy for designing and using standardized letter templates that not only improved internal processes by slimming down unnecessary communication but also improved the content of the letters by providing a set of guidelines for writers. With the use of a standardized template, employees in different sections of the company could customize communication to clients while maintaining company branding and ensuring that the information the reader needed to know was visible and well-designed. Continue reading “Program Recap: Clear and Simple With Speaker Ed Lanigan”

Recap: Networking Happy Hour in Livonia

On February 27, 2018,  STC-SM  held a networking event at Doc’s Sports Bar in Livonia, MI. Six of us gathered after work for snacks, beverages, and great conversation. Four were members of the STC-SM chapter and two were non-members. As a friendly reminder, STC-SM welcomes everyone at our events. Membership is not a requirement, so please join us anytime.

Relaxing after work at Doc’s Sports Bar in Livonia.

During our networking session, we discussed our different careers in technical communications, along with the paths we traveled to become technical communicators. We also discussed the evolving skillsets employers require in a technical communicator, and traded tips about staying current as our profession evolves. Additional topics included technical communications programs at universities (undergraduate and graduate levels) and interview techniques and portfolio building. We wrapped up the evening by talking about ideas for future STC-SM program meetings and services that the STC-SM chapter can provide for technical communicators in our area.

It was truly an enjoyable evening. By the time we left, I personally felt more connected to fellow technical communicators, and to our community at large.

Please check our upcoming events, and come on out. We would love to see you soon!

Program Recap: Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety

We sat there frozen! What just happened?

Our speaker, Bonnie Tew, had just shaken her head, said “I am sorry, I just can’t do this…,” and walked out of the room. She had our full attention when she walked back in. She wanted to know if we had ever felt like that. Many of us nodded our heads in agreement.

Photograph taken at February 15 program, Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety.
Bonnie Tew, speaking to STC-SM members and guests about public-speaking anxiety.

Continue reading “Program Recap: Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety”

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”