A Letter From The President

Debra Johnson, STC Florida Chapter President

Technical Communicators:

With the chapter year 2020-2021 in full swing, I want to take the opportunity to thank you, STC Florida Members, TechComm students, and friends, for your continued commitment to our industry and our chapter. With my illness behind me, I am looking forward to the future. It has been a long year but with a great outcome. In addition, we’ve all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of STC Florida Chapter members, students, and guests is our top priority, so we want to make sure we do our part to help prevent the spread of this disease. As a chapter, we have had to evolve more in the virtual realm with the hope that our educational programs and networking opportunities have improved your life somehow.

We hope that our networking opportunities, our spirited discussions, educational programs, and our presenters with their knowledge and friendliness have impressed you.

We hope that you’ve take advantage of our Leadership Retreats, our Educational and Mentoring programs, our Networking sessions, and webinars. If not, we hope you’ll join us soon. We look forward to hearing from you.

Looking forward to a great year.

Sincerely,

Debra Johnson, STC Florida Chapter

You Oughta Be In Pictures! (Hint – Get Active!)

by W.C. Wiese

Just like Bethany Aguad, John Clement, W.C. Wiese, Debra Johnson, James Yunik, Nick Ducharme, Alex Garcia, and Julia Southwick, you can stand out as a committed technical communicator with a snazzy Florida Chapter Active Member shirt.

For 20 years, the Florida Chapter has recognized and rewarded the members who are essential to our chapter’s success with unique active member shirts. Our distinctive leadership shirts aren’t sold, only earned. They set our membership apart at meetings, STC conferences, and at work. In fact, after years of envy, several other chapters have contacted us and started their own active membership programs.

These shirts let members celebrate chapter pride whenever they wear them. It sends a positive message to employers, clients, family, and co-workers:  I am committed to technical communication and self-development. That’s why I’m a member of STC!

Now that our chapter meetings are regularly networked statewide, we make sure that virtual attendees aren’t overlooked – just ask our members in Georgia and California. As the table shows, members earn points for every monthly meeting attended, whenever they put on a program, attend an Administrative Council meeting, or serve as a judge or mentor. Another great way to earn points is by helping Communications Chair Julia Southwick with articles, photography, and production.

Based on past campaigns, the most active 15 percent of our membership ordinarily receive shirts. Will we see you at our next meeting?

In a land without Covid 19, Nick Ducharme receives his shirt from energetic Membership Chairman David Coverston.

And, By the Way…

It’s not too late if you want to send a selfie with your 2020 Active Member shirt.

Send it to gt6pilot@aol.com to boost your career when our annual celebratory LinkedIn article gets posted.

FTC October Meeting Recording and Minutes

Author: John Clement

Watch the recording of FTC’s Mentoring Program Interest Meeting from Oct 9.

Last Friday, FTC covered the ins and outs of the Mentoring Program and what it means to be an STC Student Member at its Mentoring Program Interest Meeting. Past mentees Amy Truong, Winfield Pearson, and Alexandra Engrand were our featured speakers, giving testimonials on their experiences in the program and as members of FTC and STC. Bethany Aguad also joined to represent STC with a presentation going more in depth on STC and mentoring.

Read the meeting minutes below to review the topics we covered and the resources we provided at the meeting.

Mentoring Program Applications Open Now

Author: John Clement

The Florida Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), in conjunction with the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) at UCF, is proud to announce its mentoring program, pairing veterans from the front lines of the industry with talented technical communication students and new technical communicators. The goal: to bridge the gap between industry and academe.

Applications are open until Friday, October 23.

Apply now: https://stc-orlando.org/announcements/students-apply-for-the-2020-2021-stc-florida-mentoring-program/

Once the program coordinators review your application, they will create an optimal mentor-mentee pair for you based on goals, skills, and learning styles. After that, there will be a kickoff meeting where mentees will get to meet their mentors for the first time.

STC Student Membership is required to be in the mentoring program. Membership purchased now costs $75 and lasts until the end of the next calendar year (12/31/2021). On top of becoming eligible for the Mentoring Program, student members gain free attendance to the STC Florida Chapter’s monthly meetings, networking opportunities, and more. You do not need to be a member at the time of submitting the application, but you do by the time the program begins.

For any questions, email program coordinators Bethany Aguad and John Clement at mentorship@stc-orlando.org.

If You Missed the Last Meeting – August 2020

On Thursday, August 20th, the Florida chapter of STC convened through Zoom for our monthly meeting. John Paz, a technical communication alumnus of UCF, former FTC leader, and STC member led a talk on Diversity in Tech Comm. If you would like to watch the recording, it is available for free on the STC Florida Meeting Videos page through our YouTube page.

John Paz is a senior content designer, UX writer, and technical writer with thirteen years of professional writing and editing experience. With a career taking him from Lockheed Martin in Orlando to Atlassian across the world in Australia and then the San Francisco Bay area, John is on a mission to help the technical communication industry become more diverse.

In this facilitated discussion, John shared his personal experience as a person of color in an industry historically lacking representation. Throughout his retelling, John wove in examples of how he sees technology as a tool to empower marginalized people. He emphasized that people of color don’t just need to have a seat at the table- they need to have their voices be heard, too. 

John also shared stories of his family’s experience as expats abroad in Australia, and how they adapted to the differences in culture. He also highlighted how living in the Bay area gave him first-hand experience of the socioeconomic divides in big tech. In the question and answer session of the meeting, attendees shared their own exposure to corporate diversity and inclusion, both positive and negative. 

John Paz will be speaking at the upcoming Button Conference on October 23rd. There’s still time to register to enjoy his presentation, The “pipeline problem” is about belonging.

Join Us October 22 for Podcasting: Tech Comm for the Digital Age

In the sixteen years since Apple first started offering free podcasts on iTunes, the medium has become a mainstream staple. Over 90 million people in the U.S. have listened to a podcast in the last month. With the technology readily available, podcasting has a low barrier to entry for people looking to share content in audio form.

Bethany Aguad and Nick Ducharme have a Dungeons and Dragons podcast that they have been producing with friends for the past four years. In this presentation, they are going to walk through what they have learned about building a podcast from the ground up.

As technical communicators, we rarely consider how to share information effectively through audio, and podcasting presents a perfect opportunity for our profession. Join us if you have never listened to a podcast before or if you are thinking about how you can translate the opportunities podcasting provides as a technical communicator.

We’d love you to join us on Zoom on Thursday, October 22, at 6:30 P.M. for networking and at 7:00 P.M. to learn about what it takes to run a podcast. RSVP now and submit your questions!

The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

Event Timing: Oct 22, 2020 06:30-08:30 PM

Location: Online through Zoom

To receive the Zoom details for this meeting, please RSVP and send your meeting payment through PayPal on our Meetings Payments page.

We will be charging the following rates for this meeting:

  • Free for STC Student Members
  • $6 for STC Florida Chapter Members
  • $12 for all other attendees

STC recognition for members

by Lori Meyer 

At  this time of year, STC and its communities offer many opportunities to recognize the achievements and volunteer service of members. STC’s “recognition season,” covers most of October and early November. Here’s where you can find out more! 

Distinguished Chapter Service Award

During this time period, chapters can submit nominees for Distinguished Chapter Service Award. Any chapter member in good standing who has a strong record of contributions to the chapter can be nominated. That includes AdCo members, except for the current chapter president or anyone currently serving on the STC Board of Directors. 

The current chapter president typically submits the nomination based on input from chapter leaders or members. The nominee is not informed that they have been submitted for this recognition. 

More information:

Associate Fellow 

Senior members of STC who have an exemplary record of contributions to one or more communities, STC, and the profession can apply for the Associate Fellow honor. These applications are typically due the first of November or shortly thereafter. Applicants can self-nominate, or be nominated by an STC member in good standing from any STC community. Applicants must be STC members in good standing, and have at least 10 continuous years of STC membership, and 15 years of experience in the profession. 

More information:

Fellow 

Those who have been Associate Fellows for three years can apply for the rank of Fellow. All applications are self-nominations. Applicants must have been Associate Fellows for three years as of the date they applied for Associate Fellow. For the class of 2021, this would mean that you need to have applied for Associate Fellow in October or November of 2017. The applicant must show increasing contributions to STC and the profession since becoming an Associate Fellow. 

More information:

Academic honors for students 

Students can be nominated for membership in two academic honor societies: 

  • Membership in Sigma Tau Chi is given to students enrolled in a program in technical communication, who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above, are exemplary in participation in STC, and demonstrate a potential for significant contribution to the profession.
  • Membership in Alpha Sigma is given to students enrolled in a program in technical communication who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above, demonstrate active participation in STC, and have the potential to contribute to the profession.

Membership is awarded only once and honorees retain the membership only as long as they are members in good standing of the Society

More information: 

Survivor Tools for the Digital Age on September 24

Survivor Tools for the Digital Age

Tool Tips: Mini Presentations

In our digital age, there are always new tools to learn. We’d love for you to join us on Thursday, September 24, 6:30 P.M. for networking and at 7:00 P.M. to hear from our chapter members on the tools they use and their tips and tricks for making the most out of them. RSVP now!

Each presenter will have a mini presentation followed by Q&A. 

Madcap Flare from Bethany Aguad

MadCap Flare is a help authoring tool designed for advanced topic-based authoring, single-source publishing and content management.

Oxygen XML Editor from David Coverston

Oxygen XML Editor provides a comprehensive suite of XML authoring and development tools for creating, editing, and publishing XML documents.

Slack from Alex Garcia

Slack is a communication platform that provides chat rooms organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. 

Discord from John Clement

Discord is freeware instant messaging and VoIP application and digital distribution platform designed for creating communities with text, image, video and audio communication between users.

Event Details

Event Timing: September 24, 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

Location: Online through Google Meet

To RSVP for this meeting, please send your meeting payment through PayPal on our Meetings Payments page. We will be charging the following rates for this meeting:

  • $6 for STC Florida Chapter Members
  • $12 for all other attendees

Diversity in Tech Comm with John Paz

Are you interested in learning about diversity in the industry? We’d love you to join us at 6:30 P.M. for networking and at 7:00 P.M. to discuss Diversity in Technical Communication with John Paz, an alumnus of UCF. This event is open to any who are looking to help the technical communication industry become more diverse. RSVP now!

 

Event Timing: August 20, 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

Location: Online through Google Meet

 

To RSVP for this meeting, please send your meeting payment through PayPal on our Meetings Payments page. We will be charging the following rates for this meeting:

  • $6 for STC Florida Chapter Members
  • $12 for all other attendees

 

About John Paz

John is a senior content designer, UX writer, and technical writer with 13 years of professional writing/editing experience and a passion for simplifying the complex. He’s a UX design professional who specializes in highly technical content for enterprise customers and developers.

John is also passionate about increasing the diversity of people working in tech. He gives talks and presentations about the value of using tech to lift people out of generational poverty and as a tool to empower anyone with a computer and Wi-Fi connection.

The emphasis on the words within applications is a matter of inclusiveness, and making tech approachable for all is a life mission of John’s. He thinks of being a content designer as a way to help bring about change and looks for more aspiring writers to mentor along the journey.

From the Editor’s Desk

Meet the Editor

Julia Southwick, Newsletter Editor

Julia Southwick, Newsletter Editor

Hi everyone!

I’m Julia Southwick: your new editor! I introduced myself in my first article about how to use some of the Google suite products, but I’ll tell you a bit about myself here too. My family has a lot of engineers and engineering types in it (my grandfather, my dad, my brothers, my mom), so technical communication comes as naturally to me as breathing. I have had two jobs in the Tech Comm space so far: one at Lockheed Martin and one at Siemens.

While at Lockheed Martin, I used my writing, editing, and design skills to update company documentation including onboarding, policies, and organizational materials. At Siemens,  I edited and formatted power generator outage reports to meet internal writing standards for publication.

I’m currently looking for a new job and if you know of any opportunities opening up, please let me know.

If you need to contact me for any reason, feel free to reach out to me at juliasouthwick96@gmail.com.

Join the STC Florida Leadership Retreat

Have you been looking for an opportunity to develop your leadership skills and get more involved with the STC Florida chapter? We want to invite you to our annual Leadership Retreat, where the STC Florida Chapter plans for the upcoming chapter year. 

This event is free for STC Florida members and volunteers who are looking to take an active role in the chapter for the coming year.

RSVP Now!

Event Timing: July 25, 10:00am-2:00pm

Location: Online through Zoom

The STC Florida Chapter’s annual summer Leadership Retreat provides a “post-mortem” on the previous year’s activities and serves as a kick-off meeting for the upcoming chapter year. At the annual summer Leadership Retreat, the STC Florida Chapter sets its strategic goals and objectives for the upcoming chapter year and identifies the projects and activities we must execute to achieve those goals.

We are eager to engage with student members, recent graduates, and veteran chapter members alike. The summer Leadership Retreat serves as a time to review our previous year’s activities to see what we can improve. We hope this event will be fun, interactive, and productive for everyone who attends. In addition to our planned chapter business, we have time for discussion, brainstorming, and leadership development activity.

At this free event, we welcome anyone who is looking to take an active role in the chapter for the coming year and develop leadership skills!