Free Seminar February 4 at UCF

Mining for Knowledge: Technical Communication Veterans Prepare Communicators of Tomorrow in a Mini-Conference

By: Crystal Brezina and Nicole Garcia
Staff Writers, Memo to Members

On February 4th, students and professionals alike will grab their proverbial pickaxes and start mining. Attendees at the annual STC/UCF on-campus meeting will set out in search of the most valuable gem of all—knowledge.

Future Technical Communicators (FTC) at UCF and the Orlando Central Florida (OCF) Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) will be hosting a mini-conference on technical communication dubbed Mining for Knowledge at 6:30 p.m. February 4 at the UCF Student Union in the Egmont Key Room (224).

The mini-conference is aimed at teaching technical communication skills to all attendees, novices and experts alike, as well as enabling students and other professionals to network with others in the field.

Admission to the event is free, and refreshments will be served during the pre-meeting networking time. Space is limited and interest is high, so please be sure to pre-register at www.stcorlando.eventbrite.com.

With a century and a half of combined experience, six veteran speakers and two newcomers (see bios) will cover a wide range of topics in the field, from technical editing to navigating the first year on the job. More information regarding the topics on which the speakers will present is listed below.

This year’s mini-conference will employ a rotational method of lectures called a progression. The meeting comprises three 25-minute miniature seminars at venues (aka, tables), each festooned with a balloon color-coded to the gemstone for the presenter’s subject. Each speaker will conduct two seminar sessions during the meeting. Thus, attendees can “mine” for three different colored gems of knowledge during the event.

In essence, the progression becomes a mini-conference on technical communication. Indeed, several of the speakers have presented on their topics at the STC international conference.

“This event is for anyone who is interested in technical writing and would like to learn more about this exciting career option,” said Jessica Karmazyn, president of the co-sponsoring FTC. “This is an exciting opportunity to network with fellow students, faculty, and professionals in the technical communication field. Did we mention free food will be served? I hope to see you there!”

“Long-time OCF Chapter members will recognize the connection between Mining for Knowledge and our recently concluded 20-year August tradition of mini-conference progressions called Washlines,” said Dan Voss, co-manager of the STC/FTC mentoring program. “The carnival atmosphere will be familiar. The difference is that this time each venue will focus on a single topic, to ensure thorough treatment.”

This mini-conference would not be possible without the help of Professor J.D. Applen. Insistent on strengthening the link between education and careers, Applen encouraged students to join FTC with the help of Dan Voss, Bethany Aguad, and Bonnie Spivey, who visited his classes last semester to speak on the benefits of joining FTC and the opportunities that come with joining the mentorship program with the OCF STC Chapter. The newfound FTC members then organized the event as well as the partnerships between STC mentors and FTC mentees.

Be sure to mark February 4 on your calendar … this is an event you don’t want to miss!

Please click below for a flyer and program matrix, to learn more about each of our exciting topics!

 February 2016 FTC and STC Meeting Flyer

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Mining for Knowledge, Program Matrix

W.C. Wiese has extensive experience in technical marketing support activities and is the Communications manager for a unique joint venture company formed by American, German, and Italian defense contractors. He is an avid photographer and sports car enthusiast, Ebay trader, and grandfather. His two children spent a combined 15 years at the University of Central Florida.

A member of STC for almost 30 years, W.C. has significant experience in aerospace marketing support and program communications at Lockheed Martin. He is a Fellow of STC and has served as STC treasurer and director-at-large. He previously served as president of STC’s Orlando Chapter following a 5-year tenure as treasurer. He has presented at 13 STC Summits.

Our Speakers

BethanyPhotoBethany Aguad is a Sigma Tau Chi honoree, winner of the Distinguished Student Service Award, co-managed the Orlando Central Florida chapter’s mentoring program pairing professionals with student members, and served as the student representative on the society’s Community Affairs Committee. A graduate of the University of Central Florida (UCF) with an M.A. in English-Technical Communication, she has served as president of the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) organization, president of the Sigma Tau Delta Zeta Xi chapter (International English Honor Society), and received the prestigious STC/UCF Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Scholarship and the Stuart Omans Award for Excellence in Technical Communication.

NickPhotoNick Ducharme is an increasingly active member of the Orlando Central Florida chapter. He is a two-year member of STC and a former mentee/FTC member. He has held the title of chapter newsletter editor for the past twelve months, publishing several Memo to Members editions in WordPress. Nick graduated Cum Laude from UCF with a B.A. in English—Technical Communication.

AlexPhotoAlex Garcia is a mid-level technical writer at Lockheed Martin’s Center for Courseware Development. He serves as the lead editor on several volumes of Air Force technical manuals and operational supplements. He is also an emerging instructional designer—writing, designing, and editing courses for the energy industry.  Before joining Lockheed Martin, he served as a Space Shuttle Ground Systems Engineer at Kennedy Space Center. Alex has been a member of the Orlando Chapter of STC since 2004, and worked the chapter into his 5-year plan after graduation: to use his network to transition into technical communication after the Space Shuttle program ended. Alex enjoys traveling all over the world, and attending WWE NXT TV tapings at Full Sail University and, this past January, at UCF! He also enjoys hot wings.

DebraPhotoDebra Johnson is a technical communication/documentation manager at FIS Public Sector. She has been working in the field for the past 22 years. She is the recipient of the 2011 STC Gloria Jaffe Outstanding Technical Communicator Award, the 2011 STC Orlando Service Award and the 2012 STC President’s Award for the Central Florida Chapter. She has also owned a dance studio for 25 years and is soon to be a grandmother.

KarenPhotoKaren Lane is a freelance technical editor and indexer. She has been working in the field for the past 22 years. She is the recipient of the 2004 STC Distinguished Chapter Service Award and the 2013 STC Gloria Jaffe Outstanding Technical Communicator Award. She also co-wrote a textbook with Dan Jones, Technical Communication: Strategies for College and the Workplace. Karen is proud to work in a field that she loves and balances her time between working, volunteering, and family.

JoelPhotoJoel Smithson is an instructional designer for Lockheed Martin’s Center for Courseware Development.  Before joining Lockheed Martin, Joel was unfamiliar with instructional design.  However, he soon realized (like most instructional designers) that his prior work history and educational background provided him with the necessary skills to perform instructional design work.  Joel is currently studying higher- level instructional design at UCF to further his career in this dynamic field. He likes hot wings.

 DanPhotoDan Voss is a 28-year STC member and Fellow recently retired from a lively 37.5-year career with Lockheed Martin as a highly caffeinated proposal specialist. In 1998 he was named Author-of-the-Year after co-authoring a textbook on ethics. He has served many roles at the Society level, including managing the AccessAbility Special Interest Group (SIG), serving on the Community Affairs Committee (CAC) focusing on student outreach, and co-authoring the Society’s Ethical Guidelines. In 2013, he received the coveted STC President’s Award for his efforts on educational outreach. He is also a veteran educator, having taught at both the high school and college level. At the Orlando Central Florida Chapter level, he co-founded the UCF student mentoring program in 2003 and helped establish and sustain the Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Scholarship Fund in 1997—both still growing and flourishing. On the chapter’s leadership team, he is noted for his unbounded energy and unending e-mails, as well as his monstrous militaristic metaphors and twisted sense of humor.

W.C.PhotoW.C. Wiese has extensive experience in technical marketing support activities and is the Communications manager for a unique joint venture company formed by American, German, and Italian defense contractors. He is an avid photographer and sports car enthusiast, Ebay trader, and grandfather. His two children spent a combined 15 years at the University of Central Florida.

A member of STC for almost 30 years, W.C. has significant experience in aerospace marketing support and program communications at Lockheed Martin. He is a Fellow of STC and has served as STC treasurer and director-at-large. He previously served as president of STC’s Orlando Chapter following a 5-year tenure as treasurer. He has presented at 13 STC Summits.

February 2016 FTC and STC Meeting Flyer

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Mining for Knowledge, Program Matrix

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