Previous Event — Mini-Conference Yields Treasure Trove of Information

By: Crystal Brezina
Staff Writer, Memo to Members

(Editor’s Note: Memo to Members coverage of the highly successful FTC/STC Mining for Knowledge seminar at the University of Central Florida reflects the collective effort of staff writer Crystal Brezina, staff writer Jonathan Neal, and staff writer and photographer Nicole Garcia.)

1. Crystal Brezina

Crystal Brezina

1. Nicole Garcia

Nicole Garcia

1. Jonathan Neal

Jonathan Neal

On the evening of February 4th, students and professionals alike started mining in search of the most valuable gem of all—knowledge.

Presented by the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Orlando Central Florida Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC OCF), a mini-conference titled Mining for Knowledge lit up the Egmont Key Room at the UCF Student Union with sparkling nuggets of knowledge.
Decorated in UCF colors, the event mimicked the dark caverns of a mine, complete with gold fibers gleaming at each table, concealing Hershey’s™ gold nuggets, the only ore you can eat.

Another highlight of the event was the presentation of the OCF Chapter’s coveted Gloria Jaffe Award for the Most Excellent Technical Communicator in Central Florida to FTC faculty advisor J.D. Applen, without whose support the STC /FTC student mentoring program would not be flourishing the way it is (see sidebar).

This mini-conference provided students and professionals the knowledge and materials needed to succeed in technical communication. Attendees were also given the chance to network with other technical communicators in the field—vital for students who may have been stumbling in the dark when it comes to post-graduation plans.

While the conference was intended to have a rotational progression style comprising three 25-minute seminars on six different topics with each speaker conducting two of their own sessions, unforeseen events closed the Garnet Venue (see sidebar). Even so, other speakers grabbed their pickaxes and volunteered to host not only two miniature seminars, but three—so there was no lack of nuggets to be mined.

With over a century and a half of combined experience, the presenters’ expertise across a broad spectrum of topics contributed to the success of the event, not to mention the wide range of topics relevant to the field of technical communication, from managing content to succeeding in your first year on the job. Several of the speakers have previously presented their topics at the STC international conference. More information regarding each speaker’s topics, and the unfortunate events of a missing speaker, are presented in the sidebars below.

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