By: Alex Garcia
(Orlando Central) Florida Chapter, STC
UCF will always have a special place in my heart. It’s been over nine years since I graduated from undergrad. For reasons such as work and family, I decided to make East Orlando my home. I have so many memories of the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) Club at UCF. Back in the day, FTC would host Saturday morning skill workshops in the Technical Writing Lab, usually bringing in an esteemed speaker from the Orlando Chapter of STC. Besides the networking opportunities the workshops allowed, they also helped cement the bond between the two organizations. Out of these workshops arose the idea for an annual STC meeting at UCF. Using the auspices of the Student Government Association (SGA), FTC petitioned for funds to bring in internationally-known speakers such as Rhyne Armstrong and STC Immediate Past President Bernard Aschwanden. The speakers drew capacity crowds year after year, but the students wanted a more personalized approach to the annual meeting…
For 20 years, the Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC held its own mini-conference in August of each chapter year. The usual tagline was “Bringing (Insert Conference Host City) to Orlando.” As you can ascertain, Washlines was a one-night mini conference where chapter members who had attended that year’s STC Summit presented their notes in a three-rotation, progression format. The events were the perfect way to kick off the chapter year, as everyone got into the festive spirit—2006’s Washlines was Las Vegas themed, complete with strolling hors d’oeuvres servers. As our chapter members’ participation in the conference became more difficult due to economic realities, we decided to retire the Washlines concept, but it lay in wait for an even greater idea…
In the fall of 2015, Dr. JD Applen, FTC’s faculty advisor, approached the chapter about the 2016 joint meeting. He and his students wanted a three-rotation, progression style mini conference to take the place of the speaker format. Where had we seen this before? Enter Washlines master of ceremonies extraordinaire Dan Voss, who dutifully dusted off the Washlines format into a new tradition of partnership between UCF, FTC, and STC. 2016’s Mining for Knowledge was a rousing success, with students learning about the various disciplines available within the Technical Communication umbrella. This year, we are back with Picking a Path, where students will learn about the various career paths a Technical Communicator can take. The full details of this year’s conference are contained all over this month’s Memo to Members. I hope you can join us as we cement this tradition.
Until next month,