Picking a Path: Annual STC/FTC Meeting at UCF Helps Students Chart a Path to Career Success

Emily_Wells_2017_2By: Emily Wells
Staff Writer, Memo to Members

April 20 in Live Oak Event Center at UCF

While April showers bring May flowers, this month also brings a large event in the annual calendar of the Orlando Central Florida Chapter of STC: the meeting at the University of Central Florida.

This year’s event, entitled Picking a Path, focuses on career choices, job placement, and career advancement within the various disciplines of technical communication. It will be held Thursday, April 20, in the Garden Room at the Live Oak Event Center from 6:30-8:55 p.m. Admission is free, and anyone interested in technical communication is invited. In addition, food will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

This meeting, which also serves as the culminating event for the co-hosting UCF Future Technical Communicators (FTC), provides an opportunity for STC members to share their experience and knowledge with college students interested in or pursuing careers in technical communication.

STC and FTC have been holding these joint meetings for 14 years now, each one more successful than the last. The pattern over the years has been to bring in a “big name” speaker—all of whom have been enthusiastically received.

Last year, however, FTC changed the focus to tap local talent in the STC chapter to provide an up close and personal mentoring experience for students. Last year’s event, Mining for Knowledge, featured six STC professionals who gave students a look at the diverse disciplines within technical communication. The content-focused event was well-attended and well-received.

Picking a Path will start with the presentation of the Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Technical Communication, a scholarship established by STC in 1997 to honor the memory of a 1994 UCF technical communication graduate and STC chapter member. The coveted award is presented annually to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students in the field of technical communication.

Afterwards, seven presenters—some of them returning from Mining for Knowledge—will present on six topics related to this year’s theme, which aims to give students an idea of the diverse job opportunities available for them in the field of technical communication. Topics include:

  • IT + TC = J: Information Technology as a Career Path in Technical Communication: David Coe, Vice President, OCF Chapter of STC
  • Adding Value Where It Counts Most: Content Development Lifecycle/Workflow: Debra Johnson, immediate past President, OCF Chapter of STC.
  • Using Your Gifts for Marketing Support: W.C. Wiese, manager of Nominating and Active Membership committees for OCF Chapter of STC and former Treasurer of the International Society.
  • What Price Success? An Ethical Roadmap through the Thorny Thicket of Corporate Politics: Dan Voss, Education Committee manager, OCF Chapter of STC, and co-manager, with the writer, of the student mentoring program at UCF.
  • Getting the Job: Resumes, Portfolios, and Interviewing: Jessica Campbell, former mentee and current mentor within the STC/UCF student mentoring program.
  • Leveling Up: First Years on the Job: Bethany Aguad, UCF grad and Treasurer, OCF chapter of STC, as well as Nick Ducharme, editor of Memo to Members newsletter and manager of Communications Committee, OCF Chapter of STC.

The format will be a progression, with three 25-minute rotations, enabling attendees to select topics of greatest interest to them. For more information on the presentations, click here.

Below are the seven STC members who will be presenting this year at “Picking a Path.”

BethanyPhotoBethany Aguad is a Technical Documentation Specialist at Fiserv in Lake Mary. She currently serves as the STC Orlando Central Florida chapter Treasurer and is a member of the society’s scholarship committee. A graduate of UCF with a B.A. and M.A. in English–Technical Communication, she has served as President of the Future Technical Communicators organization and president of the Sigma Tau Delta Zeta Xi chapter (International English Honor Society). She received the prestigious Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Scholarship, the STC Distinguished Student Service Award, and the Stuart Omans Award for Excellence in Technical Communication.

 

JessicaLynnCampbellJessica Lynn Campbell received her Master’s in English—Technical Communication, from the University of Central Florida. She has a Bachelor’s in Psychology, from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Jessica is an expert and experienced technical communicator, author, and multi-media manager, having been published on multiple media platforms including print and online. Jessica has been an active member of the Society for Technical Communication since 2010, and has been a mentor in the group’s Mentorship Program since 2014. She is skilled in APA, MLA, Chicago, and Bluebook citation styles. Her scholarly interests include digital spaces and online connectivity, online sociality, the consumerization of the consumption of animals and deconstructing social norms, and digital marketing.

 

DavidCoeDavid Coe is an IT professional with more than 25 years of experience spanning data center operations, software development, and technical communication. He has had considerable success aligning business strategies with established and emerging technologies to achieve maximum operational impacts with minimum resource expenditures. David also has a knack for launching training, personnel development, and infrastructure development programs. He currently serves as the Vice President of the STC Orlando Central Florida Chapter.

 

NickPhotoNick Ducharme is the Communications Manager and Newsletter Editor for the Orlando Central Florida chapter. He is a three-year member of STC and a former mentee/FTC member. Nick graduated Cum Laude from UCF with a B.A. in English—Technical Communication. If you are looking for a resume builder, please consider submitting an article to Nick and the chapter’s Memo to Members newsletter!

 

Debra 2016Debra Johnson is a technical communication/documentation manager at FIS Public Sector. She has been working in the field for the past 23 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 26 years and is a new grandmother.

 

DanPhotoDan Voss is a 29-year STC member and Fellow retired last year after a lively 37.5-year career with Lockheed Martin as a proposal specialist known for his maverick style and outlandish doomsday metaphors. Since he has returned twice as an independent contractor to work major proposals. 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 , 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 anager 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.

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