Last October, STC Membership Manager Barbra Sanders received a call from Elfrida Gabriel at the international headquarters of the Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in English.
Sigma Tau Delta invited STC to speak at its international conference in Portland, OR, March 20-23, 2013, addressing two subjects: (1) careers in technical communication for English majors and (2) student mentoring programs. They also invited us to set up a table in the registration area to answer questions about technical communication, distribute materials, and—hopefully!—sign up new STC student members from among the anticipated 1,200 conference attendees.Barbra recognized this as a “job” for the STC Community Affairs Committee Student Outreach Team, which is co-managed by the writer and Bethany Bowles.
The outreach team was thrilled at the prospect of establishing an alliance with an international organization which is 8,000 members strong, most of them students—and students who share a common set of core skills with technical writers and editors nonetheless. What an opportunity!
Sigma Tau Delta generously offered free conference registrations and lodging for the representatives from STC. Unfortunately, while the STC Board was interested in this project, its travel budget for 2013 was already over-committed. However, resourceful STC treasurer Aiessa Moyna helped us find a way to fund an STC presence at the Sigma Tau Delta via a supplementary budget request from the three STC communities involved in the initiative: the STC-Orlando Central Florida chapter, the Willamette Valley chapter (WVC), and the Academic SIG. The University of Central Florida (UCF) also chipped in.As a result, our peripatetic Bethany—she’ll be attending three conferences within a period of 6 weeks!—will be joining Rachel Houghton from the WVC to co-present on the two topics Sigma Tau Delta asked us to cover on the first day of the conference. Another member of the WVC will be joining Bethany for the second and third days of the conference, to help staff the STC table.
Bethany is particularly qualified to talk about synergy between STC and Sigma Tau Delta, as she is a member of both organizations. Indeed, she is president both of the Zeta Xi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta and of the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) organization at UCF.
Follow this hyperlink to the Sigma Tau Delta website, which provides bios of featured conference speakers and their topics. Be sure to scroll down. Rachel and Bethany are both on the marquée!
Watch for a full report on this exciting initiative in the April edition of Memo to Members.