By Richard Ries
The award-winning Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter kicked off its 2013 season at the University of Central Florida’s student union in a joint meeting with UCF’s Future Technical Communicators club. This annual event is held on the UCF campus and is always free to all. An impressive crowd showed up, including several professors who teach technical writing at UCF.
Bethany Bowles was honored with the 2013 Distinguished Service Award for Students for her indefatigable work with both the STC and the FTC. Her citation reads “For your exceptional service to the chapter, the Society, and the technical communication community via your leadership in student outreach and mentoring programs, both locally and nationally.”
Sarah Baca was honored with one of the two coveted Distinguished Chapter Service Awards for 2013. Her citation reads “For your unfailing willingness to initiate and wholeheartedly support innovative and successful Orlando Central Florida Chapter activities and for always looking for ways to offer more value to members.”
Lockheed Martin employee Alex Garcia was awarded our other 2013 Distinguished Chapter Service Award. His citation reads “For your tireless dedication to the chapter, your imaginative and innovative approach as newsletter editor, your professionalism and leadership, and your growth from mentee to mentor.”
We are very proud of our award recipients and honor them for their service to the chapter and the Society.
Erica Higgins presented the 2013 Gloria Jaffe Outstanding Technical Communicator Award to chapter president Karen Lane for her “helpful, wise counsel” and dedication to the Society.
After the awards, Rhyne Armstrong, a social media expert from Atlanta, gave the keynote speech. He talked about the widespread use of social media and provided some staggering statistics: there are over 850 million active Facebook users worldwide (and growing daily); over 175 million Tweets are issued a day.
Armstrong emphasized that in cyberspace, perception is fact and anonymity is a myth. He cautioned students against posting frivolous “party pictures” that might compromise their success getting job interviews. He spoke candidly about the need to be on social media, and that most companies use it—in one form or another—as part of their hiring practices. Armstrong suggested creating blogs and using sites like Tumblr, and he urged STC members to build accessible portfolios. Among his other advice and caveats were to use LinkedIn; make your company stay relevant; never post proprietary information; always assume transparency; and avoid using the Web for negativity or flirtation. While he suggested creating an online presence, such as via a blog, he also maintained that one should do so taking “little bites.” If you stop disseminating content via social media, bow out gracefully and direct users to where else they can go for information on your company or product. He told job seekers to refresh their public résumés—those on the big job boards such as monster.com–once a week, even if that means merely changing a period or a comma to refresh the “change date.” Doing so will raise your résumé higher in any queue.
Armstrong can be reached by e-mail at RhyneArmstrong@gmail.com
The STC will meet again Thursday, February 21, at the Florida Mall. Stay tuned for more details!