Letter from the Immediate Past President

In late June, we held our annual awards program combined with the changing of the guard, the last event of our program year. The program took place at my home and included a potluck luncheon. Volunteers were recognized with a letter of appreciation and Pat Martz received the Distinguished Chapter Service Award. The gavel was passed to our new president, Alison Phillips, and I was presented with a personalized gavel.

We felt very good about our chapter’s accomplishments this year:

  • We revised our chapter bylaws.
  • We achieved the silver Community Achievement Award.
  • We mentored our intern, Sasha Strait.
  • We developed a program evaluation form to gather statistics from our programs.

We continued our practice of scheduling networking events in various locations:

  • Happy hour at D’Amato’s in Royal Oak
  • Holiday Mixer at Conor O’Neill’s in Ann Arbor
  • Breakfast at Sweetwater’s Café on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor
  • Networking after the close of the Internet User Experience conference in Ann Arbor, and
  • Happy hour at Doc’s Sports Retreat in Livonia.

And we had some interesting program topics:

  • What Is the User’s Experience?, at BCBSM in Southfield
  • Mindfulness, at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor
  • Trends in Technical Communication, a panel discussion at Lawrence Tech in Southfield
  • Using Camtasia: A Video-Creation Tool for Documentation Professionals, at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make my term as president a success and so enjoyable. I am grateful that our chapter will be in Alison’s very capable hands, and I look forward to serving our chapter as Immediate Past President.

Book Review

A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age, by Daniel J. Levitin

Normally, I hate to use the cliché “in this day in age,” but this book gives me a perfect reason to do so. In this day and age, information is spread constantly, whether it be through social media, academia, or news. A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age teaches the reader how to sort through this information and determine what is right, what is wrong, and what is just a well-concealed lie. Continue reading “Book Review”

Election Results for Council 2017–2018, and More

We had three positions on the ballot, all running unopposed, and all accepted by all 11 voters of the eligible 32 who received ballots:

  • Heather Shelly, Secretary
  • Pat Martz, Treasurer
  • Maryann Bowen, Nominations Committee member

A turnout of 34% is pretty decent. Thank you to all who voted.

In addition to the elected seats, we have two succession seats—the President becomes our Immediate Past President, and the Vice President becomes President. No one ran for Vice President, which now becomes the first big issue of our new Council. Our planning year runs from  July 1 to June 30, so this roster will be effective on July 1.

Executive Council, 2017–2018

  • Alison Phillips, President
  • —No Vice President—
  • Heather Shelly, Secretary
  • Pat Martz, Treasurer
  • Sharon McDonnell, Immediate Past President

Nominations Committee, 2017–2018

  • Sharon McDonnell, Chair
  • Maryann Bowen

Volunteering With STC-SM

Council positions are volunteer positions, but you don’t have to be on the council to be helpful. What could you do?

  • Help at the registration desk for a program.
  • Write for this blog; for example, you could recap an event that you attend or write a book review.
  • Host a networking meeting.
  • Send a program idea.
  • Offer to arrange for a program site.

We will have our end-of-the-year potluck on Sunday, June 25. Members are welcome, but you must register to attend. July is our quiet month. We will do our program planning in August, so if you would like to help, or have ideas for the coming year, send an email to your council.

Check Your Email: Council Elections Are Open

Greetings members,
This morning you will find an e-mail from Electionbuddy Elections with the subject line “Vote in the STC-SM 2017–2018 Council Election.” That’s us! If you don’t see it, please check your junk mail and spam mailboxes.

You should receive a ballot even if you have asked not to receive regular communications for us. STC requires that we notify every dues-paying chapter member of our election.

We use Electionbuddy because it issues ballots with unique keys for each potential voter to help ensure the integrity of the election. All you have to do to vote is click on the link provided.

If you have not voted before, here are three things you may not already know:

  • The current vice president succeeds to the presidency.
  • The current president becomes the immediate past president and Nominations Committee manager.
  • There is information for each candidate in the ballot.

If you have any other questions about the election, please e-mail me, especially if you cannot find your ballot.

Please vote! The election closes at 11:45 p.m. on May 31; results will be announced the following day.

Networking Dinner in Livonia Coming Up

Please join us on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, from 5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m. for a casual networking event at Doc’s Sports Retreat in Livonia.

Doc’s Sports Retreat
Address: 19265 Victor Pkwy, Livonia, MI 48152
Phone: (734) 542-8162
docssportretreat.com

RSVP by noon the day before: RSVP to Sharon McDonnell so we have enough seating reserved.

Meet other technical communicators or get reacquainted with those you already know. Feel free to bring a friend. (STC/SM membership is not a requirement to attend.) We are planning to discuss various conferences that we’ve attended lately:  the Summit in Washington, D.C., the IUE conference  in April at WCC, and the Spectrum conference in Rochester, NY in March.

There is no entrance fee, but everyone is responsible for his or her own dinner and drinks. When you arrive at Doc’s, ask the host to direct you to the STC/SM table. Hope to see you there!

Book Review

The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date, by Samuel Arbesman

According to the book itself, “This book is a guide to the startling notion that our knowledge—even what each of us has in our head—changes in understandable and systematic ways.” Written by Samuel Arbesman, The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date is about enabling the reader with an understanding of how facts change, because if we have an understanding of how they change, we can better cope with the world around us. Continue reading “Book Review”

Spring Conferences Are in the Air

Spring is finally here, and so is a wide array of professional conferences to attend. You may remember my recap of the STC Summit last year and my belief in the value of attending professional conferences. With the long, dreary winter days behind us, spring is the perfect time to reenergize, set new goals, expand your network, learn something new, and reawaken that drive to advance your career, or even consider a career change. Continue reading “Spring Conferences Are in the Air”