September is the perfect time to reconnect with our fellow technical communication peers after we have returned from our summer adventures. Join us at Paesano Restaurant and Wine Bar in Ann Arbor for some food, drinks, and networking. STC membership is not a requirement to attend, so please bring a friend! All are welcome.
When: Thursday, September 28
Where: Paesano Restaurant and Wine Bar
3411 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
There is no entrance fee, but you will be responsible for your own food and drinks. When you arrive at the restaurant, ask the host to direct you to the STC-SM table.
RSVP to STC-SM by noon the day before so we have enough seating reserved. Hope to see you there!
A Letter From the President
I hope you enjoyed your summer adventures and activities, but also took some time to unwind and recharge as well. As the warm weather and long days draw to a close, we are hard at work planning some exciting activities and events that we hope will keep you engaged and connected to the techcomm community while continuing to learn, grow, and develop your skills all year long. Continue reading “Welcome to the 2017-2018 STC-SM Program Year!”
STC Associate Fellow David Caruso will be NEO-STC’s first speaker of the new program year.
In this virtual presentation, Caruso will encourage us to think more from a business point of view so that we can feel more appreciated for the tasks we perform.
If you happen to be in the Cleveland area that evening, you could attend in person, but the rest of us in SE Michigan can attend virtually. For more information, and to register, go to NEO-STC’s registration for the program, Become a Strategic Communicator.
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.
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”
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.
If you would like to vote, it is time to do so. The election closes at 11:45 p.m. tomorrow, May 31. The results will be announced on Thursday.
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.
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
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!
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”