Newsletter of the Society for Technical Communication, San Francisco Chapter
Congratulations to Ben Johnson on receiving the Distinguished Chapter Service Award! Ben joined the San Francisco chapter in 1999, while he was a student in the Technical and Professional Writing (TPW) Program at San Francisco State. He served on our chapter board as Secretary/Treasurer and then Treasurer for several years.
Ben was also the driving force behind the creation of our chapter handbook. He suggested that we create a document to detail the tasks of each chapter volunteer; he then recruited a student intern from the TPW Program to develop it and participated on the review committee. Although Ben has now moved to the Silicon Valley chapter because of work and family, he was part of the backbone of our chapter for several years, and we were proud to nominate him for this award. Also, we got to see him again when he attended our March meeting to receive the award from Beau Cane, our Region 8 Director. The citation on his award reads:
For your innovative ideas and valued contributions to the San Francisco chapter.
In case you didn't know, the DCS Award acknowledges the work of chapter members who provide exemplary service to the Society through their dedication to the chapter and its activities. Award winners are nominated by the chapter and approved by the Society's Board of Directors. You can see other chapter members who have received the award on the STC web site: www.stc.org/PDF_Files/STC_Distinguished.pdf
Each year our chapter sponsors a scholarship competition for students in the TPW Program at San Francisco State, the same program that recently received a certificate of Excellence from the Conference on College Composition and Communication.
This year the scholarship committee awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Shannon Seaberg. The committee believes Shannon exemplifies a strong future in the field of technical writing. She already has a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Biology and Zoology and is currently pursuing her Masters in Ecology and Systematics while she completes her Certificate in Technical and Professional Writing. Shannon's writing samples were excellent; her procedures were clear and precise, well organized and direct.
Patricia Kalman, our Education Manager, presented the award to Shannon at the March chapter meeting. She stated that all the applicants had unique strengths but that Shannon's work, in general, showed a lot of polish-it stood out from the rest.
The STC Transformation Initiative has appeared in my news and notes regularly in the past year. This month I have news on three fronts.
Our chapter has completed rechartering as a geographical community in the STC as part of the Transformation process. Reyn Johnson, who led our effort, has forwarded our application to the Board and we should be officially recharted soon.
Application is perhaps not the best word to describe what we submitted. It is a response to a series of questions, but reads more like a mission statement and perhaps even a strategic plan, something our chapter did not have before. If you would like to read it, you can find it on our web site at www.stc-sf.org/docs/SF%20Recharter_r3.pdf
As part of the process, we asked to change the name of our chapter to San Francisco Society for Technical Communication or SF STC. I think it's kind of sexy! Well, OK, maybe not.
About thirty STC members from the six Northern California chapters (Berkeley, East Bay, North Bay, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley) came together for STC NorCal's Leadership Day 3 on March 12.
One of the hot topics that came out of the Leadership Navigator Workshops provided by Marie Highby and Bill Rosenberg was formalizing STC NorCal's status in the STC in order to act regionally on issues like Touchstone and the Gordon Scholarship.
Although workshop participants agreed on the desire to be a formal entity and had plenty of ideas about what we could do, we decided we needed to meet again to begin to work out the details. Tim Bombosch (our Program Manager) is working with Viki Maki (STC NorCal Director) and others to bring together a "constitutional convention" in early June.
If you would like to know more about our chapter's involvement or to join the STC NorCal list serve, let me know.
If you are an STC member, don't forget to vote in the STC election. Cast your ballot to determine the Society Second Vice President (the office that leads to Society President) and the fate of the proposed referendum to change the Society's bylaws. For more information and links, see my column from February.
The next issue of ActiveVOICE (June/July 2005) will include my last crack at the President's News and Notes, so if there is a topic that you've been wishing I would cover, you'd better let me know soon!
Susan Becker is a technical communicator and online help developer. She has 16 years of experience working primarily as a contractor in software development for the financial services and human resources industries.
Copyright © 2005 by the Society for Technical Communication, San Francisco Chapter (www.stc-sf.org). This article may be reprinted in another STC publication under the provisions of the chapter's copyright policy.