Sigma Tau Delta Outreach

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Sigma Tau Delta Outreach Joint initiative by Orlando Central Florida Chapter, Willamette Valley Chapter, and Academic SIG that led to an organizational alliance between STC and ΣT∆. 2013 Pacesetter Award.

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  1. 1. Sigma Tau Delta Outreach Joint initiative by Orlando Central Florida Chapter, Willamette Valley Chapter, and Academic SIG that led to an organizational alliance between STC and T. 2013 Pacesetter Award.
  2. 2. STC Was Invited to the 2013 T Conference STC received an invitation to present at the 2013 conference of Sigma Tau Delta, the international scholastic English Honor Society, in Portland, Oregon. We were asked to describe the technical communication profession, focusing on career possibilities it offers for English majors.
  3. 3. STC Sent Two Representatives Bethany Aguad Rachel Houghton Representing the Society at the T conference were Bethany Bowles (now Aguad), from the Orlando Central Florida Chapter and also president of the Zeta Xi chapter of T at the University of Central Florida, and Rachel Houghton, from the Willamette Valley Chapter. The two communities and the Academic SIG co-sponsored the initiative, pooling their resources to cover travel costs. T provided free lodging and conference registration. TT
  4. 4. They Presented on Careers in Technical Communication for English Majors The presentation explained the basics of the technical communication profession, including the various disciplines it spans and the diverse career paths t it offers. It stressed the commonality of core skills between English majors and technical communication majors and suggested ways English majors could move into our field.
  5. 5. When $$$ Count The presentation included a salary comparison chart showing how favorably salaries in technical communication stack up against those in other professions that draw upon the same core skills in writing and communication.
  6. 6. When $$$ Count Cont. The only writers with higher mean salaries than technical communicators were writers and authors in California, but as evidenced by the much lower median salary in this group, this statistic was skewed by a small portion of the populationthe Hollywood writers who made it. At the end of the day, technical communication was clearly the most stable and well-paying option.
  7. 7. The Beginnings of a Partnership STC staffed a table at the conference, offering literature about the technical communication profession and recruiting T members as STC student members at a steep conference discount that was extended through the year. One chair is empty because Rachel was taking the photo!
  8. 8. Our Overarching Message in Portland Bethany and Rachel enjoyed a very warm reception in Portland, and the information they shared at the conference paved the way to a mutually beneficial organizational alliance between STC and T.
  9. 9. The Two Organizations then Formed an Official Alliance STC Executive Director Chris Lyons and his T counterpart signed an agreement which included discounts on memberships and conference registrations as well as maintaining STC and T informational tables at conferences. Chris is shown here chatting with T Director of Communications Elfrida Gabriel at Ts 2014 conference in Savannah, GA, to which he and STC Director of Communications Liz Pohland were invited.
  10. 10. How the STC/T Alliance Can Benefit Student Communities Members of STC student chapters can reach out to the T chapter on their campus and conduct joint on-campus activities such as fund-raising book sales, educational activities, and the like. STC student chapters can increase their membership by encouraging T members to join under the discounted membership agreement between STC and T. Conversely, STC student members can benefit from a discounted membership in T. In universities where the technical communication program falls under the English Department, the tech com faculty and department administration are particularly likely to encourage synergy between STC and T, although the alliance would be seen as mutually beneficial under any circumstances.
  11. 11. How the STC/T Alliance Can Benefit Geographic Communities STC geographic communities who are partnering with an STC student community at a nearby university can encourage the students to engage the T chapter on campus. STC geographic communities who are not close to a university with an STC student chapter can work through the English Department and engage the T chapter directly (as well as tech com students if there is a tech com program), encouraging them to join STC as student members of the geographic community. This, in turn, supports the formation of student mentoring programs, with the many mutual benefits those bring on both sides. The presentation Careers in Technical Communication for English Majors is turnkey-ready (its even scripted!) for presentation at a T chapter meeting.
  12. 12. How the STC/T Alliance Can Benefit STC Virtual Communities The Academic SIG has already assumed oversight of STCs overall student member populationincluding at-large student members such as T recruits on campuses lacking an STC student chapter with which to affiliatea natural outgrowth of the Boards decision to provide student members with free membership in the Academic SIG as well as one other SIG. Leveraging STCs new online MentorBoard tool, the Academic SIG can facilitate self-pairings of student members with SMEs in the other SIGs for virtual mentorships. This concept has already been demonstrated with successful virtual mentoring pairings between students working on research/writing projects relating to STCs Technical Communication Body of Knowledge (TC-BoK) and SMEs in the SIGs. This is a win-win situation where the SME provides quality assurance to maintain the high professional standards of the TC-BoK, and the student earns a valuable, resume-enhancing professional pubs credit (as well as academic credit).