Alison Phillips Awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award

Alison PhillipsThe Distinguished Community Service Award recognizes STC chapter members who provide exemplary support, commitment, and service to their local STC chapter. This is the highest level of recognition of all STC community chapter awards, and to receive the award is the utmost honor. This year, our dedicated member Alison Phillips was awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award. Her citation reads as follows:

“For your exceptional contributions to the Southeastern Michigan chapter; leadership in establishing the Michigan Great Lakes chapter; and for continuously exemplifying professionalism, kindness, and concern for all members.”

In 2019 and 2020, Alison led the effort to combine the Southeastern Michigan and West Michigan Shores STC chapters, establishing the STC Michigan Great Lakes chapter (STC-MGL).

The STC-MGL council extends our hearty thanks and sincere gratitude to Alison for her unceasing commitment to our community. We deeply appreciate her and her service.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Alison. Please continue reading to learn more about Alison, her role in the community, and the motivation behind the chapter merge.

Continue reading “Alison Phillips Awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award”

Virtual Lunchtime Meetup: December 16

Our next virtual meetup is tomorrow, Thursday Dec. 16. We’ll be meeting online from 12 to 12:40-ish ET. Grab your favorite beverage or your lunch and join STC-MGL members to discuss tech comm, STC, chapter events, and more. This is a great way to network with other technical communicators across southeastern Michigan in a relaxing and peaceful setting. We hope you will join us!

Register on Eventbrite here.

Three Steps to Successful SME Interviews

Learn how to interview Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) like a pro!

Please join the STC-MGL and STC Ohio chapters for our next collaborative program “Three Steps to Successful SME Interviews” presented by Nicky Bleiel, STC Fellow.

Interviewing subject matter experts is one of the most important skills needed for success as a technical communicator. During this program, Nicky will discuss how to cultivate sources, write questions, and keep cool during an interview. You’ll learn what to say and what words to avoid–and how to conduct an interview asynchronously. Nicky has interviewed many SMEs, as well as tech comm luminaries (including David Pogue, Dr. John Carroll, and Kathy Sierra), and she will share her experience with you.


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

7–8:30 p.m. ET






  • STC-MGL or Ohio STC Chapter member: $0
  • STC student member: $0
  • STC member: $10
  • Honorary organization members (e.g., UXPA): $10
  • Non-member: $15

About Nicky


Nicky Bleiel is a Lead Information Developer at Innovative Systems. She is a Fellow and Past President of the Society for Technical Communication and has more than 20 years of experience writing and designing content for software products in a variety of industries. She has interviewed a number of experts in technical communication, including John Carroll, David Pogue, Kathy Sierra, and Nancy Duarte; and was Guest Editor of the all-interview “Legends of Technical Communication” issue of STC’s Intercom magazine. She is a popular speaker at many conferences, including the STC Summit, tcworld, WritersUA, CIDM, CPTSC, IEEE ProComm, and LavaCon; and has been published in STC’s Intercom, tcworld magazine, ISTC Communicator, and more. See for a list of her talks and articles.

Leading Successful Succession

Join the STC-MGL and the Ohio STC chapter for Leading Successful Succession, featuring Jennifer Goode, Ph.D.

Is a coworker changing jobs? Is a team member taking leave? Did you get a promotion? Is the boss retiring? Team member change is inevitable in the workplace, and you shouldn’t be ill-prepared. Proactively thinking about regular activities, standard approaches, and common resources can reduce ambiguity and provide clear direction when team member change actually happens. Come learn how to apply your technical communication skills to draft a succession plan for your own role in a hands-on workshop. Then, learn strategies to foster successful succession in your organization, no matter what your position or role.

Jennifer GoodeJennifer Goode is a senior STC member and instructor of technical communication at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where she is the director of the online master’s program in technical communication management. With over 20 years of professional experience in government, non-profits, and for-profits, she also consults in the areas of instructional design and strategic human capital performance, measurement, and improvement.


  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021
  • 7–8:30 p.m. EDT






  • STC-MGL or Ohio STC Chapter member: $0
  • STC member: $10
  • STC student member: $0
  • Non-member: $15
  • Honorary organization members (e.g., UXPA): $10

Fall 2021 Virtual Open House

Welcome to the 2021-2022 STC-MGL program year!

Join us on Thursday, September 30 for a virtual open house. The virtual open house is a great opportunity to learn about our incoming council, get an overview of our upcoming program plans, share ideas for the direction of our STC-MGL chapter, and ask questions. Anyone is welcome to join.

We look forward to this year ahead, and we hope you will join us!


Thursday, September 30, 2021

7–8 p.m. EDT


Virtual using Zoom


Please register for this event on Eventbrite by EOD Wednesday, September 29.

End of Year Event – Join Us to Celebrate!

Please join us Thursday, June 17, to celebrate the end of another great program year. We’ll announce awards, recognize our active members, provide a brief business update, and introduce you to the 2021-2022 STC-MGL chapter council. This is a free event and all are welcome, registration is required.


  • Thursday, June 17, 2021
  • 6-7 p.m. ET


Reminder! If you’ve achieved at least 15 points by being an active member, send an email to with the list of your activities and points total by June 15. Refer to the Active Membership Program page for details.

STC Michigan Great Lakes Chapter Election Results

The results of the STC-MGL 2021-2022 Council election are in!

The STC Michigan Great Lakes chapter council officers for the 2021-2022 program year are:

  • President: Katherine Baeckeroot
  • Vice President 1: Kylie Jacobsen
  • Vice President 2: Wes Schoenherr
  • Treasurer: Alison Phillips
  • Secretary: Stephanie Hubble

Thank you to all of you who voted!

Note: To improve leadership succession planning, STC-MGL will have two vice presidents per year. The following program year, Vice President 1 succeeds the President, and Vice President 2 succeeds Vice President 1.



Our May 2021 Virtual Book Club is Tomorrow!

Our next virtual book club is just around the corner! We’re meeting tomorrow, Thursday, May 13 from 7–8:30 p.m. in the book_club channel in Slack.

During this event, we will discuss Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper. Please join us if you’ve read the whole book, part of it, or none at all. We welcome your discussion!

We hope you will join us!


Thursday, May 13

7-8:30 p.m. EST


Book_club channel in Slack

About the book

This book explores the lives of lexicographers, the people behind the neutral definitions of words like love, cynical, and birdstrike, and describes the various ways they perfected their drafts of said definitions. Stamper’s exposé of what it takes to write dictionaries for a living humorously approaches topics like how to define big and small words (especially the small words), the credentials it takes to work at Merriam-Webster, why lexicographers don’t start defining words at the letter A, why it takes 18 months to define the top 10 most-searched words, or how the beauty of the English language extends beyond its complex grammatical rules (it’s okay to end your sentences with prepositions, people!). If you’ve read Word By Word, you’ll appreciate my use of it’s just there.

About the author

Kory Stamper loves, really, really, loves, English. Stamper is a graduate of Smith College, where she earned an interdisciplinary major in Latin, Greek, Norse, Old English, and Middle English. After graduation, she secured a job with Merriam-Webster where she worked for 20 years as an editorial assistant and later as associate editor. Catch her on Netflix’s 2021 series, The History of Swear Words, online at, or on Twitter at @KoryStamper.

STC-MGL 2021 Election

The STC-MGL election for the 2021-2022 program year is scheduled to run from Friday, May 14 through Monday, May 31, 11:45 p.m. EDT. All current STC-MGL members are eligible to vote.

The STC-MGL Nominating Committee has announced the final slate of candidates for the 2021 STC election:


  • Katherine Baeckeroot (Pavlovic)

Vice President 1*

  • Kylie Jacobsen

Vice President 2*

  • Wes Schoenherr


  • Stephanie Hubble


  • Alison Phillips

Nominating Committee

  • Maryann Bowen

There is additional information about each candidate on the ballot.

*To improve leadership succession planning, STC-MGL will have two vice presidents per year. The following program year, Vice President 1 succeeds the President, and Vice President 2 succeeds Vice President 1.

How to vote

You will receive an email to your STC registered email account on Friday, May 14 with instructions for voting.


STC-MGL Call for Nominations!

Nominations are now open for the STC Michigan Great Lakes chapter’s July 2021–June 2022 program year!

Would you like to volunteer for a chapter leadership position, or do you know anyone who would make a fantastic addition to the STC-MGL leadership team? We encourage you to send your nominations or questions to Please note that candidates must be current chapter members.

The following positions are open for nominations:

  • President
  • Vice president
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Nominations committee

For more information about these roles, go to the Get Involved page. All these opportunities are great resume boosters and ways to gain connections within the STC and professional community.

The election will take place in May.

Please let us know if you want to learn more!