Meet our President, Peggy Frizzo

STC-MGL President, Peggy Frizzo
STC-MGL President, Peggy Frizzo

Over the past year, our President, Peggy Frizzo, has worked tirelessly to ensure our transition into the newly combined Society Technical Communication, Michigan Great Lakes chapter was successful. Among her many tasks, she hosted programs, virtual coffee meetups, worked on the website, and improved process flows by streamlining work.

We are so grateful for all that she’s done for our chapter!

So that you can get to know her better, Peggy recently took some time to share information about herself, her job, and her experience as an STC member. Keep reading to learn more!

Continue reading “Meet our President, Peggy Frizzo”

An Interview with Mary Jo David, STC Associate Fellow

On May 7, 2019, Mary Jo David was awarded the STC Associate Fellow award at the 2019 STC Summit in Denver, Colorado. Mary Jo David is a member of the STC Southeastern Michigan Chapter, and we couldn’t be more happy for her! The STC Associate Fellow is a prestigious award within the technical communication community; it honors long-standing STC members who have contributed their time and dedication to the field of technical communication.

Featured, left to right: Jane Wilson (STC immediate past president), Mary Jo David, and Ben Woelk (current STC president).

After the Summit, we interviewed Mary Jo, and we would like to share some of her insight with you. Keep reading to learn more about Mary Jo and her journey as a technical communicator. Continue reading “An Interview with Mary Jo David, STC Associate Fellow”

STC-SM’s Mentoring Program Through a Mentee’s Eyes

As I get closer to graduating and entering the professional world of technical communication, I feel increasing anxiety about taking this leap. However, being a part of the STC-SM mentorship program has lessened my anxiety and helped prepare me for this transition. I would expect my experience is common and this is one of the many reasons why I recommend others become mentees. Having someone to go to for advice, or to review job application materials, will make this process smoother. I feel like I have someone in my corner to help me, and I want others to experience that same support. Continue reading “STC-SM’s Mentoring Program Through a Mentee’s Eyes”

STC-SM’s Mentoring Program Through a Mentor’s Eyes

The STC-SM chapter launched a mentoring program during the 2017-2018 program year. The program is open to college students close to graduation and adults considering a career change.

After volunteering, I was matched with two mentees: a student at Eastern Michigan University and a professional in the Bay Area (California) who is switching careers. Here are some brief thoughts about my experience. Continue reading “STC-SM’s Mentoring Program Through a Mentor’s Eyes”

Meet Our New Vice President, Katherine Baeckeroot

Photo of Katherine Baeckeroot, Vice President
Katherine Baeckeroot, Vice President

We are thrilled to welcome Katherine Baeckeroot to the STC-SM executive council as our newly appointed vice president. She will take the helm as chapter president in the summer of 2019. We look forward to Katherine’s contributions as we continue to work together on goals that will provide value for our chapter members and the professional community. So you can get to know her a bit better, Katherine was kind enough to answer a few question for us. Please join us in welcoming our new VP! Continue reading “Meet Our New Vice President, Katherine Baeckeroot”

Congratulations to Tom Glennan on receiving the Distinguished Chapter Service Award

Throughout his tenure as a member of the Southeastern Michigan Chapter of STC, Thomas Glennan has been consistent, dedicated, and extremely professional. After a long career as a mechanical engineer, Tom undertook a career shift to technical communication and hasn’t looked back. Tom regularly shares his valuable career and business insight with other members of the STC/SM chapter through leading, presenting, and teaching.

Most recently, Tom served as Vice President and then President of our chapter. As president, he brought consistency to the role and a solid understanding of how to run meetings and hold others accountable for commitments and deadlines in a positive way. His work in the chapter has spanned other roles as well, including Secretary and Education Liaison. As an engineer, a college instructor, and the owner of a technical communication business, Tom is uniquely qualified to positively and practically influence his students and chapter members who are training to be future technical communicators. Even before he held an elected or named position on our chapter Council, he served as an unofficial professional liaison. As an active member of multiple STC chapters, he has helped us form new or stronger connections with those chapters, especially our neighbors in Northeast Ohio STC. He has also used his membership in SAE International to promote awareness of STC—and the technical communication profession in general—in the automotive engineering community.

STC-SM Member Spotlight – Alison Phillips

Alison Phillips, Secretary STC/SM

What is your educational background? How long have you been a member of (volunteer with) STC? In what STC positions have you served? (In what roles have you volunteered?)

I earned my B.A. in English from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, AZ. During my years as an undergrad, I learned about the Master’s program in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing offered through the English department at NAU. It sounded like the perfect graduate program for me, so I stayed on to complete my M.A. and also earned a certificate in Professional Writing. Continue reading “STC-SM Member Spotlight – Alison Phillips”

Member Spotlight: Susan Fisher

What is your educational background? Why did you decide to pursue technical communication as a career?

Susan Fisher

I earned Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees from the University of Michigan School of Art & Design in the 1970s. Soon afterward, however, when the “school of reality” hit home, I took a job as a documentation specialist with a computer services company. I found I was good at researching technical topics and explaining them to others. When the company’s documentation group added a training function, I jumped into that. I’ve been an instructional designer ever since — although I still consider myself a technical communicator above all. In fact, last year I earned the Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) designation from STC.

How long have you been a member of  STC? In what STC positions have you served?
I’ve been a member of STC and the Southeastern Michigan chapter since 1982. Having gotten into the tech comm field more or less by accident, I had little idea of its professional development opportunities — until a co-worker told me about STC. I joined and discovered a whole new world of concepts, information, and people doing exciting thinking and work in the field. For most of the past 30 years I’ve been only a consumer of STC services. I was finally persuaded to give something back in 2012, when I agreed to be nominated as secretary of STC-SM. I’m currently serving my second term.

Where are you currently employed? What are your job activities? What do you find most interesting or satisfying about your job?
I’m employed at Innovative Learning Group in Royal Oak. Continue reading “Member Spotlight: Susan Fisher”

Member Spotlight: Pat Gómez Martz

P Martz Feb 2013What is your educational background? How long have you been a member of  STC? In what STC positions have you served? 
I have a Bachelor of Science in Botany and a Bachelor of Forestry from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication, completed in May 2012, at Lawrence Tech. I have been an STC member since 2009, and I took over as webmaster in late May 2012.

Why did you decide to pursue technical communication as a career?
It pursued me!

My undergraduate education was extremely heavy in science, math, and technology. When I was offered a contract position as an indexing editor for UMI, I took it and started my professional life indexing biology, chemistry, engineering, and math dissertation abstracts.

Most of my working life I have been a self-taught graphic designer who also edits, writes copy, and illustrates. “Self-taught” is a secret code for “I read a lot about what I do, about the things that influence how I do what I do, and I look at a lot of different types of communication and talk to people to see what works and what doesn’t.”

My daughter pointed out that I was a technical communicator after she did a multiyear time audit of my project work. Boy, was I surprised. There’s a name for it.

Why did you decide to join STC?
Having learned that I had been in technical communication for all these years, I wanted to learn more about the possibilities, so I joined STC.

Where are you currently employed?
I run my own business, Inkberry Solutions, and I am an adjunct professor at Lawrence Tech.

What are your job activities? What do you find most interesting and/or satisfying about your job?
Currently, the focus is on proposals—consulting on process, developmental and technical editing, and building a custom database system to manage content for future proposals. I do a lot of other things as well: graphic design, illustration, simple websites, and teaching the “why” and “how” to clients—a lot of “why,” but not as much “how.” The best part of my work life is the wide variety of projects.

What are some examples of projects you are particularly proud of?
I built a database system that tackles the administrative end of a five-year federal project to produce thousands of fixed-priced environmental reports about parcels of land. The database allows my client to handle heavy bouts of report-writing while keeping track of where each one is in the process, and maintaining profitability.

How has being an STC member helped you with your career?
It has exposed me to some new ideas, and it has given me some exposure.

What advice do you have for students as they are entering the field of technical communication?
Keep learning. Read, including about things outside your particular area. Talk to people. Write. Draw. Paint. Learn a craft. Keep looking at the rhetorical bent and the design of communications, especially when you are the end user. How does it affect you? How would you improve it?

What else would you like our readers to know about you?
The joke is on me. I spent my undergraduate college career studiously avoiding anything and everything having to do with English, and now I work predominantly with words.