STC logo Houston Skyline
STC Houston Chapter
STC Houston
About Us
Mailing List
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Site Map

  Featured Links
  STC Houston Forum
  Newsletter download
  Directory download
  Volunteer Opps
  Louisiana Satellite
  Houston traffic

Publications > Dateline Houston > February 2003 > Society & Industry News

Volume 42, Issue 6

February 2003

Society & Industry News

STC News

Taking the Dis out of Disabilities–Special Needs SIG Seeks Support

Just a reminder as the STC membership renewal process creeps up on its February 28 deadline—the Society's newest SIG, the Special Needs SIG (SNSIG), is still looking for new members to support it in its twin missions:

  • to assist technical communicators with disabilities in the practice of our profession
  • to provide all technical communicators with information that will help them make our communication products more accessible to users with disabilities

A detailed mission statement is available on the STC web site.

The SNSIG has already made significant progress: a comprehensive web site (see; an online newsletter (first edition is posted at; and extensive support to the 49th STC Annual Conference, including publication of Guidelines for Persons with Special Needs and an Addendum thereto, a successful progression, and several articles in the Proceedings (conference materials available at

But there is much yet to do, and to accomplish it, the SNSIG needs more people. It is looking both for active members to join their initiatives and for patrons, whose affiliation will help the SIG secure the budget it needs to fulfill its objectives.

If you want to support the SNSIG, you have two options:

  • If you have not yet submitted your STC membership renewal, simply check the SNSIG box when you do.
  • If you have already submitted your STC membership renewal, download the SIG sign-up form from and submit it directly to the Society office.

In either case, to be added to SNSIG's newsletter or listserv (or both) without delay, contact Daniel Voss at or

Sandi Harner Runs for Second Vice President

Editor's Note: The STC holds its elections every spring and allows candidates to submit position statements to chapter newsletters. Dateline Houston does not endorse any candidates but encourages all STC Houston members to read the statements and participate in the elections. Look in next month’s issue for statements from the other second vice president candidates, Suzanna Laurent and Deborah Sauer.

The position of second vice president of STC is a very important one because the person elected will automatically become first vice president and then president. I would appreciate your vote for second vice president of STC.

My experience with STC began in 1984 when I became a member. In 1985, I developed the technical and professional communication major for Cedarville University, where I have now taught for more than twenty years. In 1988, I chartered the Cedarville University student chapter, which I have advised since its beginning. The value that I have received from my membership in STC is immeasurable. Through chapter meetings, publications, and conferences--both regional and national--I have learned so much while developing a professional network as well as a network of friends.

I began my involvement on the international level in 1992 as manager of Sigma Tau Chi. That quickly led to managing of the Jay R. Gould Award, judging in the Ken Caird Student Article Competition, reviewing proposals for the STC Annual Conference, and onsite judging in the International Technical Publications Competition. I am currently serving my fourth year on the STC Board of Directors as Assistant to the President for Academic and Research Programs. In that capacity, I am responsible for eight committees.

I was named Fellow in 2001, received the Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication, and named Associate Fellow in 1996.

As full professor at Cedarville University, I have directed the technical and professional communication program since its beginning. My responsibilities, in addition to teaching a full course load, include developing curriculum, securing and supervising full-time and adjunct faculty, advising students, supervising independent studies, placing and supervising student internships, and advising the STC student chapter.

In addition, I have served as an independent consultant, contract writer, and trainer since 1976. In 1997, I received the STC Faculty Internship Grant and worked as a communications manager in a technical marketing communication firm. In 2002, I co-authored Technical Marketing Communication, part of the Technical Communication Series published by Allyn & Bacon/Longman.

For almost twenty years, my passion has been to prepare young people to make a significant contribution to the profession of technical communication. That role has kept me focused on core competencies, emerging technologies, and communities of practice. My position on the STC board for the past four years has provided many opportunities to work at the Society level with initiatives such as research grants and special opportunities grants, as well as chapter-level activities in helping to develop mentoring guidelines and education committees.

In the last few years, the growth of communities of practice has broadened our traditional definition of technical communication. This is evidenced by the significant growth in the STC SIGs--which now number more than 20, with a total membership of 26,441. If we are to be effective as the leading professional organization for technical communication, we must actively embrace those nontraditional groups such as technical marketing communicators, usability experts, instructional designers, web designers, and others who make up the workforce of today's technical communicators. The challenge is to help employers and employees alike to perceive them as the technical communicators they are.

I believe that all these experiences prepare me to fulfill the responsibilities of the second vice president of STC, then first vice president, and finally, the president. The Academic Vice President at Cedarville University and my Dean and Department Chair have pledged their full support should I be elected second vice president. This support will be evidenced by a decreased teaching load as well as financial support for the travel involved in the position.

When it is time to vote in the STC election, please take the time to go online or mark your ballot and vote for Sandi Harner—STC second vice president.

For more information, see

Educational Opportunities

Content Management Strategies Conference

Washington, DC, April 28-29

JoAnn Hackos and the Center for Information-Development Management announce the Content Management Strategies Conference in Washington, DC, April 28-29.

Speakers include industry expert consultants, tools developers, and people working on real content-management and single-sourcing projects. You'll learn about providing usable information, developing the information model, planning for dynamic delivery and personalization, implementing industry standards, collaborating for reuse, and ROI measuring, in addition to hearing case studies from companies who have successfully implemented content management or single sourcing.

For the first time, you'll also be able to attend a postconference workshop, April 30, to learn the steps to take in implementing your own single-source solution. JoAnn will guide you through the necessary steps to bring single sourcing and content management to your organization.

You'll be able to get valuable information and see demonstrations by leading content management vendors, such as Documentum, Arbortext, Progressive Information Technologies, X.Systems, Software AG, and more, who will be exhibiting at the conference.

For more information, go to the conference web site at: or contact:

Gretchen Marks
Comtech Services, Inc.

Networking Opportunities

If you have a networking opportunity to share, please tell us! Go to

| main | about us | committees | competitions | employment | events | leaders | links | mailing list |
| membership | publications | sigs | site map | sponsors |
| comments? |

  Copyright © 2002 Houston Chapter, Society for Technical Communication
P.O. Box 42051, Houston, TX 77242-2051 | 713-706-3434