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Publications > Dateline Houston > January 2004 > Society & Industry News

Volume 43, Issue 4

January 2004

Society & Industry News

STC News

Nancy Hoffman Running for Second Vice President

by Nancy J. Hoffman, STC Fellow, Southeastern Michigan Chapter

Editor's note: 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 members to read the statements and vote in the elections.

Early in 2004, you will elect a new STC second vice president (2VP). After serving as 2VP, that person becomes first vice president, then president, and finally immediate past president. Whoever wins the upcoming election makes a four-year commitment and performs a lot of volunteer work on behalf of STC and its members. I'm one of the candidates, and I will be very happy and very proud to make that commitment of time and effort to our Society.

If I'm elected to the position of 2VP, I want to make major contributions and make a difference to the STC in several areas.

Improving Communication

I want to improve communication in all parts of our organization. At a given point in time, many (possibly hundreds of) activities are being planned, organized, and carried out in STC's chapters, regions, and SIGs. I believe that there are many untapped avenues for sharing information about STC's activities and the work associated with providing those activities. I believe we can use current technology in many more ways to share that information within our organization, with industries that are related to our field, and with academic programs that support technical communication.

I believe that improved sharing of information will help STC members get jobs, get better jobs, and be better trained for performing their jobs. Providing information about the value of STC to the outside world will bring increased recognition of our field and show that we are a valuable resource to businesses and industry.

Increasing Scholarships

STC's future lies in the abilities of upcoming technical communicators at all ages and all levels of education, and we must strive to offer better support those future professionals. One key way we can do this is to increase the dollar amounts and number of scholarships that STC gives to technical communication students of all ages. By better preparing those who are entering the technical communication field, we can help ensure that our field and our organization remain relevant and vital as the technical and business environments grow and evolve.

Increasing Research

We need to keep up with--no, get ahead of--technology related to our field. STC needs to increase its support of pertinent, new technology research in technical communication. Along with our increased support of research, we need to receive from our researchers regular, timely reports about the status of these projects so that we can use the results of their findings as soon as possible.

Increasing the Value of Membership

We need to expand services for our members. We can offer members more training--through STC meetings, seminars, and conferences, for example--so that they can get better jobs. Some members are unemployed or think they might be facing unemployment soon. We can and we must provide help to members who are in those positions.

How to Pay for These Things

In an era of shrinking budgets and financial restraint, where can we find the money to support expanded services, increased scholarships, and new and relevant research? I believe that much of the needed funding can come from external fundraising activities. We can and should set up programs for soliciting contributions from industry and academic institutions. We also can solicit funding from STC members who are willing and able to provide additional support for specific projects, such as research or scholarships. STC's new and expanded efforts need not result in increased membership or conference fees if untapped, external funding sources are found and used.

My Background—and Your Vote

I have many years of experience in STC as a member and an active volunteer at all levels, including chapter president, Region 4 director-sponsor, and assistant to the president for communication. I also have served for three years as communication director on the board of another nonprofit association. It has given me experience that will, I believe, benefit STC as we move forward.

I worked as a technical writer, editor, project manager, and manager of other writers for 20 years. Now I have my own business, editing many different kinds of documents for many different kinds of companies. I also edit doctoral dissertations. I have experience in the business world--working as both a full-time employee and as an entrepreneur.

I encourage you to vote in the upcoming election. I believe that our field is very important to industry and that I'm ready to make major contributions of time and effort to help STC grow and prosper and to promote STC as the premier professional association serving the technical communication field.

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