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Publications > Dateline Houston > April 2004 > From the Editor

Volume 43, Issue 7

April 2004

From the Editor

Gazing Into the Future

by Rebecca Taylor, Product Marketing Manager, Hewlett-Packard

Sometimes it's good to get a different perspective on our profession. We are all victims of our environment. We tend to mold ourselves to our company culture. While this is human nature, it has the unfortunate consequence of blinding us to perspectives from outside our particular organizational culture. I firmly believe this is why it's so important to encourage the participation of students and academia in STC. Academics and practitioners have much to learn from each other.

We Can Contribute

I hope that this month's feature article, "Grant Writing to Save the World," gives you a glimpse into the heart of a student who has realized a calling for writing. It's too easy to become jaded these days—times are rough and the first things to go are often idealism, enthusiasm, and hope. Vanessa Adia gives us a much-needed picture of how I hope we all feel about our profession. My wish for all of us is that we are as bright-eyed and optimistic as she is.

Guiding Students

I also had the good fortune to attend the Technical Communication Corporate Advisory Board meeting for New Mexico Tech. Granted, I have a soft spot for this program as it graduated me in 1999. But it was a refreshing and revitalizing exercise. I am amazed at how much TC education has changed in just five short years. In the face of this rough economy, TC programs like the one at New Mexico Tech are managing to keep up with the changing technologies and practices. However, these programs still struggle.

It's difficult for these students and professors to stay active in STC, partly because of the cost, partly because they often feel isolated from the rest of the society. After all, their culture is quite different from ours.

The students that I met during this meeting are extremely talented communicators who are eager to enter the ranks of professional technical communicators. STC will be an important aspect of their professional lives, so it's important that we, as STC members and fellow writers, help make sure that these student programs and chapters thrive. If you hail from a school with a student chapter, I encourage you to become involved with the students. If you don't have ties to a student chapter, create them. Pick a school, or a few, and offer yourself as an online mentor, newsletter contributor, or event speaker. The students and professors will be appreciative and you will have done your part to support the future of our profession.

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