by Hillary Hart
I am a candidate for STC 2nd vice-president in the upcoming election (voting starts March 9, 2009). Here is why I am running.
As an active participant in STC at the local and international level for 21 years, and currently as Director-at-large, I can see that STC has made some great strides in the past couple of years:
- extending its global reach and mission through a stronger presence in several international standards groups such as OASIS, W3C, and ISO
- providing more services to member communities, including the Leadership Community Resource to help communities train new community leaders
- advancing the profession by sponsoring the industry-academic partnership that is defining a body of knowledge for technical communication
- developing a new section of stc.org with concrete examples of the value of technical communication
STC is now a more transparent organization that has learned to evaluate its programs and goals through strategic planning and processes such as the Strategic Program Analysis.
On the other hand, STC must continue to evolve … and do so rapidly. The Society must adjust services and processes quickly to keep pace with international economic and technological developments while at the same time maintaining a long-range vision of the value of technical communication. And STC is still not as relevant to all technical communicators, particularly younger ones, as it should be.
I would work to enact these specific improvements to STC’s benefit to members and the profession:
1. Continue to provide services to members who cannot rejoin because they are unemployed.
2. Increase the number of free or low-fee webinars geared to professional development.
3. Target even more resources to the Body of Knowledge Portal project to give members the knowledge they need to retune or refit their skills for changing economic and business conditions.
4. Plan a Summit to be held outside the United States.
5. Target more services and information to technical communicators under forty. They are the future of the profession.
As an educational association, STC can best serve its membership by providing access to knowledge and by educating the public and employers about what technical communicators really do. As an educator, I know something about reaching out to diverse audiences on a daily basis. And as co-chair of the STC Body of Knowledge (BOK) task force, I am working with a terrific team of academic and industry professionals to build a web-based portal that will make accessible the body of technical-communication knowledge.
Knowledge is power. With job layoffs, cutbacks in institutional budgets, and disappearance of companies, the one constant that cannot be reduced is our individual and collective knowledge.
Help me empower our membership. Thanks so very much for your support.