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STC Carolina Award Winners
2006, Q1 (July 03, 2007)
Anjela Dukes, Carolina Chapter President and Meredith Blackwelder, Carolina Chapter Past President

Congratulations to New STC Associate Fellows: Michelle Corbin and Michael Harvey

Michelle Corbin
Michelle Corbin
Michelle Corbin is a pacesetter. Her ideas and creativity pave the way for advancing technical communicators in our profession. For this, as well as her dedication to STC and the Carolina chapter, the Society recently recognized her as an Associate Fellow.

Michelle continuously seeks out ways to promote and recognize the value of technical editing in technical communications. For example, within IBM, Michelle helped set editing standards in her division (and soon for the corporation). Each team must secure a deviation from the standard stating their reason why they do not have a technical editor editing their critical customer deliverables. IBM sets a recommendation for how many editors are needed within a team, based on research within STC and across the field (1 editor for every 10 writers). She also defined standard editing processes and types of edits to be used across the corporation.

Michelle proves how and why the editing profession should continue to
rise up as more than copy editors. The standards Michelle set are now part of IBM’s “Quality Assurance” initiative. Based on an article she co-authored with Pat Moell and Mike Boyd titled “Technical Editing as Quality Assurance: Adding Value to Content” (Technical Communication, Volume 49, Number 3, August 2002), which won the 2003 Frank R. Smith Outstanding Journal Article Award, she has helped managers be able to hire new technical editor employees within key areas of IBM. She continuously seeks ways to partner with service, support, and test organizations, as a way to promote and show editing as quality assurance processes.

Furthermore, Michelle is a champion for technical editing as quality assurance. She presents at the STC international conference each year on technical editing. For the past three years, her “Lessons Learned” panel featured several leaders in technical editing. Not only have those sessions always been well attended (standing room only), she has always received above-average evaluations and positive comments.

Most importantly, Michelle constantly shares her wisdom, research, and enthusiasm. As past president of the Carolina chapter, she influences many other chapter members in ways that she isn’t even aware of. As a long-time active member of both the local and national technical editing SIG, Michelle posts to each listserv regularly, and uses the SIG to research various issues. She has managed the local SIG on numerous occasions, keeping its focus alive, and she assists Diane Feldman with national SIG issues.

Michael Harvey
Michael Harvey
Michael Harvey exemplifies what can be called “the perfect STC member.” He has served the Carolina Chapter in many ways for 17 years. In addition to participating with numerous committees and completing tasks that went unrewarded and often unknown to most chapter members, Michael is currently a member of the Carolina Chapter Advisory Board (CCAB) and has held a variety of leadership positions over the years. His wisdom about the technical communication field as well as STC has been cherished by our chapter members for many years.

Here are some of the contributions Michael has made to the STC and our chapter:
  • Michael has filled the roles of Carolina chapter Treasurer (1999-2001), President (2001-2002), Immediate Past Present (2002-2003), Nominations Manager (2002-2003), Salary Survey Coordinator (1995, 1997 and 1999) and Newsletter Editor (2003-2005).
  • In April of 2005, Michael, as managing editor, submitted the Carolina Communiqué into the Society’s newsletter competition and received an Award of Merit.
  • Michael single-handedly researched and reported the first three technical communication salary surveys for the Carolina chapter in 1995, 1997 and 1999. These salary surveys provide employment-level data that allow members to see the skills and tools that are in demand in the RTP area.
  • After 15 years of service to STC within the Carolina chapter, Michael received the Distinguished Chapter Service Award in 2004. The following citation appears on his plaque: For outstanding leadership in the Carolina chapter—for inspiration, enthusiasm, wisdom and dedication.
  • Michael has presented at STC annual and local conferences and at regular Carolina chapter meetings. His presentations focus on ways in which new technologies can add value to project management, collaboration and production efforts.

In addition to all of his STC contributions, here are a few more reasons that Michael was selected as a 2006 Associate Fellow:
  • He is a great technical communicator! Michael has been producing hardware and software related content for over 21 years. His contributions have received awards of Merit, Excellence and Distinction in technical communication competitions.
  • By serving on curriculum advisory boards and as an instructor, Michael contributed to the establishment and successfulness of the Software Technical Writing Program at Durham Technical Community College and the Certificate in Communications program offered by Duke University. At Durham Tech, he overhauled the lecture-based technical writing program curriculum to give students more practical experience. At Duke, he played a key role in defining the curriculum requirements and electives.
  • He is a true technical communication mentor. He has guided numerous technical communicators to assume leadership roles in STC and in the field of technical communication. He has groomed students in the classroom, given multiple informal talks about business communication and provided one-on-one advice and support for many technical communicators.

Over the years, both Michelle Corbin and Michael Harvey have made many contributions to the Carolina chapter, the Society and the advancement of the field of technical communication. On behalf of the Carolina chapter, we thank Michelle and Michael for all of their hard work and congratulate them on this wonderful achievement.

Congratulations to Betsy Kent, STC Carolina DCSA Recipient

Betsy has been a long-time STC Carolina, local Trends & Technologies (formerly Online) SIG and Competitions committee member. While filling the rolls of a full-time technical writer and a recent technical communications master’s honor graduate, Betsy has always found time to support our members and the activities of the Carolina chapter. Her dedication and creativity have contributed to the success of STC Carolina events for many years.

Betsy has played a key roll in organizing the STC Carolina technical communication competition. She works hard behind the scenes to help make sure that all aspects of the competition — from the call for entries to the awards banquet — is organized and fun for all of the volunteers and participants.

Betsy accepting the DCSA award
Betsy accepting the DCSA award.

The Distinguished Chapter Service Award (DCSA) acknowledges the work of members who provide exemplary service to the Society through their dedication to the chapter and its activities. STC has long recognized the importance of the hard work and commitment of members of its chapters. Without their energy and enthusiasm, the Society would cease to be the largest, most effective and most prestigious organization of technical communicators in the world.

The Distinguished Chapter Service Award (DCSA) acknowledges the work of members who provide exemplary service to the Society through their dedication to the chapter and its activities. STC has long recognized the importance of the hard work and commitment of members of its chapters. Without their energy and enthusiasm, the Society would cease to be the largest, most effective and most prestigious organization of technical communicators in the world.

Congratulations to Heather Brautman, Sigma Tau Chi Member

STC Carolina and North Carolina State University student chapter member Heather Brautman was recently approved by the STC Board of Directors to be a member of Sigma Tau Chi (STX). She was granted this honor for demonstrating academic excellence and possessing the potential to distinguish herself as a member of the technical communication profession.

Heather Brautman
Heather Brautman
Taking advantage of the new STC membership model, Heather is a member of both the NCSU chapter and the Carolina chapter. Heather demonstrates her devotion to these communities by taking leadership roles, serving on committees, and organizing and publicizing events for both chapters.

Her enthusiasm has contributed to more student and professional members working together to provide services to our members.

Sigma Tau Chi (STX) is an honorary society for technical communication students sponsored by STC. This society recognizes students in baccalaureate or graduate programs. To qualify for this honor, the student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above, achieve exemplary participation in STC and demonstrate a potential for significant contribution to the profession.

Anjela can be reached at adukes1 at nc dot rr dot com and Meredith can be reached at Meredith dot Blackwelder at sas dot com. End of article.

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