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Volunteer of the Quarter: Heather Brautman
2005, Q3 (June 12, 2007)
Heather Brautman: An inspiration to us all
by Diane Feldman, Past President, Carolina Chapter and Eve Hrytsay, Carolina Chapter Member

Heather Brautman
Heather Brautman

When Heather Brautman discovered the field of technical communication, she jumped right in and never looked back. Heather is a semester away from attaining a Master of Science degree in Technical Communication from NCSU. When she was researching the program in 2004, she saw a link to the STC on the program’s web site. After perusing the Society site and following its links to the Carolina chapter, she joined our chapter before she was even accepted into the NCSU program!

Heather immersed herself in STC activities from the very beginning. We recently asked her about her first STC volunteer endeavor. She wasn’t able to answer our question because there was no single first activity. She joined the Technical Editing SIG, which happened to be looking for someone to serve as meeting scribe. She volunteered. (“After all, I was going to the meetings anyway.”) She learned that the chapter needed help with planning and running the Tri-Doc conference. She volunteered. (“I’m good at planning and I really wanted to be part of making the conference an event that everyone would value.”) She heard chapter members longing for time to meet socially without a specific meeting agenda. She volunteered to initiate a chapter social. (“I like social events and meeting new people.”) She has published an article in the Carolina Communiqué, taken on organizing the upcoming November Chapter Challenge between the NCSU chapter and the Carolina chapter, and serves as editor of the NCSU chapter newsletter.

Heather told us that she got involved in volunteering for STC out of enthusiasm for her new career. She attended the 2004 STC Annual Conference in Baltimore to learn more about the profession and the Society shortly after she began the program at NCSU and her first job in technical communication (which she found through the Carolina chapter Job Bank.). Her experience there inspired her. “It all just came together. I felt I had become a part of the career that I would pursue as my life’s work.” That feeling of being in the right place encouraged her to take an active role in the field’s primary professional organization. “I like STC so much. Yes, I volunteer because the networking and resources are useful to my career. But I do it primarily because it keeps me excited about my work. I’m taking an active role in my chosen profession, meeting great people, and learning so much.”

When she’s not working as a Documentation Specialist at Parata Systems, in school, or attending an STC function, Heather likes to spend time reading, traveling, baking and cooking, and staring at her cat, Solo. She considers herself a “big grammar nerd” and is taking donations of homeless PEZ dispensers for her growing collection (700 and counting). After graduation, Heather is looking forward to continuing activities with the Carolina chapter and having a little bit more free time.

Heather Brautman, the Carolina chapter’s Volunteer of the Quarter, is an inspiration to us all!

Diane Feldman can be reached at diane at authorcraft dot net. Eve Hrytsay can be reached at ehrytsay at parata dot com. End of article.

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