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Dean of Communications
1995, October (July 02, 2007)
by Laura Johnston

STC Associate Fellow Morris Dean has lived in Chapel Hill for nearly 12 years. This seasoned technical communicator has been actively involved with the STC at conference level for almost two decades. Add up his years of experience and it's no wonder that Dean is well-known and respected in technical communication and public speaking.

With a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Yale, the "IBMer" joined Big Blue in 1967 as a sales trainer and system engineer. An advisory information developer with IBM, Dean has done technical writing, editing, and planning for IBM in San Francisco, San Jose, North Raleigh, and Cary.

The Berkeley native lived in California for 40 years prior to moving to North Carolina. Other short stints were in Massachusetts while teaching at a prep school and studying in a Scottish divinity school for a few months.

In 1972 the Technical Communication journal published Dean's "Invoking the Muse of Technical Writing." His paper won the Distinguished Technical Publication award at the 1973 International Technical Communication Conference (ITCC) in St. Louis. Since Dean's involvement in the 1973 ITCC, he has been active in the ITCC by giving papers and workshops, and by serving on the program committee for several years. In 1989 he was special events manager; five years later he was the research and technology stem manager.

"What I really enjoy about technical writing is the idea that I try to get into the mind of the person who will use the information I'm writing," said Dean "Also, the analysis of the material that I'm trying to communicate and understanding what the information is really saying...the logic of it all is a great challenge."

Dean's real passion seems to be public speaking. The 1995-1996 Toastmaster of the year (District 37 state of North Carolina) is this year's president of the Chapel Hill Toastmasters and an area governor responsible for five clubs in Raleigh, Cary, and Fuquay-Varina. Winning the state of North Carolina championship in the Humorous Speech Contest, Dean also represented the state in a regional competition this past June in Ft. Lauderdale. In addition, he placed third in the District 37 International Speech Contest.

This busy man does find time to enjoy reading, watching movies, and spending time with his wife of 29 years, Carolyn. The Deans have a son, a daughter, and a two-and-a-half-year-old grandchild. In addition, Oscar the cat and Ruffy the golden retriever round out the Dean household. End of article.

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