First Time at the STC Summit

9 06 2012

Bethany Bowles

By Bethany Bowles
Mentoring Co-Chair/FTC Liaison
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

As a first time attendee, I really had no idea what to expect from this year’s Society for Technical Communication Summit in Rosemont-Chicago. Armed with business cards (thanks to the advice of the wonderful Patricia Cruz), I embarked with my mentor, Dan Voss on quite an adventure.

Receiving our chapter’s Community of the Year Award on-stage at the Honors Banquet (Photo by Rick Lippincott)

From the beginning, it was a whirlwind of activity. I went from presenting a progression with Dan at the Leadership

program, to attending the education sessions on a multitude of topics, to meeting technical communicators from around the world, to wandering around the expo hall with a new friend collecting swag. Telling the stories of each fascinating person I met, all the opportunities I learned about, and the knowledge I gained would require more words than I can reasonably put in this single article. Really, the best way to explain what the Summit was like for me would be to list some of highlights of my experience:


  • Celebrating the three major awards our chapter received at the Honors Banquet
  • Receiving an extremely positive response to the progression Dan and I did on mentoring
  • Connecting with students from around the country over deep-dish pizza
  • Receiving my certificate for being inducted into the Sigma Tau Chi Honor Society from Hillary Hart, STC’s immediate past president
  • Voting at the annual business meeting
  • Being coerced by fellow members of the Community Affairs Committee to sing an Irish Drinking Song (alcohol-free, of course)
  • Meeting STC members face-to-face, who I only knew by email previously
  • Meeting Jenny Mellquist, an Orlando Chapter member who lives in Sweden
  • Collecting dozens of business cards from connections made

An unexpected meeting with Jenny Mellquist, our chapter’s international member.

As a student, I needed this exposure to the fantastic representation of the technical communication profession. While I had high hopes for the Summit, I can honestly say that the experience exceeded all expectations. Not only did I enjoy my time there, I believe I gained knowledge and connections that will help me in my future career. I hope you all will considering attending next year’s Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on May 5-8. I know I would not miss it!




2 responses

10 06 2012

Thanks Bethany and all you others. It was really nice to get a face on the chapter that I belong to 🙂 It is kind of lonely sitting in Sweden and hearing about all your great meetings in various places in Florida. I really wish that I can attend some in the future.
Glad though to feel as a part of this chapter now, you are all truly hospitable!


9 06 2012
Ben Woelk

You’ll remember the CAC song for the rest of your life. Scary, isn’t it?

I’m glad your first Summit was so engaging!

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