Notes from The Summit

By Carol Anne Wall, Communication Manager

It's been a couple weeks since I returned from The Summit in Chicago, and my head is still spinning. When it stops spinning, I hope all the information, names/faces, and memories are sorted neatly in my brain. Here are some of the Academic highlights, from my point of view.

Education Progression and SIG meeting

Monday was a big day for the Academic SIG. Bright and early at 8:30 am, the Education progression kicked into high gear, with 20 minute sessions on:

The Academic SIG meeting included a lovely light lunch, camaraderie, and updates from the SIG leadership. Items that created the most buzz were the Academic SIG taking leadership on the TCBOK and the student initiatives, such as the student sub-SIG and student participation at The Summit.

Student Poster Contest

The Student Poster Contest broke new ground with The Summit's first-ever virtual student poster presentation. Heather Kfoury, a graduate student at the University of Houston-Downtown, presented "Have a Very Merry Recession: A Rhetorical and Ethical Analysis of a Corporate Holiday Card during the Recession".

The First Place poster "Social Media Marketing for Technical Communication Professionals" was presented by Adaline Haseltine and Samantha Gale, undergraduate students at Appalachian State University.

Communities Reception and Music Jam

The Academic SIG wrangled at table near the entrance, between the Chicago chapter and the Marketing SIG, sharing our table with the Emerging Technologies SIG. Reception passports were cheerfully stamped with an "A", sometimes an "A+" or even an "AA". We spread the word about our SIG, passed out pens and brochures, and basically had a good time promoting the Academic SIG.

The best of the evening was yet to come, when the lights went down in the hall, and up on the stage to greet the return of The Rough Drafts, the STC's house band. Anchored by original members, Tommy Barker on lead guitar and Rich Maggiani on the drums, they welcomed newcomers Viqui Dill and Robert Hershenow to the group.

A set list was published, and audience members were encouraged to sign-up before the show to jam with the band.

Honors Banquet

After a full day of sessions on Tuesday, it was time to recognize individuals, chapters, and SIGs for their contributions to the larger STC Community.

Our SIG Manager, Pam Estes Brewer was named an Associate Fellow of the STC. Her citation read: "For passionately supporting communication between those who practice and those who teach in the field of technical communication, and for promoting global communication to students of technical writing". Congratulations, Pam!

The Academic SIG was named a 2011 Community of Excellence. Please see the story at

Thank yous

Thanks to STC Chicago for hosting The Summit, and to the Program Committee for putting together a great educational experience. Thanks as well to all the speakers, whether they did solo presentations, spoke on or coordinated a panel, progression, or lightning talks. Without your willingness to share your expertise and "put yourself out there", The Summit couldn't happen.

Kudos to Sally Henschel and Valerie Ball, for their work coordinating the organizational, technical and judging responsibilities for the student poster presentation.

A hearty and heart-felt thank you to Lloyd at the STC HQ for making the arrangements for the virtual poster presentation and for setting up the student volunteer program. The student volunteers work at the Summit for a day, in exchange for their registration fee for The Summit. It was great seeing all the students and feeling their enthusiasm for our profession.

Now it's time for me to start up my Summit '13 spare change jar so I can attend next year's Summit in Atlanta. Hope to see you there!