President’s Message from STC Washington, D.C. – Baltimore Chapter – October Update!

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Greetings STC WDCB Family,

As we face the permeating health, social, and political climate in various aspects of our lives, and juggle priorities and commitments, I would like to express gratitude for your willingness to make time to reconnect with our community. Through a solid lineup of virtual opportunities to sharpen your skills and network, my hope is that the chapter’s efforts contribute to reaffirming the notion that we are stronger together. In the words of Helen Keller, “although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”


Thank you to those that were able to attend our 2020-2021 New Chapter Year Kickoff Celebration last month. We had a fabulous time recognizing award recipients, discussing upcoming events, and networking. Please check out the presentation highlighting the awardees designed by Carolyn Klinger if you missed it, and thank you again to the STC WDCB Chapter Administrative Council for dedicating your positive energy in support of our programs and community engagement efforts. Hugs!

The Masterclass in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series

The MasterClass in TechComm is off to an incredible start with Dr. Ginny Redish’s feature on UX Writing setting the tone for an excellent series. There were 184 registrations and over 115 in attendance during an evening that went overtime because of the enthusiasm from guests that had questions and comments for Dr. Ginny. Thank you to those that joined us for an enlightening evening. Please sign up for our October feature:

October 2020

Dr. Ugur AkinciSelf Publishing on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for TechComm Pros

Ugur will teach the tricks and tips for how to leverage on-demand self-publishing via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Attendees will have the opportunity to publish their first book on the KDP platform in real-time.
Webinar: Thursday October 29, 2020 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

November 2020

Ms. Shawneda CroutIntegrate Social Media into Your TechComm

Technical communicators with the ability to adopt social media into the creation, and review phase of content planning, find it to be an invaluable resource in their TechComm projects. Shawneda will advise on how to use social media and social search platforms to provide opportunities to illuminate customer pain points, provide customer preferences, and receive real-time feedback to benefit work processes.
Webinar: Thursday November 12, 2020 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

December 2020

Dr. Liz HermanIdentity Disruption and the Technical Communicator
It’s an amazing time to be a technical communicator. Our talents, skills, and smarts are needed. The way we have identified ourselves for the past several decades is changing. We need to prepare for an identity disruption. Join Liz as she shares insights and data about this seismic change.
Webinar: Thursday December 3, 2020 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

Our chapter uses the GoToMeeting platform to host webinars. The webinar link will be emailed by noon on the date of the event. Please also subscribe to The MasterClass in TechComm Podcast to support this growing professional development initiative. Stay tuned for further details!

STC Alliance Competition

The STC Alliance Competition team is in the planning phase and will release updates on how to enter the competition and volunteer as a judge via their notification subscription list. Please subscribe for details.

TechComm Roadshow
Winners from the STC Alliance Competition will discuss their award winning submissions and the benefits of entering the competition. The roadshow is scheduled for November 11, 2020 @ 6:30 p.m. ET. Invitations will be emailed to those that subscribe for details.

Online Resources

Our chapter website offers job listings, a LinkedIn Group, and much more. View chapter updates in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Networking and Volunteering

Our First Friday Lunches were a successful networking event that we’ve decided to put on hold in support of current social distancing measures. However, what may be perceived as a setback can also be harnessed as a great opportunity; Let’s dive deep together in support of our speakers in The MasterClass in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series, and tap into a free subscription to The MasterClass in TechComm Podcast.

**Please consider the current chapter volunteer openings to review opportunities to get involved.

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Renew Your STC WDCB Chapter Membership

Please Renew Your STC Membership for 2021 and allow us to continue to serve you by selecting STC WDCB as your home chapter. We welcome your suggestions for how we can continue to bring you meaningful professional development events, and networking opportunities.

Thank you for your time and membership. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your comments, or for assistance.


Tavia Record
President and Professional Development Director
STC Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Chapter
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It’s Called Technical Communication for a Reason (Webinar)


You are at the point where creating structured content is second nature. You can design a crisp clean UI and conduct textbook usability sessions without breaking a sweat. You can even design a chatbot so users never know they are not typing with a human. Are those skills and that knowledge enough to get you to the next level in your career? Is how to create technical communication more important than why? Is our pursuit of perfectly authored content hurting our audience?

We are technical communicators for a reason, and it is time for us to regain our focus on the technology we support.

In this session, we will discuss the importance of technical knowledge, find out how to gain technical knowledge and skills without going back to school, and learn tip.


Rhyne Armstrong has been a producer, strategist, and manager in the content world for the last 25 years, and hopes to some day figure out what he wants to do when he grows up. He is a Documentation Manager at Cisco Systems, Inc. in the Security Business Unit, and is an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication.

Rhyne lives in Atlanta, and works hard to juggle his day job with his other roles: haunted house designer, stage manager, and soccer/ballet dad.

Photo of Rhyne Armstrong


This webinar will be offered through JoinMe and will be recorded. You can attend either through the free JoinMe app on your mobile device or in a browser (all browsers supported but Chrome works best). You will receive connection information through email two days before the webinar. If you do not receive it, contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

We Mourn the Passing of Austin T. Brown, Former STC and STC WDCB President

Headshot of Austin T. Brown
Austin T. Brown

Austin Thomas Brown, past STC WDCB Chapter President (1981-1982), Director-Sponsor of STC’s Region 2 (1982-1986), STC President (1988-1989), and STC Fellow, passed away peacefully on March 21, 2019 at the age of 86.

In the 1990s, our chapter renamed its high school science writing contest to honor Austin, who had managed the contest for many years. The contest was first started in 1964 and provided an award and scholarship money to the top three winners of a competition open only to high school students in the Washington, DC area for the best technical papers. Austin joined STC in 1967 and took a special interest in the competition. We now call it Austin T. Brown Technical Communication Award, though is currently without a manager. We hope a new volunteer who is interested in managing a student competition will step up in the future. In lieu of this, the chapter began giving awards in 2009 for the best student entry in our Technical Communication Competition.

Not only did Austin provide exceptional leadership to STC and the Washington, DC-Baltimore chapter (then just the Washington, DC chapter) over many years, but his family named our chapter as the suggested recipient of financial donations in lieu of flowers in his obituary. Please read the obituary in his funeral program to learn about Austin’s illustrious career and fascinating life, and see several photos of him and his wonderful family.

We mourn the passing of Austin T. Brown and are thankful for his many contributions to our chapter and to the profession of technical communication.