January 29, 2015

2015 Coakley Ames & Mikelonis Award Recipients

The Undergraduate Committee in the Department of Writing Studies is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2015 undergraduate awards.

* Coakley Ames Writing Excellence Award ($1500): John Orzechowski and Stephanie Ales
* Victoria Mikelonis Memorial Award in S&TC ($200): Matewos Gebrehiwet

More information about these awards can be found on the Undergraduate Awards & Scholarships web page.

Congratulations to John, Stephanie, and Matewos!

December 15, 2014

Writing Studies Collaborates with UMMC on OpenNotes Project

During fall semester 2014, Dr. Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch and a team of Writing Studies students collaborated with Dr. Craig Weinert, MD, to conduct interviews with hospitalized patients regarding the sharing of doctors' progress notes (OpenNotes) at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Students interviewed patients about what they understood about their condition from the notes, what they liked or disliked about the notes, and how they felt reading about themselves as patients. Preliminary results indicated that patients strongly favored receiving the notes, citing reasons such as having a reference of the hospital stay, feeling more assured of the care they were receiving, and feeling more involved in their care.

November 29, 2014

Watch videos from students, alumni, and faculty about our Technical Writing and Communication program

November 13, 2014

Announcing the release of RSTC alum Anthony Arrigo's (Ph.D. 2010) new book, published by University of Nevada Press

Arrigo_FrontCover.jpg Arrigo_BackCover.jpg

Imaging Hoover Dam: The Making of a Cultural Icon

September 24, 2014

Stephen Katz Lecture October 22nd

Please join us on October 22nd from 11:30 to 1pm in Nolte 125 for a special guest lecture by Professor Steve Katz of Clemson University, co-sponsored by the Department of English, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

(Click to view image full-sized.)

Printable PDF Flyer

The importance of teaching communication skills to scientists

Alan Alda addresses the importance of teaching communication skills to scientists as he accepts his Honorary Fellow award from STC.

August 29, 2014

´┐╝Issues in the Analysis of Text, Talk and Other Verbal Data: A Conversation with Cheryl Geisler

Writing Studies welcomes Cheryl Geisler to the department for a talk and lunch, September 2nd from noon - 1pm in Nolte 235.

Scholars in rhetoric and writing seeking to analyze texts, talk, or other verbal data find a number of approaches described in the literature -- rhetorical analysis, content analysis, qualitative analysis --but little guidance on the differences between them. In this talk, Geisler will provide an comparison of the various approaches to analyzing verbal data, focusing on the issues and choices researchers make in deciding what approach to take.

Cheryl Geisler is Professor of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University where she served as the inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology. She has written extensively on the nature of texts, especially those mediated by new technologies. A recognized expert on verbal data coding, she is the author of Analyzing Steams of Language (2004) and conducts an annual international workshop on verbal data analysis at Dartmouth College. She has received awards for her work from Computers and Composition, the Rhetoric Society of America, and the National Communication Association.

We are now accepting RSVPs for the Cheryl Geisler talk on September 2nd.

June 17, 2014

2014 Coakley Ames & Mikelonis Award Recipients

On behalf of the Undergraduate Committee in the Department of Writing Studies, I am pleased to announce the recipients of our 2014 undergraduate awards.

* Coakley Ames Writing Excellence Award ($1000): Mary C. Stokes and Alexa Keenan
* Victoria Mikelonis Memorial Award in S&TC ($200): Matewos Gebrehiwet

More information about these awards can be found on the Undergraduate Awards & Scholarships web page.

Congratulations to Mary, Alexa and Matewos!

May 20, 2014

Professor Mary Schuster receives Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award

We are thrilled to announce that Professor Mary Schuster has been awarded the Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award for 2013-2014.

The Motley Award "recognizes faculty of the college who are outstanding teachers of graduate and undergraduate students.

The Motley award acknowledges faculty who:
* inspire and care,
* make themselves approachable,
* show an interest in individual students' well-being and in programs for the benefit of students generally,
* give of themselves generously in advising, counseling, and directing projects, and
* create an active classroom atmosphere.
Such faculty provide a model to undergraduate and graduate students through their own research and teaching, and leave an impression by their efforts which alumni recall with appreciation and esteem."

Congratulations, Mary! And thank you to the students and former students, both graduate and undergraduate, who wrote letters for Mary's nomination.

May 16, 2014

Spring 2014 MS in S&TC Research Projects

Congratulations to five M.S. in S&TC students who completed professional practice research projects during Spring 2014. They shared posters and presentations at a research showcase event held on April 29th. This excellent work is available at the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy.

Short descriptions--

How Should Technical Communication Students Best Prepare for Careers in Medical Device Companies?
Heather Sigstad
Through interviews with technical communicators from medical device companies, this study identifies skills that would help new communicators be successful in the medical device industry and maps them to the University of Minnesota's scientific and technical communication programs.

Plain English for Korean Non-native English Speakers
Changsoo Lee
This study demonstrates that Korean speakers prefer Latinate verbs in general. Test results indicate that using plain English does not guarantee Korean speakers' better comprehension of English and that concise sentences could make Korean speakers less assured of their comprehension.

Information Design and Uncertain Environments: Cognitive and Ecological Considerations in Technical Communication
Christopher Cocchiarella
This case study demonstrates the need for both cognitive and ecological considerations in technical communication through a four-part inquiry.

Software Patent Application Drafting Guideline Development
Wonjong Choi
This guideline development focuses on patent application drafting techniques that request stronger patent rights in the claim, embodiment, and drawing sections of patent applications. This work provides software patent drafting techniques for patent staff-members, inventors, and technical communication students.

Usability Themes in Open Source Software
Jim Hall
Some open source software programs are easy to learn, while others are hard to use. What makes for good usability in open source software? This examination of GNOME, an open source desktop environment, identifies usability themes that open source software developers can use to improve their programs.

May 1, 2014

Philip J. Stubbs invited to Phi Beta Kappa

Congratulations to Philip J. Stubbs, an undergraduate major in Scientific and Technical Communication, who has been elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa by the Alpha Chapter of the University of Minnesota. Mr. Stubbs has received an invitation to accept membership and attend the initiation ceremony on the afternoon of May 17, 2014. We are pleased to recognize Philip on his hard work and accomplishments at the University of Minnesota!

April 25, 2014

S&TC Senior Celebration

The Department of Writing Studies invites you to honor our graduating Scientific and Technical Communication seniors! All faculty and students are welcome to attend. Stop in anytime.

Tuesday, April 29th
2:30 - 4pm
Nolte 229

Networking and career advice from industry representatives and career professionals:

Meditech (formerly LSS Data Systems)
JPG Associates
The Nerdery
CLA Career Services

Industry Panel: 2:30-3:00 PM
Networking: 3:00-4:00 PM

S&TC major, Bill Siemers, receives Facebook Content Strategy Fellowship

We are delighted to announce that Bill Siemers, a senior in our Science & Technical Communication major, is one of three recipients of the Facebook Content Strategy Fellowship. He will get to attend the Confab Central Minneapolis and meet with the Facebook Content Strategy team.

Congratulations, Bill!!!

April 17, 2014

MS in STC Research Showcase

Research Showcase
Featuring Spring 2014 M.S. in Scientific & Technical Communication Graduates

Please join us for research insights, networking, and snacks.
All faculty and students are welcome to attend.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
235 Nolte, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Presentations, 4:10-4:40 p.m.

Event Flyer

April 1, 2014

Congratulations to Katharine Swenson!

Congratulations to recent Certificate graduate Katharine Swenson, new freelance medical editor for Cardiotext, a Minneapolis-based publisher in cardiovascular medicine, where Katharine combines prior medical training with technical communication knowledge to provide substantive manuscript editing, content strategy, and author relationship management.