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
Medtronic
The Nerdery
OATI
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.

Reconstructing Oratorical Performance Space in Ancient Greece

Graff IAS flyer

April 22, 2014, 3:30pm
Best Buy Theater, Northrop
Richard Graff, Writing Studies & Literacy and Rhetorical Studies, U of M; 2013 IAS Residential Fellow

http://ias.umn.edu/2014/04/22/graff/

March 28, 2014

GPEA: Spring 2014

Joe Moses and Ann Duin will be presenting at the Spring 2014 Graduate & Professional Education Assembly as part of the Digital Fair (1:00). And Ann will be presenting with Chris Cramer as part of the panel presentation at 2:15, and also at the breakout sessions.

Wednesday, April 2 | 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Mississippi Room, Third Floor, Coffman Memorial Union

February 27, 2014

Working Closets: Navigating Rhetorics and Discourses of LGBTQ Professional Identities Inside a Corporate Workplace

Please join us for a conversation with Matt Cox, March 14th, in Nolte 125 at 2pm.

Event flyer

Please join us March 14th at 2:00pm for this special event in our "Current Research in Writing Studies" series. Refreshments will be provided.

Matt Cox joined the ECU Technical and Professional Communication faculty in summer 2012. He is currently in the initial stages of a book length project on LGBT professional identity as narrative practice within a Fortune 500 workplace. He is also working on an essay titled "A Queerness of Belonging," for the forthcoming edited collection Echoes of Home: Bringing Home to Work. He also has over 12 years of industry experience in software documentation and publishing for software and hardware user guides. He has worked extensively as a freelance editor and web content consultant. He remains active in the Queer Caucus of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (4C) and the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW).

Matt holds his B.A. in English Literature from Indiana University, Bloomington, his M.S. in Technical and Professional Writing from Utah State University, and his Ph.D. in Rhetoric & Writing and Cultural Rhetorics from Michigan State University. His primary Areas of research/and teaching expertise include: technical and professional writing, LGBT and queer rhetorics, cultural rhetorics and studies within professional writing, and studies in professionalization and identity as narrative.

February 11, 2014

Upcoming publications by Prof. Anne Lazaraton

Based on her very productive sabbatical last year, Professor Anne Lazaraton has two papers forthcoming: one in Language@Internet and the other in the Journal of Pragmatics. "Aaaaack! The active voice was used!: Language play, technology, and repair in the Daily Kos weblog" is one great title!! Congratulations, Anne!

Brian Larson to present at ISSA conference

Ph.D. candidate Brian Larson will be presenting at the 8th quadrennial conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation in July 2014 in Amsterdam. His presentation is titled "'Irreparable harm' and legal arguments by analogy and example." He will present the results of a pilot empirical study of written legal arguments and oral reports of authors' cognition to explore the following research questions: Do American lawyers perceive differences between arguments by analogy and arguments by example, and if so, how are those differences represented in their argumentative writing? The complete abstract is available on his academic blog.

Writing Research Across Borders (WRAB)

The department is proud of the amazing presence we'll have at this year's Writing Research Across Borders (WRAB) conference! We're pleased to be able to support our faculty and graduate students to attend this prestigious meeting in Paris. Congratulations to PhD students Ashley Clayson, Kira Dreher, Brian Larson, Molly Li, Michael Madson, Timothy Oleksiak, Rachel Tofteland; to instructors Bill West and Kimberly Thomas-Pollei; and to Professors Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch and Christina Haas.

Teachers Teaching Teachers

Please join us for Teachers Teaching Teachers tomorrow, February 12th, from 3-4pm in 229 Nolte. Light refreshments will be served.

The format will include two presentations:

Laura Pigozzi and Brian Larson "WRIT 3029W, WRIT 3562W, and the Writing for International Students Program (WINS)"
The Writing Studies Department has received funding from the University for the Writing for International Students Program (WINS). Among the projects slated for that program is the launch of non-native-speaker (NNS) sections of WRIT 3029W Business and Professional Communication and WRIT 3562W Technical and Professional Communication. The WINS team is developing curriculum and materials for those sections, but it is also developing resources and training for all 3029/3562 instructors, because there will continue to be international students in all sections of these courses. Pigozzi and Larson are engaged in research and development activities this spring as RAs for WINS. Come to hear the direction their work is taking, share your perspectives on teaching NNS students, and have input into this new program.

Trent Kays "Infographics, Timelines, and Other 21st Century Multimodal Tools for Student Projects."
In this presentation, Kays will discuss various free, online multimodal web-based tools and how these tools can be used in various writing courses to encourage non-
linear and abstract thinking. He will address the question: in what ways can instructors evaluate student projects created with these tools? Additionally, Kays will provide a handout with a detailed list of these tools and demonstrate sample projects and project design based on using specific tools.