Please join us for a conversation with Matt Cox, March 14th, in Nolte 125 at 2pm.
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.
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.February 11th, 2014
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.
Technical Writer/User Documentation Specialist
B.S. in S&TC, 2013
What is your current position?
I am a Technical Writer/User Documentation Specialist at a Minneapolis-based healthcare educational software company called Advanced Informatics. Our company produces E*Value, a customizable software that assists healthcare educators in managing student data and administrative processes. My main duty is to create and update documentation about E*Value functionality for the software's online help manual. Since the tools within the software are always changing, I am constantly editing existing documentation and creating instructions for the use of new tools. Another duty I am tasked with is adding documents that assist my co-workers in communicating with clients to the company Wiki. I also post updates about new tools and features on the client-facing administrator homepage in E*Value and my co-workers often ask me to proofread and edit their documents.
How does your position relate to technical communication?
My position relates directly to technical communication because it requires me to present technical information in a language and format that is concise but easily understandable.
What aspects of your study in technical communication have been most relevant to your current work?
Learning the process of editing my own and others' writing during my undergraduate career definitely helped prepare me for the job I have now. After I draft a document, I consult subject matter experts within the company and ask them to check the text's accuracy. Often, I need to revise the documentation to reflect obscure variables that can be produced within the software. Being able to revise my work to make it as accurate as possible is crucial for creating documentation that is useful for clients. Another aspect of my study in technical communication that has been extremely relevant to my current work is being able to analyze the needs of my audience.
What did you learn about technical communication that surprised you most in the workplace?
The most surprising component of technical communication in the workplace is how much I must communicate with other employees in order to complete projects. Although technical writing seems like a fairly independent line of work, I often need to consult coworkers from multiple departments to gather all of the information needed to write technical documentation. I was also surprised by the importance of well-written emails in the workplace. Emails that are poorly written and unclear can waste the time of all parties involved if they have to ask for clarification.
What message do you have for our current students?
Work on creating a clean, detailed resume. Your resume should show employers not only why they'd want to hire you, but also why they'd want to work with you. Internships can be crucial; relevant experience is attractive to potential employers, and internships give you an idea of what your career after college might involve. Also, start applying for jobs a few months before graduation. Even if you don't get a job offer right away, potential employers may keep your resume on file in case a position you're qualified for becomes available.