Category: About

Meet Our Team

John Clement – President

Hey! I’m John, the current president of FTC. I’m a junior studying Technical Communication with minors in Computer Science and Philosophy. I’ve been in FTC since Spring 2019 and it has been an integral part of my experience as a technical communicator. It’s always a pleasure working with the team to help students like myself get the resources, networking, and experience that will help them in their future careers. Outside of leadership, I enjoy gaming, drawing, and listening to music. Linkedin

Caitlyn Hunter – Vice President

Hello there. My name is Caitlyn, and I am the vice president of FTC. I am a Creative Writing major, Technical Communications minor who is also pursuing a certification in Editing and Publishing. I’ve been in FTC since Fall semester 2019, moving up from Communications Chair to Treasurer to my current position. Going forward, I hope to help all our members get what they need to launch successful careers. This club has been a big help to me by pushing me to keep growing my comfort zone, and the connections I’ve made at our various meetings are incredible. Outside of the club my activities mainly involve writing for novels, studying Spanish, and listening to music. Linkedin

Angela Kafka – Treasurer

I’m Angela, the current treasurer of FTC and a senior at the University of Central Florida studying Writing & Rhetoric and English—Technical Communications. I’ve participated in FTC since Spring 2019, but this is my first semester as an official member. Upon graduation in May of 2021, I aspire to become a book editor. Outside of leadership, I enjoy reading, hiking, and gardening. Linkedin

Ben Bowles – Website Committee Chair

Hello there! I’m Ben, the website committee chair at FTC. I’m a freshman studying Computer Science. I joined FTC this fall to help keep my communication skills sharp and to network. I’m also passionate about gaming, and history. Linkedin

Benefits of FTC Membership

Students have the opportunity to network with professionals, as well as other students. The meetings are comprised of information related to the field, and some meetings may include workshops. Through FTC, students are made aware of internships and prospective jobs in the field. FTC also travels to the yearly STC Summit, a conference involving all things regarding technical communication. While most clubs offer momentary, tangible benefits, FTC offers benefits lasting a lifetime.

Networking with professionals has a myriad of benefits. Depending on the professionals’ attendance, students will have the opportunity to meet with them at the FTC meetings. Communicating with these professionals gives students an insight into the profession, and they will gain an understanding of what to expect in their chosen careers. This will aid them in their future job search upon graduation because they will enter in with prior knowledge. Attending meetings will also open them to the possibility of creating contacts within the field. On occasion, professionals have been able to provide information on internships, whether it is at their company or one of their contacts’ companies. Being around professionals in the field prior to graduation is an opportunity students should not miss.

Furthermore, networking with students is a large and beneficial part of FTC. Gathering among other students who share an interest in the field of technical communication will undoubtedly increase their connections to the local Florida community of technical communicators. Through interaction with their peers, their chances of excelling in the field improve. FTC provides opportunities to network with students of the same major, or any educational background, through the meetings and informational workshops. Participating in these activities will give students a chance to learn from one another by exchanging ideas and information, and to form lasting friendships in a professional setting.

In addition to networking opportunities, the informational workshops are a great way to learn practical skills for a real technical writing job. FTC helps equip students with the necessary tools to succeed in the workforce, particularly focusing on skills that are not a part of the curriculum for technical communication majors. They also teach resume writing techniques and other useful tips that enhance the students’ qualifications in the workforce. Specific details of upcoming events are posted on the FTC website and are announced via email for those who are on the FTC mailing list. Attending these workshops benefits the students by allowing them to develop new skills while networking with others who share the same interests.

Internships are another way to learn about the technical communication profession prior to graduation. By joining FTC, students will have an additional resource to turn to when looking for internships. As mentioned above, networking with professionals at FTC is a way to learn about internship opportunities. FTC has a strong relationship with STC, which improves the chances for students to obtain one.

Each year, FTC takes a group of students to the STC Summit. This conference consists of informational meetings and workshops related to technical communication. Attendance is not mandatory, but it is a great way to learn more about technical communication. By attending the conference, students will have networking opportunities with STC professionals across the nation, as well as other students from student chapters in America. The venue does change, so the fees to attend vary. In previous years, the conference has been held in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Dallas, and Seattle.

All of these benefits share the common goal of enriching the education of future technical communicators. The opportunities to network with others in the field, to learn valuable and practical skills, and to gain real work experience through internships are some of the many benefits that FTC provides for its members. Taking advantage of these opportunities now may make all the difference after graduation when potential employers seek qualified individuals. Students will not regret the decision to invest in their futures by increasing their knowledge and experience, with help from FTC.

About FTC

The Future Technical Communicators (FTC) is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) at the University of Central Florida. This organization is primarily intended for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the technical communication field, although membership is open to students from all majors. FTC works closely with the Florida chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, a professional organization intended for those working in the field of technical communication.

Current FTC & STC Florida Chapter Model

As an RSO at UCF, FTC is not a student chapter of STC. It is an independent organization that is affiliated with both UCF and STC. As will be shown below, FTC’s role as an independent organization affiliated with UCF does not minimize its involvement or relationship with the Florida Chapter of STC. In fact, this role as a separate organization is valuable to STC, as FTC can offer meeting space at UCF free of charge because of its relationship with the university. FTC can also offer funding for workshops and speakers through its access to college funds.

History of FTC

In 2000, two students founded FTC at UCF. Erica Olmsted, a graduate student, and Bob Whitley, an undergraduate, recognized the need for an organization that could help technical communication students develop professionally. They approached Dr. JD Applen, a professor in the English department, who agreed to serve as the faculty sponsor. The original purpose of FTC was to connect students to professionals in the technical communication field and to provide weekend workshops where students helped one another learn the software and skills that were not covered in their courses. The founders wanted to create an on-campus community of students interested in technical communication. Membership in FTC was not limited to technical communication majors; some members were from other majors, such as Computer Science.

Governance of FTC

UCF requires each RSO to operate under the supervision of a designated faculty advisor. The advisor provides guidance when necessary and serves as a liaison between FTC and the university. The advisor also clarifies university policies and procedures. Since the advisor typically remains in place from year to year, the advisor creates continuity as graduating students are replaced by new members each year. Although the advisor is an authoritative source for clarification of university policies and procedures, he or she does not make decisions on behalf of FTC. The advisor’s input is always considered, but FTC is primarily self-governing.

As an RSO, FTC is subject to the rules and regulations of UCF, and its members are held accountable for their behavior. Ultimately, though, the responsibility for the success of the organization rests with its officers and members. This high degree of autonomy empowers students to act in the best interest of the organization as it strives to fulfill its purposes to serve its members, STC, UCF, and the local community.

FTC Funding & Budget

As a Registered Student Organization, FTC receives funding from the UCF Student Government Association (SGA). This funding can be used for workshops and events, promotional materials, and travel expenses related to attendance of the STC International Summit. Over the last several years of FTC’s existence, SGA has paid approximately $20,000 to allow students to attend conferences.

FTC Officers & Responsibilities

There are six officer positions in FTC.

President

The President oversees all operations, plans workshops and events, and serves as FTC’s liaison to STC and the University. The President also manages the organization’s finances and creates a budget each semester.

Vice President

The Vice President assists the President wherever needed and serves in the absence of any other officers.

Treasurer

The Treasurer accounts for all financial transactions, assists the President in the creation of a budget each semester, and collects membership dues.

Secretary

The Secretary takes minutes at each meeting, maintains meeting attendance records, and notifies members of upcoming meetings and events.

Historian

The Historian maintains a list of members and their contact information and documents FTC’s activities.

Webmaster

The webmaster maintains FTC’s website, which serves as the primary source for the organization’s record-keeping.

Spring 2021 Leadership Team

We are happy to have several new faces join our roster! Welcome FTC’s Spring 2021 leadership team:

President – John Clement
Vice President – Caitlyn Hunter
Secretary – Skye Smith
Treasurer – Angela Kafka
Historian – Claire Arendas
Communications Committee – Caitlyn Hunter & Rebecca Navas
Website Committee – Ben Bowles

We are enthused to have this new and expanded team. We have already begun planning out great programs and events to come this semester, and we intend to go above and beyond with them.