By Joy Carandang (FTC President) and Chantal Cyrier (FTC Treasurer)
Edited by John Clement
This year, the Future Technical Communicator club (FTC) at UCF has seen and experienced exuberant amounts of engagement, learning, and fun through our array of meetings, publications, and celebrations. Together, we have weathered storms, grown academically and professionally, and fostered connections that will last a lifetime.
In the coming weeks, we are excited to share a 3-part series of Year in Review articles for our club. This first installment will start things off with a recap of our 2022-2023 events, while our next two issues will be deep dives into two of our biggest activities from the year, Spark STEM Fest and the STC Summit.
Thank you each for being part of our community! We hope to continue supporting your technical communication journeys into the 2023 summer and fall semesters and beyond.
FTC Events in 2022-2023
During the 2022-2023 school year, we have been fortunate to welcome many new members and invite a wide range of individuals in academia and the technical communication field to our various events. Let’s go through what we hosted semester by semester!
Overview: Fall 2022 Events
- [Aug] Outreach: Opening Knight tabling
- [Sep] Social: Trivia Knight! with Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society
- [Sep] GBM: First Fall General Body Meeting
- [Sep] GBM: FTC Leadership Team Elections
- [Oct] Social: Halloween Game Night
- [Nov] GBM: Mentoring Program Interest Meeting
- [Nov] GBM: Spark STEM Fest & STC Summit Interest Meeting
- [Nov] GBM: LinkedIn Workshop
- [Dec] Social: Holiday PowerPoint Party with Sigma Tau Delta & Cypress Dome
- [Dec] Social: Dinner at Bahama Breeze
Start-of-Semester Outreach and Socials
At the start of the school year in August 2022, FTC leaders Zachary Miller, Cassandra Ortega, and John Clement prepared a successful tabling event during UCF’s Opening Knight. They performed outreach, inviting newcomers to our club’s start-of-semester events and to FTC in general.
FTC’s lineup of events started with Trivia Knight, a September social which we hosted with Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. Attendees were given the opportunity to meet fellow English students and enjoyers while having fun doing trivia based on various genres, including pop culture, English, and UCF facts. Leaders of both clubs also spoke about upcoming events and gave encouragement to join as members.
At our First Fall General Body Meeting and our Leadership Team Elections, we kickstarted our main programming and events for the year. We introduced new members to the club and its offerings. In a meeting shortly after, we elected our new slate of FTC officers and committee members for the year.
Later in September, our club took a break from programming due to the hurricane and we gave all of our members our best wishes and support, aiming to return to events once things had subsided.
In October, special guest STC Florida President Bethany Aguad stopped by to host a Halloween Game Night. It was a blast to play rounds of Jackbox games and connect with new faces in the community.
STC-FTC Mentoring Program
A few days later at the start of November, John Clement and STC Florida president Bethany Aguad delivered the annual STC-FTC Mentoring Program Interest Meeting. The meeting featured mentors and mentees from last school year, including Lori Meyer, Joe Ryan, Joana Donovan, & Amy Toole, who provided testimonials on their experiences and the value of mentoring which they found through the program.
After a few-week sign-up period, FTC members enrolled for STC membership and were brought together to meet their new mentors in a Mentoring Program Kickoff meeting hosted by STC Florida. Ten mentor-mentee pairings were established this school year, consisting of UCF students and alumni alongside professionals of all experience levels:
|Julia Southwick||Joy Carandang|
|Bethany Aguad||Chantal Cyrier|
|Rachael Swertfeger||Dominick Chiovari|
|Joe Ryan||Alexandra Conte and Andrew Sands|
|Jenn Buckley||Winnie Ou|
|Alessandra Lopez||Zachary Miller|
|Dan Voss||Niyanna Jeffcoat|
|Jonathan Neal||Rulonda Fuller|
|W.C. Wiese||Nicole Marrero|
End-of-Fall GBMs and Socials
In the middle of November, FTC hosted a Spark Stem Fest and STC Summit Interest Meeting. With both of these two involvement opportunities, FTC works with its members to provide them with volunteering and learning experiences that will advance their skills and credentials in the field while also being a fun time. At this meeting, an overview of these programs was provided and past participants of these programs shared their experiences and answered questions about getting involved in them.
At the end of November, Immediate Past President Julianna Schook and John Clement presented a special LinkedIn Workshop, where they provided a step-by-step tutorial on how to create an account and navigate the platform’s various features.
Before winter break, we at FTC were extremely thankful to co-host and participate in a Holiday PowerPoint Party with Sigma Tau Delta and Cypress Dome Society. Much fun was had as attendees talked about, and shared fun slides and pitches about, their favorite holiday traditions and media. (We also did not forget to send out a special holiday gift from us to all of our members, courtesy of John!)
Finally, to end off the fall semester, we hosted our own Bahama Breeze Social where several of our members enjoyed dinner together.
Overview: Spring 2023 Events
- [Jan] GBM: First Spring General Body Meeting
- [Jan] GBM: L3Harris Two-Part GBM
- [Jan] Social: Mini Golf Social
- [Feb] Social: Virtual Game Night – Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
- [Feb] GBM: STC-FTC Annual Joint Meeting: Young Tech Comm Professionals
- [Feb] Activity: Spark STEM Fest – Volunteering @ the Orlando Science Center
- [Feb] GBM: Blogging to Build Your Professional Portfolio ft. Alexandra Conte
- [Mar] Social: Discord Meme Game Night
- [Mar] Social: FTC Dungeons & Dragons Session
- [Mar] Promoted presentation: Finding a Job in Tech Comm by Dr. Sarah Singer
- [Apr] GBM: How Tech Writers Save the World (Time) ft. FTC Leaders and Spark STEM Fest Volunteers
- [Apr] GBM: Content Matters: Do You Know How to Use Your Product? ft. Zachary Miller
- [Apr] GBM: End of Year Social + Elections
Start of Spring and L3Harris GBMs
At the start of the Spring 2023 semester, we had so many developments that we were excited to share with our community. In January, John Clement hosted a two-part general body meeting featuring guest speakers from L3Harris Technologies. Topics covered ranged from entering the tech comm field to what working in tech comm, engineering, and management at L3Harris is like.
Both installments brought together special guests Melissa Olds, Chloe Farmer, Melissa Rios, Stewart Brandt, Luke Gilbert, and Stephan Nieves who each thoughtfully answered all our questions. We thank each of them for sharing their insights and experiences as established professionals in addition to the valuable advice they shared with us as students and early-career professionals.
Toward the end of January, FTC members enjoyed games of Mini Golf at Congo River Golf. Around this time, we had slowly been gearing up for our February events.
February: Spark STEM Fest and STC-FTC Joint Meeting
In February, FTC members saw excitement, volunteerism, and many opportunities for collaboration. One way was through our active participation at the Spark STEM Fest (SSF) event, where several of our members and leaders volunteered to host a presentation about tech comm for grade school students. For more information on this event and volunteer opportunity, please stay tuned for the second installment of our Year in Review, which will explore the experiences of our project contributors and presenters in depth.
An annual tradition for both FTC and STC Florida, we held our STC-FTC Joint Meeting this year on February 23. To speak on this year’s theme of “Young Tech Comm Professionals,” we invited FTC alumni Shannon Maharajh, James Yunik, Cora Heisler, and Julia Southwick as our featured guest speakers. We started the evening off with a round of networking. In the meeting proper, the panelists were engaged in a guided discussion of several topics pertaining to the theme. The night ended with the panelists taking questions from the audience. All around, it was a night of education and connection. Be sure to check out the recording of this event for valuable career advice from our speakers.
Blogging Presentation and Resources
The week after, FTC Publications Committee Member Alexandra Conte hosted a skill-sharing workshop called, Blogging to Build Your Professional Portfolio. Based on an article she wrote for the FTC blog, this event was educational, informative, and had a successful turnout. Attendees who participated in an engaging Q&A session as well.
Cooling Down with Socials
The Spring festivities only continued from there. In March, FTC hosted a one-of-a-kind Game Night, resulting in the crowning of the “This is Fine Dog” as our Discord server’s Favorite Meme.
The event that followed was an FTC Dungeons and Dragons session led by our esteemed DMs (Dungeon Masters) Bethany Aguad and John Clement.
Ending Strong with Guest Speakers, Recaps, and Re-Elections
In March, we were also ecstatic to promote Dr. Sarah Singer’s Finding a Job in Tech Comm workshop to members of our community. At this meeting, UCF technical communication professor Dr. Singer hosted an event through UCF on best practices for finding and securing a job in technical communication, targeted to students and recent grads who are on that search. We will soon have the recording and a summary to share.
As the semester came to a close, Spark STEM Fest material designers and presenters joined together to deliver an updated version of their February presentation, “How Tech Writers Save the World (Time).” They highlighted the benefits of volunteerism, sharing testimonials of what it was like to curate educational materials for our audiences of K-12 students interested in the field.
On April 18th, we had the pleasure of welcoming our FTC alum Zachary Miller to host a presentation on his research in UI/UX. We are so grateful for the extensive knowledge and experience he has shared with us.
Finally, we celebrated the end of a most fulfilling year at our End of Year Social and Summer Elections, congratulating our incoming graduates and wishing everyone a fruitful summer ahead while also installing a new slate of FTC leaders, who will occupy their new roles over summer and run for re-election at the start of Fall.
STC Florida Chapter Meetings & Events
We at FTC are thankful to have continued our longstanding ties with our partner organization, the Florida Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. Whether it is through our yearly Mentorship Program, STC-FTC Joint Meeting, or socials, we have been blessed to share an incredible year of networking and collaboration throughout our partnered communities.
STC Florida’s 2022-2023 events included:
- Monthly Networking Socials
- Mentoring Program
- Tech Comm Tools
- MadCap Flare: A Quick Tour and Advanced Tips & Tricks with Scott DeLoach
- Problem Solvers Panel
- Annual STC-FTC Joint Meeting
- Annual Employment Panel
- Leadership and Volunteerism: How STC Can Help Your Tech Comm Career
- MailChimp as a Tool for Community Engagement
- Dungeons and Dragons: Improving Your Tech Comm Skills Through Gaming
- Learn to play Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition Workshop for new players
- Journey to the Witchlight Carnival for those who have played D&D 5e before
STC Florida’s events are free for students. Paying for official membership in STC also grants you access to the mentoring program, discounts toward events like the STC Summit conference, and much more. If you’re interested, visit STC’s website or ask us about more details anytime!
2022-2023 FTC Leadership
All year long, FTC leadership has met regularly to plan and produce our projects and events. Without every one of our leaders’ support and dedication, we would have not been able to achieve as many milestones as we have. That being said, we would like to send a shout-out to our amazing team, both to those newly elected and those who have graduated or departed. You each truly encompass the heart of our club, and we appreciate all you do to keep everything running smoothly.
FTC Officers through 2022-2023
|President||Joy Carandang (current)Julianna Schook (Fall and Spring)|
|Vice President||Cassandra Ortega (current)|
Ben Bowles (Spring)
Zachary Miller (Fall)
|Treasurer||Chantal Cyrier (current)|
Cassandra Ortega (Fall-Spring)
|Secretary||Dominick Chiovari (Fall and Spring)|
|Historian||Winnie Ou (current)|
Joy Carandang (Spring)
Alexandra Abreu (Fall)
|Immediate Past President||Julianna Schook (current)John Clement (Fall and Spring)|
|FTC Advisors||Dr. JD ApplenDr. Carolyn Glasshoff|
FTC Committee Members through 2022-2023
|Communications Committee||Michael Otero|
Joy CarandangWinnie OuDominick ChiovariMyra Hoover
|Publications Committee||Alexandra ConteDanielle Porress|
John ClementWinnie Ou
Glenn Ritchey (Fall)
|Website Committee||Cassandra Ortega|
Myra Hoover Andrew Sands (Fall)
Developments Across FTC’s Committees
Our FTC Publications and Communications Committees have been diligently working year-round to provide our community with monthly newsletters and blog posts.
Check out the following resources:
- FTC Blog: https://futuretechnicalcommunicators.com/category/blog/
- Recent publications by FTC members (FTC blog and STC FL newsletter):
- Personality Tests and Technical Communicators: DISC Types by Julia Southwick and Joy Carandang
- Personality Tests and Technical Communicators: True Colors by Julia Southwick and Joy Carandang
- Joy Carandang and Julia Southwick Member Spotlight by Joy Carandang (mentee) and Julia Southwick (mentor)
- Blogging to Build Your Professional Portfolio by Alexandra Conte
- Blogging Style Guide from FTC by Alexandra Conte and FTC Publications Committee
- How to Survive Finals and Avoid Burnout by Alexandra Conte and Danielle Porres
- FTC Spring 23′ Graduates Spotlight by FTC Communications Committee
- Student Spotlight: Five FTC @ UCF Students Attending the 2023 Summit by John Clement
- Recent publications by FTC members (FTC blog and STC FL newsletter):
- Past FTC newsletters: https://futuretechnicalcommunicators.com/category/news/newsletters/
- Subscribe to our mailing list: https://linktr.ee/ucf.ftc
Community Spotlights: FTC Grads and Accomplishments
Congrats to the Class of 2022-2023! We are so proud of you and know that we at FTC will continue celebrating your successes as you begin the next chapters of your lives.
Earlier this month, we published our “FTC Spring ‘23 Graduates” article on our blog, featuring five members as they look back on their transformation from students at UCF to recent graduates.
Additionally, check out the recently published “FTC Accomplishments: Spring 2023” article via the STC Florida Memo to Members newsletter. Written by STC Florida Vice President Julia Southwick in collaboration with STC Florida Secretary John Clement and FTC President Joy Carandang, this extensive article celebrates the academic, professional, and personal experiences of individuals across our community, including FTC leadership, alumni, and beyond!
More to Come
Stay tuned as we continue to publish the next installments on the FTC’s volunteerism at Spark STEM Fest and our six FTC members’ experience at the 2023 STC Summit in Atlanta, GA.
In the meantime, we would love to hear your feedback on how we can improve our club’s offerings in the coming Fall 2023 semester. By Monday, June 5, please consider taking our End-of-Year Survey.
Thank you again to our members and leadership for being a part of this year’s wonderful adventure. We’ll see you soon on Tuesday, June 6 at our first General Body Meeting of the Summer, and for any of our meetings during the rest of summer and start of Fall!