Three STC RMC members elected Associate Fellows

By Martha Sippel

Three STC RMC members were elected Associate Fellows at the January STC board meeting. The rank of Associate Fellow is conferred only upon a senior member who has attained distinction in the field of technical communication. Any STC chapter or member can recommend senior members who meet the minimum requirements. A committee composed of STC Fellows and Associate Fellows reviews the candidate biographies and determines their nominations. The STC Board must then approve the committee’s nominees. Associate Fellows will be honored at the honors reception and banquet for all newly elected Fellows and Associate Fellows at the 2009 STC Summit in Atlanta in May. Congratulations to our new Associate Fellows Marella M. Colyvas, Elizabeth G. Frick, Ph.D., and Deborah K. Lockwood.

Marella M. Colyvas
In January 2009, the STC Board elected Marella M. Colyvas an Associate Fellow. Marella has been an STC member for 25 years and has worked in the technical communication field for more than 26 years in a variety of positions, most recently at EDS.

During Marella’s term as president, the Rocky Mountain Chapter gained three Associate Fellows and one Distinguished Chapter Service award. In addition, the online newsletter won an Excellence award at the STC Newsletter competition and the “Most Improved” award. Marella also managed the local competitions for many years and created a job description for the publications competition manager; she mentored two people to co-manage the competition, which flourished for several years under her innovative leadership model.

Marella helped established the community’s Online Communications Competition, which served as a model for other communities. It gained a national reputation for strong judging because of a systematic approach to training for the judges. Year after year, seasoned judges returned and mentored new judges, which resulted in a consistent approach to judging entries.

Marella recently worked with a team of entrepreneurs to create an interactive, web-based tool to help users determine business and product sustainability. Her leadership helped the team through a tough time by giving team members deadlines, project tools, and holding them to commitments. Also the current president of the Boulder Writers’ Alliance (BWA), Marella contributes significantly to the organization by recruiting technical communication experts to speak at BWA meetings, allowing members to grow their technical skills.

Marella has served in various offices and managed committees in the local community, has spoken at regional and international conferences, and mentored individuals for other leadership roles in the STC RMC. In addition, Marella has authored more than 15 articles for Technicalities, the STC RMC online newsletter. She also has presented at several STC annual conferences, Region 7 conferences, and local STC RMC meetings. Congratulations to Marella for all of her accomplishments!

Elizabeth (Bette) G. Frick, Ph.D.
The STC Board elected Elizabeth (Bette) G. Frick, Ph.D., as an Associate Fellow in January 2009. Bette has worked in the technical communication field for more than 20 years and has been an STC member for 11 years. In the last 5 years, Bette has delivered more than 60 public service presentations promoting principles of effective technical communication to lay people. In her lively, interactive presentations, Dr. Frick uses communication theory to support her practical suggestions for individuals and organizations to improve technical writing.

She has trained more than 7,000 individual employees of corporations and organizations in principles and techniques of good technical writing, enabling them to effectively communicate technical information to colleagues and customers in language that most readers can understand. Bette also shows students how to create their information in a usable format that allows readers to comprehend the message the first time they read it. She also creates and delivers technical training via print-based text, interactive media, and broadcast methods.

Bette writes a quarterly STC Intercom column on business practices for independents and consultants. Her column discusses marketing for a population that isn’t always comfortable with the subject, and presents strategies and tactics to improve marketing plans. As one of her readers said, “It’s the toughest part of the business.” STC independents frequently seek her marketing advice, asking general and specific questions about their own marketing endeavors.

She has worked individually with more than 60 employees, coaching them to recognize their current writing success; setting goals for their improved writing process; and monitoring and evaluating their progress. She stresses that good technical writing is complete, consistent, clear, concise, and correct and is best achieved when writers prewrite, draft, review, revise, and edit.

Bette brings professionalism and energy to the classroom, as well as 41 years of experience as a writer, editor, teacher, trainer, and public speaker. Her clients continue to hire her to teach, write, and edit for them. Most of her speaking engagements are by invitation and many associations and organizations invite her back every year. Please join me in congratulating Bette Frick on this award!

Deborah (Deb) K. Lockwood
In January 2009, the STC Board elected Deborah K. Lockwood an Associate Fellow. Deb has been an STC member for 13 years and has worked in the technical communication field for more than 23 years in various positions, most recently at CSG Systems, Inc.

Throughout her career as a technical communicator, Deb has patiently and consistently mentored writers in the best practices of the technical communication profession. Her formal education, her association with STC, and her on-the-job experience have given her the breadth of knowledge necessary to assist others in their growth as effective technical communicators. Deb inspires technical communicators, encouraging them to innovate and exemplify excellence in our profession by effectively mastering and implementing successful tools and processes.

Hired at CSG as a senior-level employee in the Denver office with the purpose of having future employees report to her, unexpected circumstances changed the course of the company to hire new content developers in the Omaha office. Consequently, Deb is, and has been, the only technical communicator in Colorado, finding creative ways to set an example by leading, mentoring, and guiding her coworkers at a distance to learn new skills and processes.

Since 2002, Deb has been an active volunteer with the STC RMC, including serving as Vice President, President, and Past President. Whether leading or serving, Deb fosters an environment of mutual respect and inclusion. She leads by example. Over the years, Deb has consistently written articles that teach the principles of and promote the use of effective communication techniques. These articles have been published in Technicalities, in Intercom, in her employer’s internal newsletter, and most recently, a blog inside CSG Systems.

During her tenure on the chapter’s executive council, Deb consistently focused volunteers’ energies on providing value to our members. She has also taken the role of ensuring that the chapter’s budget is balanced and that the chapter stays within that budget. Especially during the strategic planning for the 2006-2007 chapter year, she was instrumental in reducing planned expenses to ensure the chapter’s long-term financial viability while offering increased value to chapter members. Congratulations to Deb for this prestigious award!

The STC RMC is pleased to congratulate all three of our members on their well-deserved honors!

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