Summit 2018

The national conference for the Society for Technical Communication is always a great opportunity to learn, network, and get reinvigorated in my career.

This year was special to me because I was awarded Associate Fellow as you can see, off in the distance and if you turn your volume up, on YouTube:

Kelly Getting Assoiate Fellow on Big ScreenKelly Getting Assoiate Fellow

Our chapter was well-represented and awarded, too, at Leadership Day where we received the Platinum Community Achievement Award and a 2018 Pacesetter Award for innovation.


I went to many interesting sessions and met some cool folks, and it is always nice to catch up with old friends. This year, they had a pub crawl, and these pictures show my husband, Chuck, being slightly inappropriate and us hanging with different people at the first stop.


And then I met someone really scary…

Kelly with Zombie

Well, not really, but it was fun to get a picture with him. I’ll be attending the Lavacon conference in the Fall for the first time…looking forward to it!


Using Checklists to Increase Consistency and Productivity in Communications Tasks

I presented this session as a webinar for STC on May 9, 2018. Fifty people signed up, and 30 people attended the webinar live. The recording was sent out afterward, so everyone still had access to it. It was a lot of fun! A couple of people I know attended and a couple of people contacted me afterward asking for sample checklists.

Using Checklists to Increase Consistency and Productivity in Communication Tasks

Conduit 2018

This is a great regional conference that is close to me. It’s smaller than Spectrum, but I know enough people there to feel comfortable with getting to know them better and meeting new people. All of the session I attended ended up being full of good information, and I met some great folks.

It was on Saturday, April 7, 2018, and Todd DeLuca and I gave a session called Ready to Pivot, Advance, or Change? Use Side Gigs to Move Your Career Forward. I had given a similar session at Interchange in the fall and had put in a proposal for it at Conduit, and Todd had put in for a similar session for Spectrum and Conduit, so they asked us to work together and present one session. It was fun to collaborate with someone on a session, and we ended up having a lot of fun.

Spectrum 2018

This is a great regional conference that is local to me. As President of the Rochester chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, I have some official responsibilities for this event as well as some pet projects I have maintained since being co-chair myself (2015 and 2016).

One of my favorite parts of the event is recognizing my energetic and selfless volunteers with chapter and Society-level awards during the Speaker Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Sunday night. There is a short slideshow of me awarding them below.

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During the conference, I presented a Spotlight Talk on Using Checklists to Increase Consistency and Productivity in Communications Tasks. Due to time constraints, I rushed through it a bit but I got some good feedback. My slides are on SlideShare and my other resources include an infographic on How to Create an Editing Checklist and signing up for my May webinar on the same topic from STC.

Next on the agenda is Conduit next week, where Todd DeLuca and I will present a session called Ready to Pivot, Advance, or Change? Use Side Gigs to Move Your Career Forward. And then on May 9, I will present Using Checklists to Increase Consistency and Productivity in Communications Tasks as a webinar for STC.



Associate Fellow

What an honor to be named an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC)!

After filling out an application that documented what I have done for the Society and the profession, my application was reviewed by a committee of my peers, who evaluated my career and accomplishments against established criteria.

More info here:

I’ll receive recognition at the annual conference Summit in May.

Preliminary citation:

Kelly Schrank
For diverse and sustained contributions to the profession via articles, books, presentations, and blogs. For continuing service to STC at the both the Society and Chapter levels, as well as service to other related professional associations.


Interchange 2017

October 20 and October 21, I attended the New England chapter of the Society for Technical Communication’s conference Interchange. On Saturday, I gave a session on building side gigs at your day job, which started with my story of how I’ve done that at my current job, then progressed to a discussion of what the attendees wanted to do and how they might build side gigs at their day jobs. Facilitating the discussion is always the fun part for me; I just gave the presentation to give them some ideas and context.

Though you won’t get the full effect by just looking through the slides, they are here:

Ideas and Advice for Building Side Gigs at Your Day Job


When the conference was all over, a bunch of us went to dinner before going our separate ways the next morning.

The Gang at NinetyNine Resaturant



Fall is Here and Busy!

Where did the summer go? Here we are midway through September and there is so much going on!


Coming into September, I knew I had some deadlines and activities for the fall:

  • Planning Administrative Council meetings for the STC Rochester chapter as the new President and training my replacements for programs and PR
  • Putting together my application for STC Associate Fellow
  • Writing a couple of blog posts for the AMWA Annual Conference
  • Taking on a new freelance gig
  • Attending the AMWA Annual Conference, where I will attend Board and Executive Committee meetings as the Annual Conference Administrator

But as September progressed, my deadlines and activities doubled or tripled!

One freelance gig turned into two, though the second is small. This is the type of challenging work I enjoy, though, and it will be one and off until December, which allows me to fit it in without killing myself with everything else going on.

One conference turned into three, and I am really looking forward to those! The first is the Presentation Summit, where I will brush up on my PowerPoint and presenting skills and see what I can bring back to my day job. And the second is Interchange, a regional STC conference, where I will be presenting a new session that I am putting together as we speak!

For someone who said she was going to scale back her volunteer activities (and did turn down some requests for volunteer projects from STC and AMWA to clear my schedule a bit), I still ended up busy!

Summit 2017

I had a great conference. It was great to see everyone I know from previous conferences and to meet new people. Everyone comes from such diverse job roles…it’s really amazing to hear about the many different things people write about in technical writing. Of course, we are supposed to call it “technical communication” these days because there are so many ways to communicate technical information: graphics, videos, social media, audio. And there are people in training, who help people learn in classrooms or virtually through learning management systems. Just a lot of variety in the positions, people, and work.

I am realizing now that I did not take many pictures! But here’s a very quick recap with what pictures I could scrounge up from others…

Leadership Day

Great keynote, good information on the Community Handbook, and an attempt to connect me with a mentor. Looking forward to going through my notes and the Community Handbook, and sitting in a quiet place to think over what I want to accomplish as President of my local STC chapter this year.

This is lunch after Leadership Day; I’m way in the back.

Lunch after Leadership Day

Welcome Reception

I worked at the Technical Editing Special Interest Group’s table, helping people play Hangman. Obviously, I was having WAY too much fun.


Honors Banquet

Our chapter is a Platinum Community for 2017, which is a reflection of the hard work of everyone on the chapter Council.

Rochester - Platinum Community

We were recognized at the Honors Reception along with many other award winners.

I was also pleased to see my name on the back of the Honors Reception booklet, as a member of the Intercom Awards Committee (otherwise known as the Intercom Editorial Advisory Committee the rest of the year).


I still need to go through my notes from the sessions I attended, so that I can start to act on what I learned. But I did come back to work with renewed vigor for some of the projects I had on my plate. For instance, I have been wanting to create videos on how to use Word for the writers where I work, but in order to do that, I needed to learn Camtasia. Generally, I like learning new software, but it often takes more time than you expect, and my fear of getting sucked into learning mode when I have so many other responsibilities at work was a deterrent. While at the conference, I went to the TechSmith booth and had someone walk me through Camtasia. She made it seem so easy, I pretty quickly started learning it when I got back. And while it is not as easy as she made it sound, and it is taking some time to get into the groove of making the videos, I am making much more progress than I was when I was just telling myself I should learn it and make the videos. I have a draft of one already, and I am going to work on more in the coming week.

Overall, I really enjoyed my 10th Summit, and I am looking forward to the next one!


I’ve been playing around with these as I get time or a communication task that seems suited to an infographic.

I created this infographic for the STC’s Technical Communication Summit, Leadership Day (June 21, 2015, in Columbus, OH), when I co-presented progression on Regional Conferences.

The Path to a Successful Regional Conference

I created this infographic for STC’s Technical Communication Summit (May 15-18, 2016, in Anaheim, CA), when I presented a progression using Checklists for More Efficient Editing.

Editing Checklist Infographic _FINAL_Page_1Editing Checklist Infographic _FINAL_Page_2

I created this one for fun, just to visualize a new way to show my skills from both paid and volunteer work: Infographic Resume