Manager’s Column Q4 2022

By Maralee Sautter, IDL SIG Manager

Greetings! I hope your year-end celebrations have been meaningful and fun, and the recent wicked weather has been gentle on you. As we look forward to a new year, let’s rewind and look back on the year in retrospect.

Recap of 2022

This has been a truly amazing year with many accomplishments for the IDL SIG. Gratitude is the word that comes to mind when I think about the past year. At the top of the list is gratitude for the many wonderful team members who have made this stellar year possible. Be sure to read the articles about Volunteer Appreciation and the 2022 SIG Award winners.  

If you’d like to join the team, please reach out to Anita Matechuk at or Maralee Sautter at

My Favorite Things

While I like “raindrops on roses,” my favorite SIG moments are far different from the song title. So here are my 3 “favorite things” from 2022. 

  • IDeaL Newsletter
  • Summit 2022
  • Q4 webinars and workshops

IDeaL Newsletter 

Please give our new newsletter managing co-editor, James Martin, a round of applause. He has given our newsletter a sassy new look. James is a master of internal communications at his day job at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Part of his duties includes newsletter distribution to students and faculty.

Please check out the 2022 IDeaL newsletter articles here

While the new layout is great, my “favorite” issue was the special Summit Edition. See for yourself! It was colorful, easy to read, and informative.

Summit 2022

The Summit was particularly amazing this year as we got to meet in person and reconnect in Chicago for the first time since 2019. It was a boutique conference and it was enjoyable to mix with smaller crowds. I’m grateful to Mellissa Ruryk as my Summit Pal for her energetic and joyful contribution as the cheerleader of SIG events, including the SIG Breakfast and Welcome Reception, along with Jamye Sagan. Read my recap of Summit events.

Mellissa provided us with great insights into the Summit with her Summit Notebook

My “favorite” event was the Honors Reception because we received many individual and group awards. The best of all was the Most Improved Award for Community Achievement Award (CAA). The following photo is of the SIG members, along with officials, collecting the Most Improved Community Award:

We received this award for the second year in a row. 

Award List

  • Platinum Community Achievement Award (CAA)
  • Most Improved Community
  • Pacesetter awards

       First Fridays at 5
      Online Summit social event: Scavenger Hunt

  • Distinguished Service Award (DSSA) recipient, Marcia Shannon
  • Distinguished Service Award for Students (DSAS) recipient, Anita Matechuk
  • Alpha Sigma Honor Society inducted member, Anita Matechuk

You can read more about the SIG awards here.

Q4 webinars and workshops

We had a great fall lineup of webinars and workshops, thanks to our superhero, Viqui Dill, who enlisted many engaging speakers. If you are an IDL SIG member, be sure to sign up for our “free” or “greatly discounted” events to get the most out of your membership benefits. Even if you are unable to attend, in most cases, you can have access to the recording. 

This is my “favorite quarter” for webinars and workshops. Here’s a quick overview of most sessions:

October 20, Hey Girl Hey: Inclusive Words Matter with Viqui Dill

In this session, Viqui Dill demonstrated how word choices can make a difference through examples of her own work experience. She gave us lists of problematic words and terms that create bias, and how we can avoid these words to make dialogue more inclusive. 

October 21, Website Makeover Session #1: Introduction with Jannetta Lamourt

This first session was an exploration of what website elements are needed for our successful website update. Read Sara Garland’s article  for more details about this fun activity.

Note: We had to postpone the series, but it will reconvene early in 2023.   

November 7, Expert or Imposter: Do You Have the Symptoms? with Dr. Jackie Damrau

In this session, Jackie Damrau began by defining the difference between expert and imposter syndrome. She gave us reasons why over 80% of people think of themselves as imposters. Then, Dr. Damrau encouraged attendees to share their experiences with actionable steps to recognize and conquer the “imposter within.”

November 12, Workshop Series #1: Intro to ID: Moving from tech writer to ID with Dr. Jennifer Goode

In this session, Jennifer Goode explained what instructional design is, the elements of instructional design, and the tools that a designer uses. She introduced the acronym ADDIE: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate and gave examples of each topic.

Dr. Goode gave pointers on how to launch the instructional designer within, through research and reading, observing, and creating deliverables by applying technical writing skills.  In conclusion, she invited audience members to share their take on the Learning Persona.

Next workshop: January 21, 2023, #2: ADDIE: Who is she, and why should the instructional designer care? with Dr. Jennifer Goode. Register for tickets.

December 14, How to Estimate with John Hedtke

In this session, John Hedtke, author of 24 books, provided insight into the skills of estimating, which every technical communicator needs for setting rates, schedules, or production dates. He provided us with an overview of documentation planning, and how to develop personal metrics by logging daily tasks on a simple two-column sheet of paper. By using these tools consistently over time, we can learn how to estimate our time with greater accuracy. j

Thank you, IDL SIG volunteers and members for making 2022 such a memorable year. Let’s make 2023 equally amazing!