Manager’s Column, Q3 2023

By Maralee Sauter, IDL SIG Manager

I like to look out of my computer room window this time of year when the landscape is changing, and there’s a flurry of activity at the feeders, in the birdbath, and on the ground. The most fun to watch are the squirrels darting across the grass, enjoying playful games of tag, and busily “hiding” acorns, nuts, and seeds. Many of these cached seeds and nuts are “lost” and sprout into saplings and flowers the following spring. We owe a lot to our busy environmentalists who are storing food for the winter months and unknowingly planting future crops.

Like the busy, playful squirrels, the IDL SIG volunteers are planning for the fall and winter months. Our team has some great upcoming activities, so please take a quick moment to mark your calendars and plan to reap the most from your IDL benefits.

Mark your calendars

  • Virtual Open House (VOH) at the beginning of November. Watch our comm channels for the date. Learn more about our SIG and the volunteers that make it run. Join a draw to have a chance to win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards. Look for updates on our Eventbrite app.
  • First Fridays @ 5 (October 6, November 3, and December 1). Our award-winning series occurs at 5:00 p.m. ET on the first Friday of the month. Some sessions are lively conversations, some are educational presentations, and some are short presentations that inspire lively exchange. Join the conversation! Free to all STC members. If you would like to present or ask questions, email
  • Student Article Writing Competition deadline, November 14. Our student scholarship program encourages university students to write an article for our IDeaL newsletter. The competition winner is awarded a one-year student membership in STC. Read more.


Are you interested in volunteering for a position on our leadership team, willing to write an article about instructional design, or want to volunteer for something small? If you’re curious, you can attend our VOH or one of our monthly leadership meetings, usually on the fourth Saturday of the month. Contact Maralee Sautter at for details.

Unlike the squirrels, our team won’t forget where we’ve put the important stuff, but we will be happy if you attend any or all of our upcoming events and join us and fellow SIG members in fun, educational, and playful activities.


Manager’s Column, Q2 2023

By Maralee Sauter, IDL SIG Manager

STC’s annual Technical Communication Summit is the premier conference for technical communication education and networking. The Summit brings together like-minded individuals to grow their knowledge of the technical communication field.

Maralee Sautter, the IDL SIG manager, attended this year’s Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, from May 14-17. In the spirit of this year’s Summit theme,Learn Well through Show and Tell,” she shares her experience. 

Continue reading “Manager’s Column, Q2 2023”

Manager’s Report – 4th Quarter 2019

By: Marcia Shannon

By the time you read this edition of the newsletter, 2019 will be days away from closing. I hope you packed this year with adventure and hope, with more good times than hard times. Mine was, thanks to a growing participation in SIGs and Chapters.

At IDL, we started this year with the Student Essay Competition judging. It fascinated me to see fresh perspectives on many technical communication topics from almost-ready-to-launch new professionals. If you are not familiar with the competition, go to the Students tab on the IDL SIG website, where you can find information, including  a webinar and slides. The deadline for entries is February 22, 2020. You can download the entry form and instructions from our site.

If you know students who would benefit from a membership in STC and the IDL SIG, be sure to steer them to the site. If you are an educator in the technical communication field, promote our competition in your classes, whenever you can.

As IDL SIG manager, I learned a lot more about GoToMeeting than I ever expected. Between connectivity issues with my service provider and some hitches and glitches with GoToMeeting, the early meetings this year were difficult to complete. We got those problems resolved and began planning our table at Summit 2019. IDL was well-represented by speakers in several of the Summit tracks. Some Summit presentations will be repeated as IDL programs into next year so watch for announcements. Sign up even if you cannot attend the virtual presentation because you will receive a link to the recorded version after the presentation date Check out the website for information on upcoming presentations. Remember, this continuing education perk is free to SIG members.

Something I learned at Summit is that it takes more than a couple folks to represent the SIG during the Communities Showcase. We need volunteers to spend about 30 minutes at our information table, talking up the benefits of our IDL SIG. We also need volunteers throughout the year to back up our current leaders. As much as we enjoy what we do we want to share the fun with as many of you as possible. If you make New Year’s resolutions, consider volunteering for IDL. We need you.

My most personal benefit of being involved with the knowledgeable, dynamic, supportive SIG leaders is that of being accepted to speak at Summit 2020. I received a lot of encouragement to be brave and submit an entry, so I did. I smiled for a whole day when the acceptance email arrived.

We are preparing our 2020 budget right now. The more members we have, the more funding we receive from dues which means we can spend more on promoting IDL by bringing in speakers and holding competitions and even enticing Summit attendees with a bit of swag. Be sure to include IDL in your 2020 membership and encourage others to choose us as well.

My favorite motto remains “Never party alone.” With more volunteers, we can have a 2020 full of interesting IDL activities. I hope you will be part of the action. Best wishes that your holidays are joyful and your new year sparkles and shines.

Marcia Shannon
Marcia Shannon

Marcia Shannon was secretary from 2016 to 2018, assistant co-manager for the SIG in 2018, and transitioned to co-manager in 2019.