Friday, January 10, 2014

The Year in Review - 2013

By Karen M. Tkaczyk and Alicja Yarborough

So how is the Science and Technology Division doing at the end of another year? Can we meet like-minded ATA members in the division’s varying networking venues? Do we share useful resources and provide insightful education on relevant topics? Do we keep members informed about useful news and events?

At the end of 2013 our division had 2188 members. As is the case with most ATA divisions, only a small percentage of members take advantage of the benefits we offer in terms of year-round networking or conference activity. Perhaps this summary will encourage a few more to take up some of them in 2014.

This hub for all of the division’s activity, all year round, is the website. We post a news update every month, thanks to Lebzy Gonzalez, and obvious links to find all our activity are there. For instance, this year our activity included 35 posts to the blog. We owe a big thanks to Editor Amy Lesiewicz, who came on board at the end of 2012. We have always had two Editors so that the workload is split: thank you also to outgoing editor Tess Whitty for all help over recent years and to the new incoming editor Sarah Koby for joining the team. One strong set of posts this year was a series of interviews profiling members that showed different paths taken to thrive as technical translator.

At the beginning of every year we have a flurry of activity to find a potential Distinguished Speaker and encourage members to present for the S&TD track at the Annual Conference. This year’s distinguished speaker, John Moffat, who came to us because he was known to member Steven Marzuola, did not disappoint. John had quite a character so he entertained as well as educating us during his two sessions, and socialized with us too throughout the week. In San Antonio there were eleven S&TD sessions. If you missed a session, or even managed to attend it but want a reminder, reviews are being posted on the blog. As we write four reviews are already there, as are the minutes of the division’s annual meeting, which is always held during the conference.

Later in the year we began preparations for social events in San Antonio in addition to the Division Open House put on by ATA to follow the Welcome Reception. One was an outing to a small brewery for the Wednesday afternoon prior to the conference, involving a “site tour”: we laughed at the scale as it ended up being smaller than we expected, but the 25 or so of us who attended had fun tasting and plied the owner with many technical questions all the same. The other social was a casual group lunch in the mall adjacent to the conference hotel. Thanks to Stephanie Strobel for finding and arranging the brewery tour for us.

During 2013 the Nominating Committee handled the election of Administrator and Assistant Administrator. Thanks go to Abigail Dahlberg and Salvador Virgen. The current Administrator Karen Tkaczyk ran for a second term and Alicja Yarborough, who has helped with many S&TD matters in recent years, ran for Assistant Administrator. We received no other nominations. They were elected by acclamation to serve two-year terms 2013-2015.

To achieve all this, we need volunteers. The Leadership Council handles many administrative matters for the division. Members can see quarterly reports to the board and an agenda and minutes for the annual meeting at the website.

The Council’s members for 2014 are:
  • Iryna Ashby
  • Lebzy González
  • Sarah Koby
  • Amy Lesiewicz
  • Matthew Schlecht
  • Petra Schweitzer
  • Stephanie Strobel
  • Karen Tkaczyk
  • Alicja Yarborough

Feel free to contact us if you wish to become more involved. Any interested members are welcome to join us!

Thinking ahead, one area we could do more with during 2014 is webinars: suggestions and recommendations for speakers of interest to S&TD members are welcome. We continue to add to the resources section on the website, and welcome suggestions there too. We share news on Twitter: follow @ATASciTech. Networking is available in the Yahoo!, Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Links to all those are at the website’s home page.

In conclusion, we can say that the division is active and serving its purpose. We would like to note special thanks to Matthew Schlecht, outgoing Assistant Administrator, for his efforts throughout 2013 and particularly at the Annual Conference, and his willingness to stay on the Council and moderate the division’s Yahoo! group.

Karen Tkaczyk, Administrator
Alicja Yarborough, Assistant Administrator                              January 2, 2014