This is the academic portion of my portfolio with projects from graduate school listed by project/assignment name.
Pre-1900's Book Redesign
This assignment was a 3-part assignment with the final part being the taking of a public domain book from the second assignment and producing a new edition in Adobe FrameMaker 6.0. A biography was the first section of a three part project. The second part of the assignment consisted of taking a pre-1900 public domain work of the selected technical communicator and analyzing the book's contributions to the field. Ultimately, these became the Preface in my edition of Knots, Splices, and Rope-Work. Even though this book was originally printed in 1905, I was allowed to use it since no digitized copies of pre-1900 books written by Verrill could be found from our source, Project Gutenberg. I actually ended up looking for a physical copy of the book for sale and acquired a 1910 print of the book.
Alpheus Hyatt Verrill wasn't a very public man, so finding any information on him was quite difficult. These assignments afforded me an opportunity to expand my research skills and made me really dig to find any information. The assignments also provided me with interests that I plan to continue to research even after leaving academia. Aside from the research, the assignments also provided an opportunity to become familiar with Adobe FrameMaker, which was widely used in industry.
Turkey Lover's Signs
This project was a class assignment (International Tech Comm course) to create international airport signs for a fictional restaurant, Turkey Lover's, that was created by an American couple to take Thanksgiving to the world...Don't look at me like that - I didn't come up with the assignment.
I created the logo for the restaurant and the signs in Adobe Illustrator.
The following proposal was an assignment to use the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication's (CPTSC) Call for Position Papers and Poster Proposals (CFP) to produce a proposal. The CFP requests proposals for position papers on programmatic issues or poster presentations on programmatic issues. My proposal focuses on the poster side of the CFP. The purpose of my proposal was two-fold:
Generate interest in the new programs at UMR, and
Provide data on the younger generation on design conventions.
The project would accomplish this goal by having posters with postcards attached displayed at universities around the country. The postcards would collect demographic information on the students that were interested in the new programs and what made them read the poster in the first place. This particular proposal wasn't submitted to the CPTSC. I believe this proposal was well-written and followed the guidelines given by the CFP. However, it could be stronger in the Methodology section with more detail.
The following proposal was an assignment to use the Society for Technical Communication's (STC) Call for Proposals (CFP) to produce a proposal. The proposal consisted of research into acquiring a usability lab for the fledgling tech comm programs at UMR.
Patent Profile Sheet
This assignment was a service-learning project for the Office of Technology Commercialization and Economic Development (OTCED). In this project, each student in the course had to choose a UMR-owned patent that was in the process of being finalized or already had been finalized and write a profile of the patented technology for the OTCED to use while marketing the new technology to prospective industry partners. The profile sheets had to adhere to a rigid template and were required to have the following sections:
short overall description of the technology,
options for commercialization,
key words, and
names of the inventors.
The profile also could not exceed one 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper (front and back) in length. I had to read the patent carefully several times in order to glean only the necessary information, and I had to do outside research to be able to understand the technologies enough to write knowledgabley about the subject. I believe the profile reflects the technology well and is strong enough to be used by the OTCED for industry marketing; however, at this time it is unknown whether or not it is in use. My understanding of the technology could have been aided and made stronger by acquiring an interview with one of the technology's developers. Unfortunately, time constraints didn't allow for interviews with the subject matter experts (SMEs).
This assignment provided a writing experience that was useful and practical. It allowed insight into an area of technical communication that, on my own, I would have never investigated. It also provided the experience of dealing with technology areas where interaction with a SME would greatly enhance the document, which is what technical communication is really all about: taking the expert's words and relaying them to the average person in an understandable and concise manner.