Our MSTCM Students
Since our first students completed their degrees in 1997, more than 100 students have earned the MS in Technical Communication Management. In addition, more than 20 master's students in engineering have completed minors in technical communication management.
Here are some of their stories.
Gail Hart (Cocoa, FL, 2014)
I am assistant manager for proposals in a workforce health management company and joined the MSTCM program in January 2012. I had an extensive background in graphic design, marketing and advertising design, and publication design. My experience included writing, editing, designing, and illustrating for technical manuals, proposals, Web sites, marketing collateral, and exhibits and displays. However, to remain marketable in a changing business environment and technological landscape, I needed to redefine my skills. The MSTCM program not only provided me with current and requisite challenges to sharpen my visual and technical communication skills, but it has also brought my career path and scholastic achievements full-circle to complement my AA in communication arts and BS in business management.
Jeffrey Huset (Minneapolis, MN, 2013)
As principal information developer at Symantec Corporation, even after more than 25 years as a manager, writer, trainer, and project leader, I felt that I needed a rigorous program that could test my skills, expand my knowledge of my profession, and challenge my beliefs in the methods and ethics of technical communication. Mercer's MSTCM program did all that and more. Now, as a graduate, I feel confident that I add value to every project I work on and that I am prepared to participate in shaping the future of tech comm. The friendships I made with the talented professors and classmates are priceless.
Doris Pavlichek (Frederick, MD, 2013)
I am a senior technical writer for Riverbed Technology in Maryland. With a background in network engineering and technical writing, I have used the skills I learned in the MSTCM program to plan training videos, estimate projects, and design end-user documentation based on sound technical communication principles and research. After Riverbed Technology purchased the company I was working for, the hot topic became "location-independent computing"—in other words, cloud computing. As part of the capstone course, my classmates and I wrote and presented original research on how cloud computing would affect technical communicators. Guess who was ready for the conversation with Riverbed?
Steve Korinek (Grafton, WI, 2012)
I provide UX/UI design and usability testing for projects at Northwestern Mutual. I began my career as a graphic designer with a degree in visual communication. In 2006, I joined the UX/UI team after working on Web site projects that connected me for the first time to the end-users of my design solutions. I got to see real users struggle with my design decisions. That experience led me to realize that I had knowledge gaps that needed addressing so I could fully contribute. The MSTCM program helped me grow stronger as a UI/UX designer and consultant. I would highly recommend this program to others.
Dan Portwood (Sterling, VA, 2009)
As a technical writer for a university-affiliated research center, I wanted to improve my ability to manage communication projects. In the MSTCM program, the discussion boards, online class meetings, and team projects allowed me to engage in deeper discussions with other professionals than would have been possible in a traditional classroom. Courses that systematically examined technical communication management methods, most of which meshed with work assignments, helped me improve the practices I had intuitively developed (improvised) during my career. The MSTCM program opened new paths for me, including project planning; usability testing; proposal writing; and instructional design for Web-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching projects.
Debbie Davy (Brampton, ON, Canada, 2008)
I run my own business management consulting practice in Toronto, Canada. I began the MSTCM program in 2005, and since graduation have been able to significantly advance my early career as a technical communicator into the broader field of business management. I used the knowledge gained from the program, as well as the MS degree credential, to expand my practice. Today, I serve clients in private and public sector industries as a subject matter expert. Further, thanks to the caliber of the Mercer degree and its role within the School of Engineering, I am pursuing a PhD program in technical communication and rhetoric. I could not have made it without the support of the world-renowned Mercer faculty.
Gloria Gill (Evans, GA, 2006)
When I started the MSTCM program, I had five years of experience as a technical writer, editor, and researcher for a major manufacturing company. I wanted a master's degree because both of my parents and my husband were blocked from continuing in their chosen careers when graduate degrees became a requirement. I chose the MSTCM program because of Dr. Hayhoe's high standards in the field.My degree has given me a heightened sense of confidence in myself and in my ability to continue my career in technical communication. I am gratified knowing my resume boasts a high-quality master's degree that will be useful in consulting contracts.
Felicia Rubright (Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2004)
I started the MSTCM program as a professional technical writer/editor, but my bachelor's degree was unrelated to my career. Knowing I would soon compete to be my engineering firm's next technical publications manager, I came to Mercer for the foundation needed to lead other communications professionals. In addition to the convenience, Mercer's online learning environment perfectly mirrors the cyber-based environment I've now been working in for more than a decade. After graduating, I landed that manager position and was eventually chosen as the best candidate for a similar position in a Canadian office of CH2MHILL, a multinational environmental engineering firm. This amazing opportunity to live and work in another country is a direct result of my degree from Mercer.