The “Meet the Officers” series lets you get to know more about our elected and volunteer members. Learn more about each member and their job with STC-PMC. If you are interested in volunteering with STC-PMC or if you are thinking about running for an office, please feel free to contact that member.
Name: Karen Levine
Awards: 2012/2013 STC competition Award of Excellence
Position: Secretary and Membership Chair
When and how did you get involved in STC?
I joined STC in 2002 just before I finished graduate school at Drexel. I heard about it from someone at school and thought it would be a good idea.
What are the duties of your current position with STC-PMC?
As Secretary, I maintain meeting minutes from the Admin Council meetings and handle other correspondence as needed. I also review brochures and other community documents as needed. As Membership Chair, I run monthly reports to check for new members and send welcome emails to them, I run the annual membership drive and raffle, send surveys as needed, and analyze nonrenewal reports. I also maintain the chapter’s MailChimp announcements list.
What advice would you offer to someone looking to get more involved in STC-PMC?
We are always looking for volunteers. If you don’t see an opening that appeals to you, offer whatever services do interest you. We’ll find a way to make it work. Also, participate in meetings whenever you can. In addition to learning about a new topic, you’ll also meet colleagues from other companies and other areas of TechComm. Write an article for one of the professional journals sponsored by STC or for the PMC chapter newsletter or blog. And don’t forget our mentoring program. Be a mentor or a mentee. Be creative. If you have an idea that you think can help the chapter or another TechComm professional or student, speak up! We are open to new ideas.
Are you involved in any other groups or communities within STC?
I was a member of the NY Metro chapter, but have been less active in that chapter since I became more active at PMC. I was involved in the annual competitions for several years acting as the Entries Manager from 2011 through 2015.
How has your STC membership benefited you?
I’ve been a member since 2002. I was not active during my first few years; I only attended the national summit. Those summits were wonderful opportunities for learning and meeting other TechComm professionals. I met Malu Schloss from the NY Metro chapter there and she got me involved in the competitions. Working on the joint competition (STC-PMC and STC-NYM) got me to become more active in the PMC chapter and now I am the Secretary.
What is your educational background?
MS, Technical Communication from Drexel University and BA, Organizational Management from Cabrini College
How did you get started in TechComm?
I got my technical background from working on ships and completing a 4-year electronics apprenticeship while working at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. I worked on many types of shipboard electronic systems and then moved to support naval mission planning for naval aviation at Space and Naval Warfare Systems. Part of my job was writing reports and other documents. After many years, I realized that this was the part of my job I liked the most. So I shifted gears, went back to college, and changed the direction of my career.
What does your current professional position entail?
Currently I manage a small group of technical writers, write documents, and manage localization efforts for my group. We write user manuals for medical devices and medical IT products. I also work globally with colleagues to develop and improve processes.
What advice would you give to a college student interested in a career in TechComm?
Study as many different aspects of TechComm as possible to find the areas that suit you best. If you can find a way to also get a technical background, by taking classes or working in a technical field, do it! Join STC and participate. You can learn so much about the various areas of TechComm from your fellow members. You can find a mentor and get real experience by volunteering.
And finally, what do you enjoy for fun?
I have eclectic tastes in all things. I enjoy reading, theater, movies, traveling, interior design, art, music and gardening. My husband and I also enjoy spending time together with our retired racing greyhound, Monkey.