2018 Conference Highlights from CPTSC President

Dear CPTSC colleagues,

Greetings from Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes!  As I gaze out my window on a beautiful June day in Minnesota, I find myself hoping the weather will be just as nice in October when we will welcome you to the 2018 Conference of the Council of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) in Minneapolis, MN. The good news is that October weather in Minnesota is usually wonderful, with changing leaves, a hint of summer, and crisp, blue skies.

This year’s CPTSC conference will be held October 4-6 at The Graduate Hotel in the heart of University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus. Conference sponsors include the University of Minnesota Writing Studies Department, home of one of the oldest technical communication programs in the country, and the UW-Stout English Department, home to very successful undergraduate and graduate technical communication programs in the UW system. We are excited to welcome you to the midwest.

If you are still on the fence about attending, let me try to persuade you that the conference will be well worth your time. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. Join our network. CPTSC is a fantastic support network for program administrators of academic programs in technical and professional communication. CPTSC is proud of its distinction and focus on program administration. If you are involved in directing undergraduate or graduate programs in technical and professional communication, or if you plan to be involved in the future, there is no better support network. Join us!
  2. Learn what’s trending. The theme of the conference, “Trending How?” promises to inspire attendees to consider programmatic innovations such as service learning, advisory boards, gaming, design thinking, community-engaged learning, user experience, online programs, and more. Come learn what’s trending.  
  3. Workshop with other administrators. Pre-conference workshops on Thursday, October 4 will address pertinent topics such as administering the service course, developing and integrating content management into curriculum, and developing academy/industry relationships.
  4. Prepare for a big regional welcome. The local conference committee involves colleagues from all over Minnesota including Minnesota State-Mankato, UMN-Duluth, UMN-Marshall, UMN-Twin Cities, and Metropolitan State University. We also welcome and celebrate Program Chair collaboration with CPTSC members-at-large Teena Carnegie and Denise Tillery AND our UW-Stout colleagues Julie Watts, Greg Schneider-Bateman, Mitch Ogden, and John Spartz.  
  5. Tour a world-class usability lab. Take a tour of the fantastic University of Minnesota Usability Lab on campus, where students and faculty can conduct usability research on desktop and mobile interfaces.
  6. Expect great weather. October in Minnesota is beautiful. Experience the true change in seasons with falling leaves, moderate temperatures, and blue skies. While we can never rule out cooler days in October, we can guarantee that no hurricanes hit here!
  7. Take the CPTSC Saturday Excursion. CPTSC excursions are a great tradition in which you can get to know your national colleagues on an interpersonal level. Our NDSU colleague and veteran CPTSC member Bruce Maylath  has graciously agreed to lead a CPTSC excursion on Saturday, October 6 to explore downtown Minneapolis.  Bruce will lead a group from the conference hotel to downtown MInneapolis, the Stone Arch Bridge, and the flour mills near the Mississippi River. Watch for information about sign ups for this great adventure.
  8. Take the light rail. The conference hotel, The Graduate, is across the street from light rail that connects to our international airport (MSP).  Light rail can also get you downtown St. Paul, downtown Minneapolis, to Fort Snelling and yes, even to the Mall of America!
  9. Learn from other program administrators. Join our annual Administrator’s Roundtable event on Thursday, October 4 for a productive open discussion about issues facing today’s program administrators of TPC programs.
  10. Consider submitting a publication. Attend the Editor’s roundtable to hear first-hand advice from editors about journal submissions to Programmatic Perspectives, Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, Technical Communication, ATTW Series in Technical Communication, and IEEE Professional Communication Series.

We hope you will join us, and we are excited to see you in October!


Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch
Professor and Chair, Department of Writing Studies
University of Minnesota
CPTSC President

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