newsletter from the director
fall 2011

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The Professional Writing and Technical Communication Program, in AY 2010-11, again built on past achievements and explored some new territory.

In fall 2010 Janine was named a Lilly Teaching Fellow. The Lilly Fellowships are a competitive award program, established at UMass-Amherst in 1986, that enables junior faculty to cultivate teaching excellence in a year-long collaboration.  During her Lilly fellowship year, she met with other Lilly fellows for a weekly seminar to discuss best teaching practices, and developed new materials and examples for the software documentation courses, particularly ENGL 380.

Also in this year, Christian Pulver continued as the program’s teaching assistant, instructing a section of 379 in fall semester and 391c in spring semester.  His work continues to receive wide acclaim from his students, and we continue to be impressed by his creativity, imagination and dedication.

Some of the best news this year was the renovation and upgrade of the beloved PWTC lab, with state of the art office furnishings including thirteen (13!) ergonomic work stations and an equipment rack, as well as a sofa, a floor lamp and bookcase in what is now our reading corner.  Several returning droogs, upon entering the room, said (and I quote): “Wow.” 

As per tradition, the good Professor Nelson again offered his lovely home to returning program grads for the May reunion.  We had a good turnout, with much good food and drink.  The weather gods were kind, delivering a warm and sunny spring afternoon.  There were stories of work, travel and play, and it was gratifying to see so many of you thriving. 

I am grateful that John continues to take an active part in the program he founded, and to advise me on matters large and small.

At last count the Facebook group had 86 members, and the LinkedIn group had 96.  It is heartening to see the droogosphere thriving.

Again, I saved the best for last.

In another year of grim employment forecasts, as of late September all but a few newly-minted droogs were in very good positions, and we expect that the rest will find safe harbor soon. 

Congratulations to all!

  • Dave


Katherine Barrell
Technical Writer
Oracle Systems Corp
Waltham MA

Steven Coppellotti
Administrative Assistant
MCPHS Online
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Worcester MA

Katherine Dempsey
Research Assistant
Bay State Hospital
Springfield MA

Tess Fetonti
Intern/Production Assistant
New York NY

Chelsea Macary
Editorial Assistant
Dynamed Editorial Team
EBSCO Publishing
Ipswich MA

Mathew Maville
Technical Writer
Acme Packet
Bedford MA

Mikhail Semenov
Associate Business Analyst
Outcome Sciences
Cambridge MA

Anna Vacha
Project Data Analyst
Woburn MA


Erin Pelkey
Digital Lumens
Boston MA

Anna Hatton
Marketing Analytics
UMass Medical School