In the Spotlight: Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith has been a gold member of STC since 2015. As a gold member, she has a membership to all the STC SIGs. She is currently most active in the Instructional Design & Learning (IDL) SIG and has recently become their newsletter editor, which is how I met her. She is also a member of the Southeast Michigan chapter and will soon be taking on the role of membership coordinator.

When I asked Kelly for her career highlights, she shared “I have worked in IT since the late 1990s and have done technical communication from the start, although my job title was usually something like programmer analyst or quality assurance manager. At my present job, I have the title senior technical writer. In addition, I’ve published two books and worked as senior editor of a national quilting magazine (which was seriously the best job ever even though the pay was much lower than in IT).” I have a hunch that the “best job ever” might be because one of her hobbies is quilting. She is also the chair of the employee art committee at her company which enables her to curate and display the art of her co-workers. I marvel at her ability to find opportunities in which she can mix her work and hobbies.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she shared that she is currently studying at Mercer University to earn a Master’s in Technical Communication Management! Her first degree, a B.A. in English, she pursued because of her plans to be a school teacher. It wasn’t until she was filling out applications for teacher’s college that she came to the realization she couldn’t survive being trapped in a room with 30+ children! Her realization prompted her to earn a Master’s in I.T. a few years later.

Kelly also shares, “In addition to work and school, I travel as often as I can and try to combine work-related conferences or training opportunities with a couple of vacation days so I can see new cities. I also go to quilting retreats at least twice a year to relax and be creative.” Her creative outlets paired with her ability to “leave work at work” allows her to maintain a satisfying work/life balance.

Thank you for sharing Kelly!

By Kelly Smith and Sara Buchanan