Meet the Candidates: Li-At Rathbun

This entry is being posted on behalf of Li-At Rathbun, candidate for Nominating Committee in the 2019 STC election. More information about Li-At can be found on her STC election page. You can ask questions of the candidates on the STC Election Forum. The election begins 25 February and runs through 11 March.

STC volunteers are the lifeblood of this Society. That’s what made our first 65 years successful, and that’s how we’ll succeed for the next 65+ years. The specific direction we go depends on decisions made by those who are elected to the Board of Directors.

The Nominating Committee is responsible for finding excellent candidates for the Board. The Committee members rely on their own STC network, their knowledge of STC, and their interpersonal skills to seek and recruit candidates. Although I’ve not recruited people for the Board before, I have done this successfully at the community level:

  • When I became membership manager for the Los Angeles Chapter, I started “pre-meeting coffees.” We’d personally invite to the next LASTC event new members and those considering joining our chapter. And we’d also invite them to come early and meet some of the council members over a coffee—so they could avoid the deer-in-the headlights effect they might otherwise experience when they walked in to the main event. We not only succeeded in making new members feel welcome and in making new members out of those who debated joining our chapter, but we also succeeded in making them engaged members—who rapidly turned into volunteers. Some volunteered for short, event-specific roles and some went on to roles such as membership manager and even president.
  • When I moved to Santa Barbara and became president of the struggling local Chapter, I needed a treasurer I could count on. Because of my good working relationship with a former LASTC treasurer and our personal connection, I was able to fill that important position—even though my treasurer now lived in New York.
  • In the “Technical Editing Foundations” course I teach as part of the STC Online Courses, I encourage students to join STC and the TE SIG. I get to know my students in the six weeks we’re together and, if I see that they’re TE SIG members after the course ends, I sometimes ask them to consider volunteering on the SIG council. Our current TE SIG co-manager and membership manager are both past students.
  • And speaking of the TE SIG, the 2018 secretary was one of those “pre-meeting coffee” members I met years ago in LASTC!

I love to meet people. I love to learn about them and to connect them with other, like-minded people. I also love helping. I hope to combine these two passions, along with my passion for STC, to help shape the Board over the next 2 years.

I thank you for reading this blog post. If you want to learn more about me, you can find information on my STC candidate page and on LinkedIn.

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