Kelly Carter, MSTCO Alum

Kelly Carter, class of 2001, received a minor from the MSTCO program. Please read his testimonial available on the right, along with those of his fellow graduates, to learn what MSTCO alumni are saying about our program.


Alumni Testimonials

MSTCO alumni excel in working environments after graduation. The managerial knowledge and project experience they gain while in the program increase their career options, allowing them to thrive in a broad field of technical areas. The short testimonials below will not only give you a glimpse into how alumni are using their degrees today, but they will also highlight the aspects of the program that alumni feel distinguish our program from those at other graduate institutions.



Kelly Carter—Macon, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 2001 (Minor)
"While working on a Masters degree in Software Engineering, I obtained a minor in TCO. At the time, I had a full-time job, wife and kids, and a long commute. So, being able to take my MSTCO classes fully online was a life-saver. I especially enjoyed working on the many class projects, both alone and as part of a team. I met many interesting classmates in "cyberspace" and later met a few of them in "real life." Many of them were professionals who brought significant knowledge from their own work experiences into our classes, making it a uniquely rich learning environment. The MSTCO faculty were (are) top-notch in the field and very adept at teaching online. I have found that communication skills are invaluable in the workplace, and would highly recommend a TCO program (bachelors, masters, major, minor, dual major) to any student."

Brian Patterson—Indiana—MSTCO Graduate, 2001
“The multi-disciplinary, project-based design of the program gave me the confidence to work with other professionals in the fields of communications, information technology, training, and knowledge management. The level of experience that the MSTCO instructors brought to the program, as well as the best-practice sharing among my world-wide classmates, was immediately transferable to my job with a global company.”

Christian Walters—Atlanta, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 2004
"The MSTCO program provided me with practical approaches to the more abstract elements of modern technical communication. Reading books and taking notes on, say, usability testing is one thing, but coordinating one with a client is much different. And the program does it without focusing on how to use popular technical communication tools (which anyone can learn when needed, and which quickly grow out of date). By putting an emphasis on analyzing tech comm projects and methods, MSTCO graduates are in a better position to remain on top of changing industry trends and techniques."

Felicia Rubright—Sarasota, FL—MSTCO Graduate, 2004
"Mercer’s MSTCO distance learning program provided the best of both worlds: I was able to work at my own pace, plus I enjoyed invaluable group learning experiences with students from all around the country. I was promoted to Technical Publications Manager shortly before I graduated from MSTCO, and my supervisor told me he felt I had already demonstrated that what I learned at Mercer could be directly applied to the specific technical work we do."

Becky Roberts—Walnut Creek, CA—MSTCO Graduate, 2000
"The structure of the MSTCO program allowed interaction with classmates around the globe. By using advanced communication technology to bridge time zones and cultures to get my school work done, I had an excellent foundation to be productive in a global company where I literally have to interact with colleagues on several different continents on a daily basis. In addition, the Master's degree from and engineering school is an asset when working with engineers. I have found that in many situations the MSTCO degree has opened doors and has been the credentials I need to operate effectively in an engineering driven company."

Sharon Trepiccione—Bradenton, FL—MSE Graduate, 2003
" Studying and working with professionals outside of my career field was extremely rewarding. I got the opportunity to work on communication skills that have enhanced my engineering skills. The MSTCO minor program allowed me to finish my degree program while working full time. The distance learning option is a very valuable experience. particularly in today's working environment where so much emphasis is placed on non face-to-face communication. I strongly encourage all engineering graduate students to take at least one MSTCO course to 'round out' their program of study."

Sharon received her MS in Mechanical Engineering from Mercer. She received her BS in Chemical Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology in 1985. Sharon has over 15 years of manufacturing experience including maintenance management, reliability engineering and production management. She is also a member of the United States Armed Forces serving both active and reserve duty. Currently, she is working as a senior project manager, packaging and logistics, for a major food and beverage company.

Connie Braun—Macon, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 2000
" Communication with professionals who work outside my field of expertise allows me to learn about what they do. There are frustrations [with Distance Learning], of course, but I would say that for the most part, learning at a distance works well as I find this style of learning most effective for me."

Connie has a Bachelor of Music degree from Brandon University in Canada and a Master of Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University in Canada. In addition to her work in the Mercer MSTCO program, she is also working at a distance on a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Athabasca University in Canada. She is currently a Web Architect consultant as well as the library building consultant for Winona State University in Minnesota.

Jeanette Evans—Cleveland, OH—MSTCO Graduate, 2000
" One of my goals was to stay working while I go to school. Since I work in an area where there is no Master's program that fits my interests as closely as the Mercer MSTCO program, I found that the Distance Learning option is a good fit for my goals and interests."

Jeanette attended the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has taken graduate courses in the English department at Case Western Reserve University. She found out about the MSTCO program through an article in the STC Technical Communication journal. She is currently working as a senior technical writer in the Magnetic Resonance division of Picker International where she works on user documentation for a variety of medical imaging equipment such as MRI scanners and imaging workstations.

Susan Griffiths—Jacksonville, FL—MSTCO Graduate, 2000
" I enjoy the Distance Learning when it allows me the flexibility to schedule school work around my work."

Susan has a BS in Business Administration with a specialization in Management Information Systems and a minor in German. She was led to the Mercer MSTCO by the rave reviews of another student. Susan provides technical communication consulting services through her company, Max Technical Communications, Inc.

Rick Mullen—Knoxville, TN—MSTCO Graduate, 2000

" The distance learning program has allowed me to explore new areas of interest while developing skills that will improve career opportunities. Earning a MS degree while working as I am now would have otherwise been impossible, and without which advancement in the industry would be unlikely."

Rick has a BS in Secondary Education from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and taught math, science and English in the Alabama public schools before accepting a position with ABB Environmental Systems in 1994. Past experiences in fabrication, construction, and engineering prepared him to better understand and relate specifications, policies, procedures and processes involved in an engineering project. Rick has held the position of Technical Specialist in the Information Systems/Documentation Control department since the consolidation of the Birmingham and Knoxville offices of ABB-ES in 1996. The distance learning program was his initial experience with the Internet and world wide web.

Ruth Albert—Sarasota, FL—MSTCO Graduate, 1999
" I enjoy being on the cutting edge of technology and learning by doing. By our virtual existence, we have broadened and enriched the knowledge base Mercer offers."

Ruth received her BS in Education from Concordia Lutheran Teachers College and since then has done post graduate work in Communication and Education at various universities. After working as a teacher for 15 years she made a career shift and for the past 20 years has been working in computer-related positions. She became aware of the Mercer MSTCO program when her employer, Arthur Andersen, gave several employees the opportunity to participate as Distance Learners.

Abigail J. Arthur-Chillman—Peachtree Corners, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 1999
" Without the technology driver foundation, of this program, I wouldn't be where I am today. This program was an asset to my career. By expanding my knowledge of usability testing, instructional design, and user and task analysis, I was able to land a great career as a consultant."

Abigail received her MS in Technical Communication Management from Mercer University, School of Engineering in 1999. She completed her BA in English, with an emphasis in Professional and Technical Writing at the University of South Florida in 1993. Abigail currently works at iXL, Inc. as a Usability Specialist, User Interface Designer, and Information Architect. She primarily consults Fortune 500 companies on the usability and ease-of-use of their Web sites, client-server, and web-based applications. Previously, Abigail worked at Arthur Andersen as a technical communicator, where she served as Help author, editor, human factors advocate for software usability, testing, and user interface designer. After leaving the Mercer MSTCO program, she continues to take advantage of the "cutting edge" technology of the Internet and keeps in touch with her fellow MSTCO graduates and colleagues.

Brad Field—Atlanta, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 1999

" My interest in this program is to develop my skills in my profession. I believe that the best way to learn is by doing. This program's philosophy is rooted in that belief. Not only have I gotten hands-on experience, but I have also been able to learn about the emerging technologies that I must know in order to succeed in my career."

Brad has over sixteen years of experience in technical writing, editing, teaching and training. He earned a Master's of Arts degree in English, taught college English courses, developed and conducted writing seminars, and designed and presented training materials. He is currently a technical communications consultant who has worked with major corporations in the Atlanta area.

Dawn Imbruno—Sarasota, FL—MSTCO Graduate, 1999
" I have been impressed with the consideration given to distanced learners. The instructor's make a concerted effort to include the Distanced Learners, via conference calls, e-mail messages, and video tapes. I really feel like I am a vital part of the class. The personal attention students receive, especially when we are 800 miles away is incredible. I would recommend this program to anyone wishing to pursue their education while working."

Dawn has over eight years of experience in the technology business. She has been with Arthur Andersen Technology Solutions for more then six years. Dawn holds a degree in marketing. The latter part of her career has encompassed working with online documentation. Dawn has won the Managing Directors' award from her current firm for her innovative accomplishments during a recent re-engineering process. At her Senior level position, she is responsible for personnel, and technical management of technology solutions products; both in new development and update.

Alesandro Ruriani—Sarasota, FL—MSTCO Graduate, 1999
" Mercer University's MSTCO program, with its distance learning option, enabled me to continue my educational endeavors in the field of Technical Communications in a way that no traditional classroom could offer. The program's focus on practical application in the business arena made the degree more relevant to my career goals. Obtaining my Masters in Technical Communication Management has helped me establish my credibility in the field."

Alesandro received his MS in Technical Communication Management from Mercer University, School of Engineering in 1999. He received his BA from the University of South Florida in English with an emphasis in Professional and Technical Writing in 1993. Alesandro currently works for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP, where he is an Instructional Designer developing and delivering training programs for the Firm's Finance organization. Previously, he worked for Arthur Andersen, LLP where he developed multimedia training and online help systems.

Martha Fox Baytos—Atlanta, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 1998
"Mercer's Technical Communication graduate program has enabled me to hone skills that are directly applicable to my work. Through the program, I have been able to stay current with where the field of Technical Communication is going. I have also acquired quite a bit of creative inspiration not only through independent research, but also by interacting with my fellow students via face-to-face meetings and electronic communication."

For nearly ten years, Martha has managed a technical communication department for a large high tech company in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a BA from Youngstown State University where her curriculum included a heavy concentration in Technical Writing and Business. She also has an AS from one of Ohio State University's Technical colleges. She enrolled in the program to gain a greater understanding of technical communication.

Michael Birnbaum—Atlanta, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 1998
" I have become knowledgeable in multimedia programming, web site creation, and have a better understanding of those elements important for effective technical communication."

Polytechnic Institute in New York awarded Michael both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Electrical Engineering. Michael is presently employed by Medtronic, Inc. as the Education Manager of the Bakken Education Center in Atlanta. Michael's accomplishments include two patents in blood pressure monitoring; and a Seven Wonders of Engineering award for his design of an infant monitor. He is also the author of several books.

Terry Cloud—Atlanta, GA—SSE Graduate, 1998
" Sometimes I feel a little guilty for getting graduate credit for something that is so much fun . . .I find myself putting in much more time than is required because I enjoy it so much."

Terry holds BA degrees in Physics and Mathematics and has completed the course work for a MA in Mathematics/Physics from East Tennessee State University. He also has a MEd in Technical Training from Vanderbilt University. In addition to pursuing the MSTCO degree he is also working on an MS in Computer Information Systems at Mercer. He is now a Senior CIS professor at DeVry Institute of Technology after having worked as CIO, Senior Systems Analyst, Programmer, and IS Consultant.

Renee Daise—Decatur, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 1998
" I enjoy the concept of Distance Learning the most. Students are given the freedom to explore topics of the quarter in a manner that is tailored to their own areas of interest. Having Distance Learners in the class is an opportunity to open the classroom to various types of student backgrounds."

Renee received a BS in Natural Science from Spellman College and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. She enrolled in the MSTCO program to help facilitate a career change; to move from working on hands on engineering applications to documenting the ideas and experiences of the engineers. She previously worked as a Technical Support Engineer at Bonnier Technology Group and became a Technical Writer for Scientific-Atlanta. She is now founder of her own Internet business solutions firm.

Sherry Davenport—Eastern Florida—MSTCO Graduate, 1998

" Aspects of the program I enjoy the most - Getting lost in the Internet when I'm researching a topic. I always find interesting items that I would not think to look for. About Distance Learning - I feel the advantage of being there in person is minimal compared to the freedom I gained be researching/studying on my own hours."

Sherry started out in the military proofreading, editing, writing, and doing some layout and design work. She stumbled into software documentation and loved it. She found out about the Mercer MSTCO program on the WinHELP listserve.

Ann Dillon—Atlanta, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 1998

" I like the balance of theory and application. Projects are typical of what one might have to do in a real work setting. Courses allow for individual creativity as well as teamwork. I especially enjoyed learning how to prepare documents for uploading to the World Wide Web. In regard to working with Distance Learners - [it is] a very good experience. It expands the knowledge and skill base on which we draw."

Ann has worked in various parts of the former Bell System for more than 20 years. Her responsibilities included marketing, issues analysis, training development, consumer affairs, and executive support. She came to the Mercer MSTCO program because she wanted to expand her career options and learn more about emerging technologies.

Allison Beaumont Johnson—St. Augustine, FL—MSTCO Graduate, 1998

" Mercer's Technical Communication Management curriculum became an extension of my career. I incorporated each program deliverable into my portfolio. The program provided a practical balance between technology, methodology, and theory. The program truly inspired me to seek new challenges, and having my Masters degree sets me apart from others when I'm pursing new consulting opportunities."Allison received her MS in Technical Communication Management from Mercer University, School of Engineering in 1998. She received her BA in Communications from the University of North Florida in 1989. Allison has 10 years of experience in the field and is currently working as a freelance consultant providing technical communication, instructional design, and editing services and training to various clients. She is also an adjunct instructor. Previously, Allison worked as a Publications Team Manager for a major financial services software company.

Catherine Nance—Nashville, TN—MSTCO Graduate, 1997

" Being able to participate in the Mercer MSTCO program as a Distance Learner has given me an opportunity to work on a Master's degree in Technical Communication; something I didn't think I'd be able to do because NONE of the universities in this area offer a similar program. I especially enjoy being able to go to class at 2 a.m. or 2 p.m., whichever is more convenient for me."

Catherine has a BS in English with a minor in General Business. She found out about the Mercer program at an STC conference after talking with one of the professors. She worked as a Technical Writer/ISO Coordinator for Square D Power Monitoring Operation where she developed internal operating procedures and maintained their company intranet.

Marvin Pickett—Atlanta, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 1997
" When I first heard about the MSTCO program at Mercer University, I was immediately drawn to the opportunity to participate in a program that used an emerging approach towards learning. Mercer was one of the forerunners in offering an advanced technical communication management program. I thoroughly enjoyed the program, miss the interaction with fellow students, but feel better prepared to meet the challenges that lie ahead."

Marvin was a member of the first Technical Communication Management class to graduate from Mercer University, School of Engineering in 1997. He holds a BA in Business Management from Howard University. Marvin works as a Senior Technical Writer in the Information Development Group at a high tech firm in Atlanta, focusing on electronic documentation design and development.

Tracy Rud—Acworth, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 1997

"This program has been a great way to keep current with technological trends, which is a must for technical communicators. The courses focus on practical application, and much of what I learned I can apply in my work. I will truly miss the program and the people."

Tracy is among the first graduates (June 1997) of Mercer University's MSTCO program. She received her BA in English from Kennesaw State University, and has been a technical communication consultant/contractor for six years. She considers Mercer's MSTCO program to be the most progressive and advanced program, compared with similar programs in the Atlanta region.

Janelle Clark-Bishop—Jacksonville, FL
" [The Distance Learning program] accommodated my busy work schedule and family commitments. I can now pursue an advanced degree and still tuck my four-year-old in bed at night."

Janelle has a BA in English Literature with a minor in Art History. She has worked as a computer software and adult education trainer/instructor. Her desire to help communicate technical information led to her pursuit of a career in technical communication and she now works as a Senior Editor in the Quality Assurance team at ALLTEL. There she performs technical reviews of on-line documents and maintains the style and quality standards for the Publications department.

Jennifer Goforth—Sarasota, FL
" Because no universities within commuting distance offer a Masters in Technical Communication, I would be unable to continue my education if it was not for the Mercer distance learning program."

Jennifer Goforth has been working at Arthur Andersen Technology Solutions for 3 years. As a team leader, she is responsible for developing online help and assisting team members. She enjoys the technical aspects of online help and has had a lot of fun learning to code HTML. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Technical Writing. In her spare time she enjoys pottery and hopes someday to be a famous author.

Lori Brown—Atlanta, GA—MSTCO Graduate, 1997

"I was really drawn to the innovative, modular approach used in the MSTCO program. Additionally, the Mercer University School of Engineering offers the technical communicator an exciting and innovative way to become thoroughly grounded in the principles and discipline of technical communication. The Technical Communication Management program includes classes based on interdisciplinary topics relevant to today's communicators. Because the
program is housed in the engineering department, there is a strong focus
on applying engineering principles to the practice of technical communication. To truly work in highly-technical environments, a technical communicator must understand these principles. The MSTCO program fully prepares the student to take on the challenge of working in these environments. The program has added value to my work as a technical communicator, has better prepared me to face advancing technologies and changing business structures, and has provided excellent instruction in the discipline."

Lori received a BA from Lamar University and an MA from the University of Texas-Tyler. Because she holds two liberal arts degrees she felt it was necessary to obtain credentials from a technical program. Lori has developed documentation in both corporate and consulting environments for client-server, mid-range, mainframe, and PC platforms.


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