St.Amant unanimous selection for Distinguished Service Award
Louisiana Tech Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair of Technical Communication Dr. Kirk St.Amant has been selected to receive the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), the leading professional organization dedicated to the development of academic programs in technical communication at all higher education levels.
St.Amant was “unanimously nominated” for the award, the selection committee noted, because the group “especially” wanted to recognize “his active work, presence, and support of scientific and technical communication programs at national and international conferences.”
The committee also noted his national and international leadership roles at both Tech and the University of Limerick and his past leadership roles in CPTSC, including his service both as President of the organization (2012-14) and as former co-editor of the organization’s journal, Programmatic Perspectives.
“I’m surprised, humbled, and honored to be selected for this distinction,” St.Amant said. “The CPTSC Distinguished Service Award is a major indicator of the effects one’s work has had on education and program development in the overall field of technical communication. This honor shows that the work we are doing in technical communication/technical writing at Louisiana Tech—our focus on connecting to local communities while also preparing students to succeed in the global workplace of today and the future—is making an important mark on the field.”
The CPTSC plays a central role in helping programs—curriculum, classes, and certificate or degree programs—meet the challenges and needs of the current context, which includes preparing students for the job market.
“It also plays a central role in helping educational programs in technical communication develop strategies for meeting the changing needs of society over time and adapt to shifts in the national economy and the local communities where colleges and universities are located,” St.Amant said. “CPTSC has also played an integral role in helping colleges and universities outside of the US—including Canada, nations in Central America and in Europe, and China—create classes and programs in technical communication.”
For the past five years, St.Amant has held the position of Adjunct Professor of International Health and Medical Communication with the University of Limerick (UL) in Ireland. Although it’s an unpaid position, it allows him to have faculty status with UL so he can more easily collaborate with colleagues teaching there—through guest lecturing, working together in class projects, or being more efficiently and directly involved with Irish organizations on service learning and internship projects involving by LA Tech students.
This status also allows St.Amant to organize events on the UL campus, like the first LA Tech-University of Limerick Technical Communication Student Research Symposium. Four students from Tech traveled to Limerick to meet with and share their work, not only with students and faculty at UL, but also with representatives of international companies with offices in Ireland, including the global software company SAP.
The goal was to make this event a regular one to take place every two years. The second group of LA Tech students was to visit UL in March of 2021, but due to current international travel concerns and restrictions, the event will take place in the spring of 2022.
The objective of this collaboration between CPTSC, UL, and Tech is to better prepare Tech students for the increasingly global work environment of today.
“As online communication technologies continue to evolve, the ability to work for companies or co-workers located in other nations while remaining in our local communities only increases,” St.Amant said. “The better we can enhance our programs—like the one in technical communication/technical writing—to prepare Tech students for this workplace, the more effectively we can help them succeed in the global economy while remaining in and contributing to their local communities. It’s an approach of ‘work globally but contribute locally’ that we’ve made central to the technical communication/technical writing program at Tech, an approach that supports the University’s mission in new and innovative ways to create an unparalleled learning experience for students.”
The official announcement of St.Amant’s recognition was made in October during a CPTSC virtual event he was unable to attend, so a formal presentation is planned in person at the organization’s annual conference October 2021 in Denton, Texas.
For more information on CPTSC, visit cptsc.org.