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Musician Wins Inaugural Tech. Comms. Scholarship

Media Release
12 July 2003
Musician wins inaugural tech communication scholarship

He's a professional archivist who has helped numerous public organisations to save their historical records. He's developed an international cult following for his music and has his own recording label. He has an MA in Political Studies and has written a novel. On top of this, he runs a café in Lyttelton and has even driven the Christchurch trams. Now, he's adding a further string to his guitar by training as a technical communicator. Impressive? The New Zealand chapter of the international Society for Technical Communication (STC) think so. The chapter have just awarded Bruce Russell their inaugural 2003 Student Scholarship.

The STC is a worldwide organisation with more than 20,000 members working in the fast-growing technical writing and communication industry, involving everything from software manual writing to science journalism. A New Zealand chapter has been operating for more than ten years, mostly from people working in the electronics and software industries. The NZ STC's role is to promote, encourage, and support technical communication.

The group's President, Robin Stephen says the new Scholarship aims to support people wanting to join the growing industry and pays for one year of full-time study for a student enrolled in a technical communication course.

Mrs Stephen says the panel was impressed by Mr Russell's unique background and his diversity of experience. "He is creative and very determined, and we will be interested to see how he applies his range of skills and develops as a technical communicator."

"The scholarship is a great help, because the financial sacrifices necessary to study full-time for a year are considerable," says Bruce Russell. "I'm very excited about being able to move into a new career area. I think technical communication has huge potential because the skills are applicable across such a vast range of professional and commercial work. I hope to be able to get into the editing of official publications and web content for e-government, and the Scholarship will be a great help in this."

Mr Russell worked as a sound archivist for Radio New Zealand Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero, and was Chief Sound Archivist from 1996 to 2001. He has also been a contract archivist for many New Zealand organisations, helping to secure records and archival documents that form part of the country's history. He is currently enrolled for the Graduate Diploma of Technical Communication (GDTC) at Christchurch Polytechnic.

Mr Russell is not new to writing. He has prepared reports for various organisations during his career, and had many articles published in journals and magazines. In his musical career Mr Russell was involved in the early days of influential New Zealand recording label Flying Nun, and now runs his own independent label, Corpus Hermeticum.


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