For App State Senior, technical writing is like solving a puzzle

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BOONE, NC — Gabby Brown loves the challenge of translating complex topics into simple language so everyone can understand.

“Technical writing is like solving a puzzle. I consider the human aspect – all demographics that might use the information – and try to communicate complicated issues in a way that is accessible and usable for everyone.”

Gaby Brown, a Senior English-Professional Writing Major

As a English major – professional writing At Appalachian State University, Brown specializes in written materials including technical manuals, corporate communications, website content and grant applications.

“Technical writing is like solving a puzzle,” said the Raleigh senior. “I consider the human aspect – all demographics that might use the information – and try to communicate complicated issues in a way that is accessible and usable for all.”

Brown said she explored different writing disciplines and styles with her minors in Spanish and Communication. “I enjoy learning new languages ​​and different ways of conveying information,” she shared.

That late Dr. Rosemary Horowitza former English professor and director of App State’s Center for Jewish Studies, Holocaust and Peace ResearchShe was a “huge influence” on her writing interests, Brown said.

“In the technical writing courses of Dr. Horowitz, I was first introduced to writing manuals and performing usability tests – where an end user follows the written instructions step by step to see if it works. I’ve developed a love for this type of writing.”

dr Sarah Beth Hopton, associate professor and internship director at the Department of English Studies, also influenced and mentored Brown. “She’s so knowledgeable and supportive, and she’s helped me with my professional portfolio,” Brown said.

Hopton supervises Brown’s dissertation with honors: a study with that of Watauga County Hunger and Health CoalitionAssessing the accessibility and usability of the organization’s mobile platform among its customers and donors.

“Gabby’s work demonstrates her skill at conducting primary and secondary research – and her findings will undoubtedly help the organization better serve its clients and meet its fundraising and recruitment goals,” said Hopton.

Leaving their mark outside of the classroom

“Gabby is an unusually talented writing student. She is quick to lead groups and helps other students who are less experienced with specific writing projects.”

dr Sarah Beth Hopton, Associate Professor and Internship Director in App State’s Department of English

Thanks to multiple scholarships, Brown said, she’s been able to fund her education — with more freedom to pursue opportunities outside of the classroom. As an incoming freshman, she received the Academic Excellence Scholarship. During her junior and senior years, she was awarded the Jeni Gray Memorial Foundation Scholarship and the Kate Peterson Scholarship.

“Gabby is an unusually talented writing student. She is quick to lead groups and helps other students who are less experienced with specific writing projects.”

dr Sarah Beth Hopton, Associate Professor and Internship Director in App State’s Department of English

Brown provides writing instruction and feedback to students through her work at the university writing center. “I learned a lot about evaluating the work of others and communicating in a way that is helpful to others,” she said.

Brown is also the editor-in-chief of The Peel Literature and Arts Review, a student-run literary and creative expression magazine at App State. This role has given her hands-on experience editing other authors’ work, marketing the publication, and managing the overall workflow.

“Gabby is an unusually talented writing student,” Hopton said. “She is quick to lead groups and helps other students who are less experienced with specific writing projects.”

Brown shares her excitement for App State as CAS Corps Member — a student ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences. She represents the university at events for prospective and current students, parents, alumni and donors.

your commitment to Campus Ministries has provided Brown with a strong community at App State, she said. “The group has been super supportive and helpful for my personal growth and development,” she shared.

Brown completed two internships while at App State. Her first was there in spring 2021 dr Cece Conwaya folklore professor in the English department. Brown wrote grant applications for Conway’s film preservation project and for a concert series for folk artists.

In the summer of 2021, Brown completed an internship as a technical writer at LeNgineer, a research and development company in Titusville, Florida. There she wrote funding applications and pitches for new technology products.

Her internships whetted her appetite for further education in technical writing, Brown said. After graduating from App State this spring, she plans to pursue a Masters of Science in Technical Communications at North Carolina State University.

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The English (BA) – Professional Writing degree at Appalachian State University is one of the few of its kind in North Carolina and prepares students with communication fundamentals and experience with various types of print media, technical and academic writing, and writing on the Internet.

CAS Corps function

The CAS Corps is selected to serve as the representative of all members of the College of Arts and Sciences to create, encourage and implement opportunities for academic and professional growth. These students represent a variety of departments from across the College of Arts and Sciences and will represent the College at events through interaction between current students, prospective students, parents, donors and alumni. Meet Gabby and learn more about her experiences.

University Writing Center

The University Writing Center is a free resource available to all Appalachian State University students, faculty, and members of the Boone community. Our consultants are experienced writers and keen readers who work with you personally to support you in all aspects of the writing process.

The Peel Literature and Arts Review

The Peel Literature and Arts Review is the student-run literary magazine on campus! It is committed to nurturing and celebrating our university’s vibrant, active, and creative community. We truly believe that Appalachian students deserve an outlet to show their creative expression.

About the Institute of English Studies

The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to excellence in teaching, student support and mentoring, and a dynamic exploration of culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as bachelor’s degrees in literature, film studies, creative writing, professional writing, and English education. Learn more at https://english.appstate.edu.

About the College of Arts and Sciences

Appalachian State University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is home to 17 academic departments, two centers, and one residential college. These units include the humanities, social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences. The aim of the CAS is to develop a distinctive identity that builds on the strengths, traditions and unique location of our university. The College’s values ​​lie not only in service to the University and the local community, but also in inspiring, training, educating and supporting the development of its students as global citizens. More than 6,400 students are enrolled at the college. Because the college is also instrumental in implementing App State’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors at other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.

About Appalachian State University

As the premier public undergraduate university in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to live purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and accept their responsibility for creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience fosters a spirit of inclusion that inspires people to come together to learn and create, grow holistically, act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system. Appalachian has more than 20,000 enrolled students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio, and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

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