Newsletter: July-August 2022

Welcome to the July–August 2022 chapter newsletter. 

As summer days become summer nights, let us pause and reflect on all that we are – and all that we could be. This month’s musical recommendation is the Nocturne from Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Op. 61). Following the Dionysian antics of Nick Bottom and the fairies, the Nocturne cleanses the pallet and wishes the audience a safe journey home. As you listen, read the closing speech of Puck the forest sprite, AKA Robin Goodfellow, who begs forgiveness for the fairies’ deceptions and prays that a few spirited hijinks need not condemn them to “the serpent’s tongue.” It was, after all, nothing but a dream. 

If we shadows have offended, 

Think but this, and all is mended, 

That you have but slumber’d here 

While these visions did appear. 

And this weak and idle theme, 

No more yielding but a dream, 

Gentles, do not reprehend. 

If you pardon, we will mend. 

And, as I am an honest Puck, 

If we have unearnèd luck 

Now to ’scape the serpent’s tongue, 

We will make amends ere long; 

Else the Puck a liar call. 

So, good night unto you all. 

Give me your hands, if we be friends, 

And Robin shall restore amends. 

(Editor’s note: Yes I realize the Nocturne is intended to be performed midway through the play, but I always imagined it as the perfect closing number 🙂 

Let us know what you think, and remember, you can also read it on the chapter website. You can find previous newsletters on the website as well.

In this issue:

CHAPTER NEWS

  • The Programming Chair is open, please see more information below and submit nominations now.
  • Join our AMWA North Central LinkedIn Community

CHAPTER EVENTS

Mark your calendars! Our next book club will be held on September 26, 2022 via Zoom. 

FEATURES 

  • Cybersecurity Discussion, by Kendra Hyland, PhD 
  • Chapter Advisory Council Update by LeAnn Stee 

CHAPTER NEWS

Volunteers needed for Programming Chair

The AMWA North Central chapter is looking for a new Programming Chair. Please consider volunteering! More information below. 

AMWA North Central is a volunteer-based organization. If members don’t take an active role, the chapter will cease to function, and members will lose access to programming, news, and networking opportunities. Consider taking your turn to lead (or join) a committee or serve as a chapter officer. Please submit your interest or nominations for any of the above positions to bod (at) list (dot) amwanorthcentral (dot) org

  • Programming Committee Chair: The Program Committee Chair is responsible for organizing AMWA events throughout the year, including identifying topics of interest and recruiting speakers. This is an important role in AMWA and is valuable for both member engagement and education. Please submit your interest or nominations. 

Not ready or able to lead a committee? All of our committees invite members to share ideas and keep the workload light. 

In addition to keeping our group viable, volunteering with AMWA is a great way to network with your fellow members. It’s also a good way to fortify your C.V. with an extra line showing how you give back to your profession! If you can volunteer a few hours a month to help, please send a message to bod (at) list (dot) amwanorthcentral (dot) org. 


EVENTS

Book club meeting 09/26/2022

Mark your calendars! On September 26, 2022 we will discuss The Premonition by Michael Lewis, via Zoom. Michael Lewis presents a succinct critique of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention function during the Covid-19 pandemic as seen by those who tried to alert the agency. Interviews with public health officials who recognized the pandemic trace the CDC’s lethargic response. Few at the CDC granted interviews but the silence, politicization, and inaction documented by others highlight the growing agency dysfunction and provide a warning for responses to future crises. 

 

FEATURES

 

 

Cybersecurity Discussion Summary by Kendra A. Hyland, PhD

J. Kelly Byram of Duke City Consulting spoke to AMWA North Central Chapter members on June 15th and provided a broad overview of cybersecurity. Kelly covered a wide variety of topics, including networks, file sharing, antivirus programs, and the different methods hackers use to get access. Kelly reminded the audience that any device attached to a network is vulnerable, meaning smart speakers, smart doorbells, etc. It is important to research before buying a new device or software, especially for a home office. Be selective about the software you download; online review articles by CNET and PC magazine describe the best software for various uses in accessible language. Vulnerabilities to hackers come from the use of simple passwords and their reuse at multiple sites; a password manager can be helpful in this case. It is also important to make sure software is updated regularly. Freelancers and others working for clients at home may need additional security, such as antivirus/antimalware software in addition to the protection offered by their operating system. While this topic seems a little intimidating, knowing the right steps to prevent data and identity theft make for good business practice. 

Helpful resources: 

https://haveibeenpwned.com/ check if your data has been involved in a breach (search by email address or phone number) 

Virustotal.com – analyzes suspicious files, domains, Ips, and URLs to detect malware, etc. 

https://www.cnet.com/ – Product reviews, advice, how-to’s 

https://www.dukecityconsulting.com – Duke City Consulting (https://cyber.dukecityconsulting.com/

KellyByram@dukecityconsulting.com  

Chapter Advisory Council Update by LeAnn Stee, North Central Chapter Representative

Mission of the Chapter Advisory Council (CAC) 

The CAC serves to maintain a connection between chapter leaders and the AMWA Board of Directors by advising the AMWA board on the organization’s strategic direction as it affects the chapters and acting as a sounding board about issues that have an impact on chapters and the national organization. 

Second Quarterly Meeting 

The AMWA CAC held its second quarterly meeting of 2022 on May 20. The meeting was held virtually with GoToMeeting software. Eight chapters were represented. 

Jen Minarcik, chair, opened the meeting with a review of the mission of the CAC (see first paragraph). 

AMWA 2022 Medical Writing and Communication Conference: Sharon Ruckdeschel, director of membership and systems for AMWA 

The 2022 conference will be held November 2 through November 5 in Denver, Colorado, as an in-person only event. The theme for this year’s conference is Elevating Health and Well-being Through Medical Communication. The program and registration information will be posted on the AMWA website on Monday, May 23. Safety protocols will comply with applicable national, state, and local mandates and other guidance. All conference participants must observe the protocols, regardless of vaccination status. The health and safety protocols will be described in the conference brochure. 

Updates from the AMWA Board of Directors: Jen Minarcik 

  • AMWA’s Diversity & Inclusion Assessment Task Force: 
  • The task force has started its work on a survey to help determine current state. 
  • In parallel with the task force’s work, the AMWA Board of Directors is developing a diversity and inclusion statement. 
  • AMWA 2022-2023 Leadership 
  • Members with leadership experience, a willingness to serve the medical writing community, and a strategic mindset are encouraged to submit an interest form to serve on the Board of Directors for the 2022-2023 term. 
  • Contact the Executive Director, Susan Krug (skrug@amwa.org) to request an interest form and information packet. 
  • Forms are due by June 15, 2022. 

Chapter Trends Report 

All chapters submitted reports. Minor issues were resolved quickly (e.g., a vacant officer position, out-of-date information on a website). 

Support checks have been sent to each chapter. 

Activity and financial reports are due on August 1. 

Discussion Topics 

Discussion focused on how chapters are planning their return to live meetings and whether virtual events will continue in conjunction with live events. 

Future CAC Meetings: August 11, 2022 and November 10, 2022