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Principal, Shakespeare Writes (freelance writing business)
September 2008 – present
I specialize in the art of putting my clients' needs in words. I help them develop concise, meaningful stories to communicate the essence of their grant, research lab, business, or product to elicit the response they want. I tease out key points for more targeted marketing, oversee extreme-scale projects, and build the ecosystem of relationships needed to accomplish their goals. My domain expertise includes telecommunications and information technology, computing and computational science, and medical science and climate change. I work on projects, large and small, of the following types:
Senior Documentation Development Manager, San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego
Medicaid Integrity Group Data Engine Project
February 2010 – September 2012; December 2013 – present
Manage, write, and edit the full lifecycle of documentation for this project. This work includes technical documentation describing various aspects of the computational system (e.g., system design, security) that serves CMS and its contractors, user manuals related to customized applications, and frequent large-scale proposals. This work has included writing user guides for the Workflow Management System to monitor contractors’ ability to identify potential cases of provider fraud, the State Program Integrity Review System, and the Technical Assistance Request System.
Adjunct Instructor, UCSD, Jacobs School of Engineering
ENG 100B - Leadership (Technical Writing/Communication)
Spring quarter 2012
I taught Engineering upperclassmen written communication skills in this 2-unit course. It covered the purpose of writing, importance of good writing to career advancement, identifying one's audience, the macro structure of a document, how to structure a paragraph, how to structure a sentence, appropriate word choice, principles of good writing, common writing mistakes, punctuation, numbers, formatting, the differences among writing/editing/copyediting, using creative writing techniques to enliven one's writing, and various types of writing that Engineering students need to master. I asked the students to do short writing assignments on a weekly basis. (See the Class link at top right of this page for more information.)
Director of Communications, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), UC San Diego
October 2000 – March 2007
Co-wrote, with subsequent institute director Larry Smarr, a $200M grant to the State of California to establish the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (joint between UC San Diego and UC Irvine), awarded December 7, 2000. Was Smarr's first hired employee. Designed and executed a comprehensive public relations program encompassing UCSD and UCI divisions of Calit2. My responsibilities included designing and implementing all communications vehicles (e.g., brand, website, printed materials, media relations, video production, institute merchandise). Identified projects ripe for publicity, interviewed researchers, and wrote articles. Oversaw design of exhibit presence at selected conferences and organized annual all-hands meetings.
Assistant Director, Partner Communications, National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), SDSC/UC San Diego
April 1996 – September 2000
Was key writer and sole editor of the five-year, $170M NPACI grant awarded to UC San Diego by the National Science Foundation (NSF) the spring of 1997. NPACI, centered on the San Diego Supercomputer Center and 46 academic partners (including six international affiliates), established, through hardware acquisitions and software development/integration projects, a national scalable, high-performance computational infrastructure to support academic research. Worked as liaison to partner sites. Used visits to partner sites to collect information about projects ripe for publicity and problems in the field, answer questions, increase communication among members participating in NPACI, and increase NPACI’s visibility on individual campuses. After visits, followed up to address problems and convey information to SDSC staff, provided reports to the NPACI Leadership Team and Executive Committee identifying development opportunities and trends, and wrote articles highlighting research projects for NPACI publications.
Oversaw planning of three annual NPACI all-hands meetings 1999-2001, which attracted 400 attendees from more than 100 institutions and seven countries over a five-day period. Coordinated planning via a distributed program committee (teleconferences) and a local planning committee.
Was key writer of annual program plans to NSF and responses to review panel reports.
Promoted intellectual ties and program development with groups at UC San Diego and the University of California (UC) system by writing or being key contributor to proposal efforts leading to multi-million-dollar awards from the Whitaker Foundation (new Bioengineering building), Keck Foundation (two SDSC “satellite” facilities), Intel ($3M equipment grant to 12 groups on campus), NIH (Superfund award); and establishment of the UC Life Science Informatics Program.
Manager, Scientific Information Services, External Relations Department, SDSC
February 1994 – March 1996
Managed team of professional writers/designers and student interns to develop and disseminate information about SDSC’s research and educational programs to promote SDSC to the external community. As managing editor of Gather/Scatter, oversaw its evolution and redesign from user newsletter to full-color quarterly science magazine. Participated in creation and design of SDSC’s website with focus on content development. Edited annual NSF program plans, described by NSF as “the best” of those submitted by the four national supercomputer centers. Wrote/edited wide variety of documents on research projects for various audiences (science articles, press releases, proposals to industry, marketing packets, congressional testimony, ghost written pieces for SDSC director).
Edited program materials for conferences hosted by SDSC (e.g., Cray Users’ Group 1994, Intel Supercomputer Users’ Group 1994, SUPERCOMPUTING ’95, Computing for the Social Sciences 1995). Edited Women in Computer Science, a brochure for the Computing Research Association to interest young women in careers in computer science. Served as liaison with the SDSC Steering Committee 1992-1996 (superseded by the NPACI Executive Committee).
Served as media contact, particularly following the FBI capture of fugitive computer criminal Kevin Mitnick in February 1995 made possible by SDSC technical expertise.
Manager, Documentation/Information Services, User Services Department, SDSC
March 1988 – February 1994
Managed department of writers, graphic designers, and library staff to produce information to help the national research community use SDSC’s supercomputers and visualization resources. Was managing editor of Gather/Scatter. Supervised management of extensive online documentation system. Edited proposals, including a winning proposal to implement a multi-million-dollar videoteleconferencing system among the four NSF supercomputer centers, and annual science reports and NSF program plans. Edited a migration guide to help the research community move applications codes from the CRAY X-MP (CTSS operating system) to the CRAY Y-MP (UNICOS). Edited the CRAY User Guide for the NASA-funded Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Senior Technical Editor, User Services Department, SDSC
October 1985 – March 1988
Edited Gather/Scatter. Wrote/edited An Introductory User Guide and Summaries (summary of user utilities) for the CRAY X-MP/48 supercomputer.
Technical Editor, Digital Research, Inc., Monterey, CA
February 1984 – August 1985
Wrote/edited user manuals for PC-based applications software that emulated the user interface of the Macintosh. Was lead editor on the GEM (Graphics Environment Manager) series, including GEM Desktop, GEM Desktop Reference Guide, GEM Draw, GEM Write, GEM Graph, and GEM DOS User’s Guide.
Russian Translator, Russian House Translation Services, Monterey, CA
Translated papers on various technical subjects (computers, medicine) from Russian to English.
Russian Survey Interviewer, National Opinion Research Center, Chicago, IL
Conducted three-hour interviews in Russian with approximately 30 Russian émigres around the country as part of the first comprehensive study of this population conducted since the Harvard study in the 1960s. Interviews detailed respondents’ political, social, and cultural views.