Technical Communication Advisory Board

One of the ways the Technical Communication program stays connected with the profession is through our Advisory Board. Begun in 2018, the Advisory Board consists of alumni and community members, and represents a range of positions and industries in which technical communicators work. Members are committed to supporting student learning, whether through guest speaking, serving on career panels, or offering insights on curriculum.

Would you like to learn more about the advisory board or become a member? Contact Abigail Bakke, Advisory Board Coordinator.

Advisory Board Members:

Sarah Brenckman Sarah Brenckman Leida, R&D Project Manager

Senior Global Project Manager

Sarah Brenckman holds an M.A. in Education and a B.S.  in Communications, Literature, and Education from the University of St. Thomas. She has been working in the health and medical industry for five years and has over 10 years of experience in education and curriculum design. She enjoys diving deep into complex projects with an eye towards delivering approachable communication, efficient processes, and straightforward training for all involved. Sarah is a Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) and a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).

Stephen Burgdorf, Senior Technical Writer and Forms Analyst

Stephen Burgdorf

Senior Technical Writer and Forms Analyst
Voya Financial
Minneapolis, MN

Stephen Burgdorf is a 2020 graduate of the Minnesota State University, Mankato, M.A. in Technical Communication program and is currently employed at Voya Financial as a Senior Technical Writer and Forms Analyst in their Learning and Development department. In his role, he is responsible for creating, updating, and managing technical documentation across Voya’s employee benefits division.

Shawneda Crout, Integrated Brand Communication Strategist

Shawneda Crout

Technical Project Manager
Women Who Code

For Shawneda Crout clear, effective communication happens at the crossroad of creating solutions using content and design-thinking. Building websites and business plans for her friends "for fun" on the weekends preceded learning the "ins and outs" of publishing books and brand communications. Earning a M.A. in English, Technical Communication supercharged a storytelling skill set fueled by technology.

Amanda Jones, Technical Writer-Editor, Government

Amanda Jones

Technical Writer-Editor
Baltimore, MD

Amanda Jones is a 2015 graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato's M.A.  in Technical Communication program. Since graduating, she has had a remarkable career working in a few sectors from aviation, defense, and healthcare. Currently Amanda works as a government technical writer where she applies her expertise learned from Minnesota State Mankato everyday on the job.

Caroline McGowan

Technical Writer
Kato Engineering
Mankato, MN

Caroline McGowan is a Technical Writer at Kato Engineering. A proud graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato in Graphic Design, she designed brochures, wrote instructions, and created the initial online presence for companies in print, medical manufacturing, fashion, and architecture. She researched and tried entrepreneurship in a niche food entity before returning to Minnesota State for an advanced degree in Technical Communication. In her spare time, she coordinates volunteers and reads for the local Reading to the Blind program through State Services for the Blind of Minnesota.

Jordan Moore, Section Head, Access Technologies & Systems, Mayo ClinicJordan Moore

Section Head, Access Technologies & Systems
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

Jordan Moore is Section Head, Access Technologies and Systems at Mayo Clinic. Jordan is a proven leader with an extensive background in analytics, process improvement, change management, and technology solutions. Jordan's team is responsible for all patient scheduling systems at Mayo Clinic. He partners closely with Mayo Clinic executive leaders to ensure patient access systems and processes are built to achieve and improve practice objectives.  Prior to joining Mayo Clinic in 2015, Jordan held several progressive roles in financial analysis and management at IBM. Jordan received his Bachelors from Minnesota State University, Mankato (B.S., Management, Minors in Technical Communication and Computer Technology), and an M.B.A from Augsburg University.  In 2021, Jordan joined Saint Mary's University of Minnesota as an adjunct instructor for the Masters of Business Intelligence & Data Analytics program.


Maurice Moss Maurice Moss, Project Manager, Integration, Vital Caring Group

Project Manager - Integration 
Vital Caring Group
Waxahachie, TX

I have worked in the healthcare space for over two decades. My experience has been primarily in the areas of home health and hospice.  The roles I have filled during that time have included Project Manager, Product Manager, Administrator and Director of Reimbursement.  After receiving an M.A.from Minnesota State Mankato, I began serving as an adjunct instructor of technical writing at the University of North Texas.  I also have an adjunct role at Tarrant County College.

Kristopher (Fer) O'Neil, Knowledgebase Technical Writer

Kristopher (Fer) O’Neil

Knowledgebase Technical Writer
ESET North America
San Diego, CA

Kristopher (Fer) O’Neil Senior Knowledgebase Manager ESET North America San Diego, CA Fer O’Neil is a graduate of the Minnesota State University, Mankato, M.A. in Technical Communication program. He is a Ph.D. ABD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. Fer is the Senior Knowledgebase Manager at ESET, a global cybersecurity company, writing and managing content for business and consumer security products.

Andrew Pieper, Information Architect

Andrew Pieper

Information Architect
Bloomington, MN

Andrew Pieper is currently the Information Architect for the Instructional Communications team at The Toro Company. He earned a B.S. in English: Technical Communications from Minnesota State Mankato in 1992. He has been a technical writer/information designer for nearly thirty years, with the last twenty-one years being at Toro. Andrew develops and maintains the XML publishing systems used at Toro and is currently leading Toro’s initiative to move to the DITA XML architecture and topic-based authoring, management, and delivery.  He has regularly presented on XML information design at various conferences since 2005, served on the PTC, Service Information, Board of Consumer Advisors for four years, and is currently the chair of the PTC User: Technical-Authoring, Management, and Delivery Technical Committee.

Max Pruden

Senior Instructional Designer
Intuit Inc.
Phoenix, AZ

Max is a 2014 graduate of the Minnesota State University, Mankato, M.A .in Technical Communication program, and has served as a key contributor in the field for over 16 years. He develops technical content, provides content strategy for technical groups, and is expert in instructional design, technical writing, and technical communications. With over 30 years in the technology industry and experience at Apple, Charles Schwab, and Intuit, he provides mentoring to team members and subject matter expertise in a wide range of Technical Communication genres.

Ilya TirdatovIlya Tirdatov, Technical Translator and Editor, Self-Employed

Technical Translator and Editor
Houston, TX

Ilya Tirdatov holds Master's degree in English/Technical Communication from Minnesota State University, Mankato, having graduated in 2013 with a GPA of 4.0. His thesis converted to a journal article was published in and featured on the cover of STC's  Technical Communication journal; his earlier articles also appeared in professional publications in the United States, Russia, and India. With over three decades of experience in technical translations, for 17+ years he was a full-time Technical Translator and Editor with ExxonMobil, BP, and WorleyParsons. He currently works on NASA and Google projects.