Creativity. Culture. Collaboration. Graduating technical communication student Angela Kafka ‘21 embodies the very best of the UCF College of Arts and Humanities. With a passion for revolutionizing the technical communications field and empowering the community, Kafka has made a name for herself as a powerhouse in her field.
As a technical communication major in the Department of English, Kafka set out to learn how to convey technical information. However, she soon became inspired to use her language skills to create positive experiences and empower marginalized voices.
“Contemporary culture is ever-changing, and I believe bringing new perspectives to the forefront is essential in expanding our cultural palate,” says Kafka. “There are so many unique and inspiring voices that are only highlighted in “special editions.” I believe as communicators, it is our job to seek out these perspectives and bring them into everyday discourse. To me, challenging the status quo means supporting real representation and inclusion for the diversity of people and experiences that exist.”
This unique viewpoint led her to be the communication coordinator at Page 15, a nonprofit that provides supplemental reading and writing education to Orlando public school students. There, she has worked as editor-in-chief for the organization’s high school writing anthology, further helping her develop an understanding of the ethics of working with marginalized voices. Kafka also serves as the assistant editor of The Florida Review.
Kafka believes the most difficult part of being a technical communicator is understanding how to best contribute to the field. “Technical communication is an informational field; we are the people who inform others how to approach an issue and find a solution. In crafting that language, we have a responsibility to be inclusive, suggesting that anyone reading our work can complete the corresponding task. If we are not inclusive in our language, then we are doing a disservice as communicators and perpetuating the idea that certain people are not a part of our sense of audience,” she says.
Kafka’s passion and skills have not gone unnoticed. This year, she was named a co-winner of the Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Award, one of the most distinguished awards for technical communication students at UCF. This award, presented by the Orlando Central Florida Society for Technical Communications chapter, honors UCF students who best exemplify Pellegrin’s standards for excellence and dedication to technical communication.
“It means everything; it is especially meaningful to me as both a technical communicator and a woman,” says Kafka. “Melissa’s dedication to excellence serves as an inspiration to every communicator who strives to contribute meaningfully to their field. I hope to continue representing the legacy of Melissa Pellegrin in all my future endeavors.”
Moving forward, Kafka hopes to continue pursuing her goal of working in editing and publishing. “In five years from now, I hope to be an editor working at one of the top publishers in North America, prioritizing underrepresented stories and authors. There is power in editorial roles, and I believe that power is best used to uplift authors whose perspectives are missing from conversations about identity and lived experience. Shifts in the publishing industry have worked to prioritize these voices, so I am hopeful that this niche of editorial work will become a more common focus in the coming years.”