Concentrating on information design, content management and demand publishing throughout her career, Carolyn Ray Strong entered her profession because her parents were missionaries in Ethiopia from when she was 6 months old until after she was in college. Notably, her aunt, Dixie Lee Ray, was also the first female governor of the State of Washington. Ms. Strong is known as a “third-culture kid,” and it really provided her with benefits and being comfortable with different cultures and languages. For jobs, it really helped because she understood a lot about tailoring advertisements or documents to other cultures and establishing marketing materials for whole different cultures.
Ms. Strong began her professional career as a mathematics and aerospace demonstrator for the Pacific Science Center in Seattle in 1970, remaining in this position for one year before becoming the documentation manager and a technical writer at Tektronix, Inc., in Beaverton, Oregon, from 1973 to 1975. Continuing on as a technical writer for a year, she continued to serve the company in various other roles including group manager of technical publications, manager of technical communications, manager of technical publications and computer training, secretary of worldwide customer communications, manager of laboratory instruments documentation, adjunct professor of the applied information master’s program, manager of laboratory instruments marketing support, manager of oscilloscope group documentation, and manager of test and measurement customer documentation. Currently, Ms. Strong has been the company’s director of worldwide customer communications since 1995.
More recently, Ms. Strong was the owner and consultant of her own company, Strong Strategic Consulting, from 1999 to 2010 and the autism integration and program assistant for the Beaverton School District from 2005 to 2015. Her niece was about 11 years old when she did research on children with autism. Ms. Strong and her sister came up with a photographic approach, and she became fascinated with the field. When the district needed help with their children who have autism, she was able to make an argument for getting iPads in the classroom so that non-verbal children would be able to communicate better.
Prior to the start of her career, Ms. Strong pursued a formal education at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, earning a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and journalism in 1973. She then matriculated at DeVry Institute of Technology, now known as simply DeVry University, in Naperville, Illinois, where she completed postgraduate coursework between 1975 and 1977. Later in life, Ms. Strong went on to attain a Master of Science in applied information management from the University of Oregon in 1992.
Active in her local community, Ms. Strong chaired and was secretary of the board for the First Tech Federal Credit Union from 1984 to 2015, and has been recognized as an emeritus board member ever since. Additionally, since 2014, she has volunteered with Serenity Hospice & Palliative Care in Phoenix. Moving forward, Ms. Strong sees herself continuing to be involved in the community, and she is trying to participate in some of the projects that her fellow students are in. She also may or may not write a book. There are not enough books about girls enjoying science or the technology field, and she is interested in writing about girls who are just at the age of making decisions about whether they like mathematics or science.
Outside of her primary trade, Ms. Strong maintains involvement with numerous organizations related to her field. She served the Willamette Valley chapter of the Society for Technical Communications as secretary in 1978, treasurer in 1979 and president from 1979 to 1989. Furthermore, Ms. Strong served as a senior member of the nationwide Society for Technical Communications, and was active with the Association for Computer Machinery and the Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication.
In light of her exceptional undertakings, Ms. Strong was named as the Print on Demand Innovator and Keynote Speaker in 1996. Moreover, she was selected for inclusion in the 25th edition of Who’s Who in the West. Today, Ms. Strong resides in Portland, Oregon, where she enjoys spending her free time collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia, rose gardening, playing with Legos, researching recent trends in technology, coloring and reading.