Award winner – Jocelyn Marshall, USS Gorkon (Community Champion Award)

Award winner – Jocelyn Marshall, USS Gorkon (Community Champion Award)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of awards from our 2023 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters as well as their out of character contributions and achievements.

This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Commander Jocelyn Marshall playing a human female Chief of Operations/Second Officer assigned to the USS Gorkon. She won the Community Champion Award: “Awarded to members who participate in – or help facilitate – simming community events, by hosting, acting as contest judges, or otherwise contributing their expertise in a way that benefits the wider community.”

Fairhug: You’ve already told us quite a bit about yourself over the years, is there anything new or different you can share with us since your last interview?

Marshall: Oh man, so much has changed since the last interview, I’m not even sure what to touch on! I’ve moved back home to the UK since COVID, which was a drama and a half, so I moved jobs, bought a house, and now have a wonderful bit of woods outside my door to adventure through. Had a baby deer at the fence this morning, so naturally I was in pieces.

One of the things you have mentioned in the past is your RL role as an Ops Officer for NATO. How does being an Ops Officer in the 21st Century compare to being an Ops Officer in the 25th Century?

Marshall: I imagine it’s much the same… only it was underground and not in space, though when you think about it, I was surrounded by metal and never saw the light of day either. Maybe more in common than I thought. It involved a lot of analysing, evaluating, studying, strategising, logistics, resources, personnel, coordinating, collaborating, monitoring, directing, reporting, training, etc. I could give you so many -ings I did over the years. It was a high-pressure environment, requiring strong decision-making skills, excellent communication, and the ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations, which I imagine is exactly what a Starfleet Operations Officer would have to do to deal with the dynamic circumstances our intrepid vessels find themselves in. Only they got replicated coffee. I had to make my own.

It’s fair to say the Community Champion Award could not have gone to a more suitable candidate than yourself. So many of SB118’s annual events are made possible by your facilitation of them, including the Awards Ceremony. In her presentation speech, Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds said: “…it’s amazing how she does it.” So, how do you do it?!

Marshall: I was really humbled by that award, it hit me in the feels. I didn’t feel like I did anything above and beyond, I just wanted to help out as best I could. I don’t have that same time now, I’ll tell you that much. I had a good battle rhythm going on, where I could streamline a lot of the administration quite quickly, as it’s become like second nature to get stuck in and get the job done. I’m very task focused, so once something is in my sights and I’ve got the time to dedicate to it, you better believe it’s going to get done. Awards are also one of my favourite things this community does to celebrate each other, and participating in that every year was incredible. I haven’t been able to do it the same this year, which while disappointing for me, has meant that someone else has taken up the facilitator’s post and is learning the ropes of it. It’s a lot of work to get done in the short amount of time we have to do it, but my gods, it’s rewarding to see the morale boost that it brings to the community. One thing we’re really good at is celebrating each other’s accomplishments, and long may that continue.

Do you have a particular favourite event that you can’t wait to come round every year?

Marshall: That’s like asking me to pick my favourite child, so it’s got to be a mixture of the Annual Awards, the Writing Challenge, and the Halloween Avatar Contest, all for their own unique reasons! I’ve mentioned above how I love that the Awards celebrates everyone’s accomplishments and we’re really good at doing that now, but I love the Writing Challenge for the different kind of storytelling we get to see from those who submit a story, and I’ve had some fantastic reads over the years! Then there’s the Halloween Avatar Contest that just blows me away with how creative our image makers are, from every ship, every year. It doesn’t matter what theme you go for, or how good your skills in making avatars are, just the sheer creativity in themes is what makes it such a fun “dress up” time of the year.

You also help to facilitate the FNS and the News Team. Why would you say you were drawn to this particular aspect of our community? 

Marshall: News and FNS have always gone hand in hand for me; one is in-universe, and one out of it. While I don’t do that much when it comes to the Community News, apart from helping out with the mission summaries submitted every month, the FNS has really been a kicker for me. I love seeing the articles that our writers submit, really reaching deep into that lore and imagination to tease out some brilliant new ideas or report on some fascinating goings on in-universe. It’s expanding the universe for the community to use, and I’ve had some awesome feedback from members over the years about how a certain article has inspired them to write for the FNS, or even take that article and use it for inspiration on their ship for a mission, or a side plot, or something like that.

Do you have any hints, tips or advice for other members of the fleet who would like to write an article for the FNS, or perhaps join one of the news-focused teams?

Marshall: My advice on that front is always read what’s currently being published, or what’s gone before, and then reach out to the team facilitators for some suggestions. If someone’s stuck in the FNS for an idea, I’m always up for providing prompts that I’ve got racked up from articles I’ve been meaning to write for a half decade now, and we keep a rolling thread on the FNS Google Group with some of them on for writer’s to pick up and run with. Same for the News-focused teams—the facilitators have got lists of article types they want to get together, and have more than enough suggestions to give someone a kick start into writing articles.

Lastly, are there any exciting upcoming events that you’d like to let the Fleet know about?

Marshall: AWARDS! Well, that might’ve passed by the time this article comes out, but every year, the Fleet hosts an Annual Award ceremony that celebrates the best of our community, and the best of every crew. You can submit nominations for the awards throughout the year (from the 2nd June to 1st June every year), so it’s really worth keeping the awards in mind every month, when you’re reading your ship sims, and take note of those sims that are award worthy for an absolute ream of reasons. There’s more awards than you can shake a stick at these days as well, so there is something to suit every duty post, every accomplishment by individual simmers, and more. 

Thanks for your time, Commander Marshall!

You can read more about Commander Marshall on the wiki.

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