Conference Program

GeoPrimer: A Great Plains and Texas Crossroads Facing Change

For our fourth TAA meeting in San Antonio, we share a region and place and contemporary geography. San Antonio is at a crossroads, a point of convergence in geography, history, and climate change. We see the physical setting in the southern Great Plains’ precipitation, air pressure, temperatures, weather, grasslands, and evolving climate patterns. We examine the challenges to settlement posed by dryness, vast distances, depth of water tables, the Native American population, lack of fence building and construction materials, and the Eastern mindset challenged by a new region of the country. What was the human and cultural response to this crossroads? We discuss regional environmental topics such as San Antonio's changing climate this century, water supplies, increase in intense weather events, economic challenges and growth issues.

Presenter: Robert W. Christopherson is Professor Emeritus of Geography at American River College (1970-2000). He is the author of the leading physical geography texts in the U.S. and Canada all published by Pearson Prentice Hall. He and his nature photographer wife Bobbe have completed twelve expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions since 2003, gathering information and photos for his books, Geosystems, 9/e, Elemental Geosystems, 8/e, Geosystems Canadian Edition, 4/e, and Applied Physical Geography, 9/e.

Friday Sessions

Trendspotting: How to See the Big Picture Within the Pages of Your Royalty Statements

This session will cover the fundamental elements of royalty statements and how to decipher their content.  We will demystify what is contained in statements and discuss pertinent information that is not included, but available from your publisher. The session will also give an overview of some analyses that any author can perform to better understand how and where their books are selling. Finally, if further inquiry is warranted, learn the steps involved in a textbook royalty audit to assert your contractual rights.

Presenter: Juli Saitz, CPA is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura Consulting Group. She leads the contract and royalty compliance practice at Ankura and has extensive experience serving clients including several textbook authors as well as multi-national corporation licensors. Her work in this area includes developing and implementing royalty compliance programs and performing audits of licensees around the world. Saitz has helped authors and corporate clients recover millions of dollars in asserting their audit rights related to licensed copyrights, trademarks and patents. She is focused on the shift in the publishing industry to electronic content delivery methods and adaptive learning platforms. In addition, Saitz has served as a damages expert in matters involving royalty disputes in the publishing industry.

Mining Academic Writing Conversations to Stimulate Your Thinking and Writing

Academic writing is a conversation. Most of us think that the only academic conversation is simply the different points of view from other scholars on the topics we write about. Yet, there are other levels of “conversation” that we can tap to stimulate our thinking about our work like student comments, reviewers’ comments, conference conversations, questions asked at conference sessions, conversations with the literature, and even our own written dialogues with aspects of our writing. In this session, we seek to mine as well as practice learning from the give and take of “conversations” from a literature review to dialogues with our work.

Presenter:  Dannelle D. Stevens, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Portland State University, Oregon, has coauthored three books framed around different ways to assist faculty in their complex roles as scholars and teachers. In her role as PSU Faculty-in-Residence for Academic Writing in the Office of Academic Innovation, she created and facilitates the Jumpstart Academic Writing Program involving nearly 100 faculty practicing and publishing academic writing. Stevens is widely published in journals and presents academic writing workshops nationally and abroad.

Presenter: Tamara Bertrand Jones is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University. She is a founder and past president of Sisters of the Academy Institute, an international organization that promotes collaborative scholarship and networking among Black women in the academy. She collaborated with fellow scholars to write Pathways to Higher Education for African American Women (Stylus Publishing) and Cultivating Leader Identity and Capacity in Students from Diverse Backgrounds (Jossey-Bass). She has also authored, solely and collaboratively referred journal articles.

The Three Phases of an Effective Book Marketing Campaign

You’ve done the hard work of writing a book. Now it’s time to market your title to potential readers. For many authors, marketing is a mystery and creates some unique challenges. Unlock that mystery by joining us for this session where we will present the three phases of an effective book marketing campaign. You will learn the crucial questions to ask as you build your marketing plan and craft an action plan to help you connect with potential readers. We will also present the keys to:

  • Developing an audience profile
  • Creating the right title and subtitle, which is one of the first marketing decisions you make
  • Using social media and mailing lists to cultivate a reader base
  • Planning events to celebrate the publication of your book
  • Plus other important elements of an integrated marketing campaign

Presenter: As the SVP of marketing for Author Solutions, Keith Ogorek brings a unique perspective of executive and author. He has spearheaded multiple innovations in publishing and helped self publishing rapidly expand around the globe. He has also self-published three books. A recognized thought leader, he’s appeared at leading conferences including the Book Expo America, West Coast Writers Conference, Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference, and The Writer’s Digest Conference. He also gave the commencement address at the 2013 winter commencement of Indiana State University.

Textbook Authoring: Time-tested Tricks of the Trade (Two-Part Session)

Part 1:
Strategies to Make Your Textbook Workflow More Efficient

In this session, veteran textbook author Kevin Patton will highlight practical tips and tricks to improve authoring workflow.  Focusing on the "how to" aspect of textbook authoring, suggested strategies will range from managing and sharing computer files to charting workflow to taking ten to get you out of your seat. No matter your discipline or your level of experience as a textbook author, you are likely to find a few time-saving and stress-relieving ideas that you can adapt to your own working style.

Presenter: Kevin Patton has worked as an anatomy and physiology (A&P) professor for three decades, having taught at high school, community college, university, and graduate levels. He has authored several popular A&P textbooks and manuals. He is a President Emeritus of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) and was the founding director of HAPS Institute, a continuing education program for A&P professors. He publishes several blogs and websites related to teaching and learning, including

Part 2:
Textbook Authoring Basics, A Holistic Approach

The original task of proposing a textbook is only the tip of the iceberg—that is, talking about it, outlining it, sketching it, discussing it with publishers, telling relatives about it. Actually writing the manuscript is beyond this threshold. A goal of this session is to place you ahead of the curve, to simplify the process, and to share experiences. The discussion will focus on providing a starting point for your efforts, covering topics such as: treating writing as a business, a project overview, writing studio, professional meetings, style/writing guide, prospectus, research/writing, computer, art manuscript preparation, building figures and illustrations, the physical book design, sales & marketing, royalties, taxes, derivative and International editions, planning future revisions, and finding co-authors as you up your eventual off ramp.

Presenter: Robert W. Christopherson is Professor Emeritus of Geography at American River College (1970-2000). He is the author of the leading physical geography texts in the U.S. and Canada all published by Pearson Prentice Hall. He and his nature photographer wife Bobbe have completed twelve expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions since 2003, gathering information and photos for his books, Geosystems, 9/e, Elemental Geosystems, 8/e, Geosystems Canadian Edition, 4/e, and Applied Physical Geography, 9/e.

Optimal Success Through Effective Communication (90 Minute, Two- Part Session)

Part 1:
Communicating with Editors and Reviewers: Do's and Don'ts

Dealing with journal editors and reviewers when submitting articles for publication can be overwhelming, but it is a vital step in the publication process. Despite its importance, we rarely receive adequate training on how to interact with editors and reviewers, aside from observing our mentors and replicating what they did. In this workshop we share simple yet effective strategies for transforming the experience of dealing with journal editors and reviewers from overwhelming to positive – potentially affecting the outcome of your paper. We present a checklist of “Do’s and Don’ts” along with examples from our own work. We will discuss effective/ineffective strategies to (1) query editors, (2) write effective cover letters, (3) respond to reviewers’ comments, and (4) handle confusing feedback. The presentation’s goal is to equip participants with concrete and simple steps they can implement immediately in their journal article submissions. 

Presenter: Sandra Acosta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. Her research interests include: biliteracy and practitioner research, in particular action research in PreK–12 public schools. In the Bilingual Education Program at TAMU, she teaches graduate- and undergraduate- (pre-service bilingual education teachers) level courses. She has published two didactic tools: a primer of basic information about action research and how this strategy is useful for health promotion practitioners and a methodological framework for using an autoethnographic approach to research in the health professions. These tools were published in Health Promotion Practice and Action Research journals.

Presenter: Patricia Goodson is a Presidential Professor of Health Education in the Department of Health & Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. At TAMU, she has taught mostly graduate-level courses such as Health Behavior Theory, Health Research Methods, Health Program Evaluation, Health Education Ethics, and Advanced Health Behavior Theory. In 2007 she created and implemented a writing support service for graduate students, titled P.O.W.E.R. (an acronym for Promoting Outstanding Writing for Excellence in Research). She has authored two academic books: Theory in Health Promotion Research and Practice: Thinking Outside the Box, published in 2009 by Jones & Bartlett Learning, and Becoming an Academic Writer: 50 Exercises for Paced, Productive, and Powerful Writing, published in 2012 by SAGE Publications.

Part 2:
Thriving in Academia: How to Create and Maintain Productive Writing Collaborations

The phrase “publish or perish” is not new in academia. Academics are expected to publish to gain tenure and promotion. Today, many academics face increased pressure to secure external funding in addition to producing at least 2-3 quality data based research articles per year. How can you, as an academic writer, thrive in this landscape? In this presentation the panel will discuss the importance of creating strong writing collaborations with colleagues in order to thrive in academia. They will provide tips on what you should know about creating writing collaborations, tools to help you maintain successful writing collaborations, and a real-world illustration of a successful writing collaboration using the tips and tools. Audience members will be engaged in discussion and reflection on how they can use the session information and their own experiences to start and/or refresh their own writing collaborations.

Presenter: Margarita Huerta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Clinical studies in the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her research interests include science and literacy integration in the classroom for English language learning students, writing instruction for students at all levels and ages, and online learning development and implementation. She is also interested in studying factors that affect graduate students' and faculty’s academic writing productivity.

Presenter: Tracy Spies is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Clinical Studies in the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her research interests include the academic oral language development of English language learners (ELLs) in the content areas and the reciprocal relationship between oral language and writing. She is also interested in studying school and teacher-level factors that promote and/or inhibit ELLs’ development of academic language proficiency. 

Presenter: Tiberio Garza is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Higher Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research interests include the use of technology in the English Language Learning (ELL) classroom, the application of advanced statistical analysis to educational research, and the use of observational instruments in the ELL classroom to enhance teaching and learning.

When Authors Rule: The Shifting Balance of Power in Scholarly Publishing

Scientific literature traces its origins to the 17th century, and for much of the last 350 years, the practices of researchers, editors and publishers went unchanged. The digital revolution, however, has transformed the publishing landscape and rewritten the business rules. This presentation will identify what lies behind the remarkable changes of the past 15 years, and what authors can do to harness these forces to their advantage. Open Access as a movement is largely responsible for shifting the balance of power. Mandates from public and private funding agencies have moved the focus from publishers to authors and researchers. Yet with great power comes great responsibility. Scholarly authors in 2016 are masters of their own destinies, though they must master new burdens, too. In the future, it will be their fates not only to research and publish, but also to promote their work and build their reputations.

Presenter: Christopher Kenneally of the non-profit Copyright Clearance Center is host of “Beyond the Book”, a weekly podcast series ( on the information industry that helps knowledge professionals realize the full potential of their works, while encouraging respect for intellectual property and the principles of copyright. Prior to joining CCC in 2001, Kenneally was an independent journalist, contributing regularly to the Boston Globe and New York Times, among many other publications. He also reported for WBUR-FM (Boston); National Public Radio; and WGBH-TV (Boston), and is author of "The Massachusetts Legacy" and "Massachusetts 101."

The Best Academic Authors Never Work Alone:  How Creating a Mastermind Group Can Help With All things Academic (Including Your Writing!)

What’s the next step you need to take to grow as an academic and author? In this panel session, members of an academic mastermind discuss the power of masterminds and explore how masterminds can help you grow tremendously. When success guru Napoleon Hill interviewed Andrew Carnegie asking him the secret to his success, Carnegie proclaimed it was the “sum total of the minds” of his associates. Carnegie called this brainpower a “master mind.” In essence, two brains are better than one. When we gather to foster new ideas while remaining open to both inspiration and criticism, we develop and grow. But what are the keys to a successful mastermind group? This session will cover the history of masterminds, explain what one is and isn’t, explore the practical realities “non-negotiables” of what you need in order to form one, and detail the benefits, challenges, and obstacles to participating in a mastermind.

Presenter: Dominique T. Chlup is a tenured University Associate Professor turned Creativity & Writing Coach. She is President and Chief Creative Officer of Inspiring the Creative Within, LLC ( What she does best is take you from blocked to breakthrough, teaching you the art of stress-free creating. She has 5 degrees behind her name, including two from Harvard University. She is author of $6.7 million in funded grant projects and over 200 publications and presentations written one word at a time.

Presenter: Miranda Walichowski is a Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Psychology by day and a Life and Professional Coach by night. Miranda established MiraNous ( to help busy women realize their innermost desire: to live their one precious life in a whole-hearted, integrated, and peacefully productive way. Miranda’s professional and personal experience (as a mother of 5) provides her the ability to bridge theory and praxis to help women show up as their best selves where it matters.  

Presenter: Matthew Etchells holds a B.A. in Performing Arts and Education from the University of Chester, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Wales, a M.Ed. in International Management and Policy from the British University in Dubai, and is currently undertaking a Ph.D. in Culture and Curriculum at Texas A&M University. He has over a decade of leadership experience in international schools. In 2017, Matthew will start an international education consultancy.

Grant Writing in Non-Research-Intensive Institutions: Tips from a Pro and Lessons from a Rookie

Have you considered writing a grant proposal, but weren’t sure where to start? Have you wondered if it is possible to write a grant proposal while carrying a full-time teaching load? Grant writing is not just for research faculty; many grant programs seek proposals from teaching institutions. In this session, you will learn how a professional grant writer approaches the craft of grant writing, and how a community college faculty member began with a half-formed idea and built it into a submitted proposal. The presenters will provide an overview of the grant writing process, outline the elements needed for a strong proposal, suggest funding streams appropriate for teaching institutions, and share tips on writing a proposal that makes a positive first impression. They will also share strategies for finding collaborators and for working effectively as a grant-writing team.

Presenter: Erin Comeaux is a Resource Developer and Grant Writer for Lone Star College in Houston, Texas. In this role, she supports faculty and staff in the research, writing, preparation, and submission of grant proposals. Recently awarded proposals include funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Erin is also an Adjunct Professor of Government and Political Science.

Presenter: Jennifer Travis is a Professor of Mathematics at Lone Star College–North Harris. Her research interests include the use of journaling and reflective writing in mathematics classes. She is also interested in helping graduate students and faculty members develop consistent writing habits that fit into their hectic lives. In partnership with Erin, she recently completed her first grant proposal.

Advancements in Accessibility = Opportunities for Authors (Panel Presentation)

Digital technology offers students with disabilities new ways to access their textbooks, but it also raises new challenges. Accessibility has become a significant consideration in the adoption of course materials, but reliable information about how to address this issue within the marketplace is hard to come by. Textbook authors have a unique position to address accessibility issues at the inception of the content creation, development, and distribution process for instructional materials. However, there are still a number of editorial, technical, and financial considerations that can impact the overall accessibility of the final commercial product. This panel brings together representatives from the textbook publishing ecosystem to discuss the opportunities and challenges that accessibility creates for authors. The goal is to identify the next steps for the industry to ensure textbooks and instructional materials of the future will be equally accessible and usable by all students.

Panel Organizer: Robert Martinengo has been helping to make textbooks accessible since 1997, when he began working as a Studio Director at Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. He started interfacing directly with publishers while working at the Alternate Text Production Center, which was established by the California Community College system as a central accessibility resource. In 2006 he joined AMAC Accessibility Solutions & Research Center, where he coordinates the Center for Accessible Materials Innovation grant.

Panelist: Elaine Ober is the Director of Accessibility for Pearson's global higher education business. She works with campus Disability Services and Assistive Technology Offices to help them support their students with disabilities. Elaine spent over thirty years in higher education publishing, including book and media production, rights and permissions, content management, and text design. She has worked in nearly all disciplines, but from 2008 - 2011 specialized in Teacher Education and Development.

Panelist: Joshua Tallent, the Director of Outreach and Education at Firebrand Technologies, is dedicated to helping publishers around the world create better books. In addition to heading up training and outreach efforts within Firebrand, Joshua serves on multiple industry committees and working groups and teaches at publishing conferences year-round. He also leads the development of FlightDeck, the most robust EPUB quality assurance tool available.

Panelist: Rob Abel is the Chief Executive Officer of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a nonprofit collaboration of the world's leading universities, school districts, government organizations, content providers, and technology suppliers, cooperating to accelerate learning technology interoperability, adoption, and impact. Rob has been the CEO of IMS since February of 2006. Rob holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University, a Master’s degree in Management from Stanford, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California, and a Baccalaureate degree in Computational Physics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Panelist: Jeff Jullion is Senior Account Manager for the education market at T-Base Communications. He is responsible for assisting K-12 as well as post-secondary and higher educational institutions with STEM subjects, departments of education and publishers across North America in meeting student needs and legislative requirements. T-Base’s ultimate goal is to ensure the timely delivery and accessibility of high-quality instructional materials for students who are blind or have low vision mirrors that of their sighted peers. Jeff plays a crucial role in achieving this, providing unparalleled service that often exceeds customer and student requirements.

FIRST Things First: Essential Strategies for Stellar Writing

Academics often get little or no training in the craft of writing clearly and compellingly for publication. In my work with hundreds of academic authors, I’ve identified five strategies that have the greatest impact on improving writing. The power of these strategies stems from their ability to transform your prose, allowing readers to quickly grasp your argument’s coherence and significance. To make these strategies easy to remember, I’ve tagged each one with a phrase and summarized the set with the acronym FIRST. In this presentation, I explain how FIRST strategies work and show how to put them into action with illustrations and hands-on exercises. You will gain a working knowledge of these strategies and tips for continuing to master them in your own writing practice.

Presenter: Amy Brown is a professional writing coach who works with academic authors through the organization Academic Coaching & Writing (ACW). Her work with authors is informed by her experience as a teacher of writing and developmental editor, her training in co-active coaching, and her own continuing practice as a writer. Amy’s publications include a book of literary criticism, two edited collections, several academic articles, and, most recently, a book of poetry. Many of her blogs series on issues in academic writing are available on ACW’s website.

Going Digital:  The Inside Scoop

What’s really going on when your publisher decides to call itself a software developer? Have you ever wondered why some books are chosen for inclusion in publishers’ digital product programs and others are not? Do you fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of "going digital"?

Print textbook publishing has been transitioning to digital publishing models for at least three decades, but in the last five years the process has accelerated greatly. The ongoing digital transition is significantly impacting every textbook author who is actively writing or revising and causing publishers and authors to completely rethink the book as an instructional tool. This presentation provides insights into current trends in digital publishing, offers tips and strategies on how to take advantage of digital publishing opportunities, and prepares you to better adjust to the evolving educational publishing landscape. Be sure to bring your questions to this interactive session!

Presenter: Sean Wakely is Founder and Principal Adviser of Academic Author Advisers, a literary consulting group for higher education and academic authors. Sean possesses extensive higher education publishing experience gained by working at Cengage Learning, Thomson Learning, Pearson Education, and Houghton Mifflin’s college division. He’s held positions as a sales representative, college acquisitions editor, professional books editor, editorial manager, and, just prior to founding Academic Author Advisers, was a senior executive for Cengage Learning’s global product planning team and National Geographic Learning group.

Strategic & Straightforward Ways to Market - Starting Today

Answer three questions:  Do you want your work to be published? Do you want people (publishers, editors, and readers) to ask “what else have you written?” Do you want to make sure that your presence in today’s rapidly-shifting academic world is not a secret?  Prediction: You answered, “Yes”, “Yes”, and “Yes”. So you need to know how to market. This briskly-paced session is for those who want their limited time well-invested, regardless of whether they are marketing textbooks, academic books, articles, or themselves as they seek out a publisher. You will come away from this session with specific strategies and practices to integrate into your academic writing life – starting today. The ideas you learn won’t take hours of time or buckets of money. Learn to be a magnet for the eyes and minds of readers of your articles, blogs, and books. Only attend if you believe what you do is important. 

Presenter: Meggin McIntosh, Professor Emerita, University of Nevada, Reno, now known as “The PhD of Productivity”, is an author, workshop leader, and coach. She works with overwhelmed academics who would prefer to be overjoyed, instead. Meggin has been called “an educational treasure” and has won every teaching award for which she was eligible at the University – locally, state-wide, and regionally. Her 6-word bio is: “Put on Earth to teach. Thankful.” Learn more at

Saturday Sessions

The Digital Book Report 2016

In today's fast-evolving e-publishing market, both publishers and authors must continually evaluate and re-position to retain relevance in the academic markets. The traditional textbook publishing business model has been besieged by disruptors, such as MOOCs, used book dealers, consumer advocates, and content pirates. A new model is emerging that focuses on digital courses offered under subscription models similar to those used for software products. Join June Jamrich Parsons and Marlys Mayfield for a discussion of these trends and how they affect authors, institutions, instructors, and students.‚Äč

Presenter: June Jamrich Parsons is an author, educator, digital book pioneer, and co-author of the 2012 TAA McGuffey Award-winning textbook New Perspectives on Computer Concepts. She co-developed the first commercially successful multimedia, interactive digital textbook; one that set the bar for platforms now being developed by educational publishers. Her career includes extensive classroom teaching, product design for eCourseware, textbook authoring for Course Technology and Cengage, and Creative Strategist for MediaTechnics Corporation. She holds a doctorate in instructional technology, earned CCP (Certified Computing Professional) certification, and is a member of the TAA Council of Fellows and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Presenter: Through nine editions over a period of 30 years, Marlys Mayfield, M.A., has been re-creating a pioneering textbook, Thinking for Yourself, (Cengage Learning) that teaches both instructors and students how to develop their critical thinking skills in a more aware fusion with the skills of reading and writing. She has offered over 30 different workshops in her approach to faculty groups. More recently, with June Parsons, she has been researching the problems textbook authors face in the ongoing print to digital transition as well as in adapting to radically new publisher priorities and academic expectations.

Writing Across the Academic Life-Span

Being an academic often feels like stepping into a hole of sinking sand. To avoid going under, one must be continually moving, improving, and monitoring one’s writing skills, habits, and productivity. Each stage of an academic career focuses on different aspects and purposes for writing, such as grants, publications, and books, and each stage presents unique challenges. In this interactive discussion, one full professor, one associate professor, one assistant professor, and one recent doctoral graduate will share personal experiences of writing across different stages of the academic career. Each panelist will briefly present her views on writing and provide strategies for managing writing at the various stages of academic life. The presentation will end with the audience being invited to share perspectives on the topic, as well as with time for Q&A.

Panel Organizer: Tracey S. Hodges is an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi where she teaches writing-intensive courses to pre-service teachers. Additionally, Tracey works for grant-sponsored research focusing on persuasive writing for middle grades students and studies writing motivation and self-efficacy of adolescents and pre-service teachers. She enjoys writing for publication and in her free time, writes poetry and short

Panelist: Patricia Goodson, is a Presidential Professor of Health Education in the Department of Health & Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. At TAMU, she has taught mostly graduate-level courses such as Health Behavior Theory, Health Research Methods, Health Program Evaluation, Health Education Ethics, and Advanced Health Behavior Theory. In 2007 she created and implemented a writing support service for graduate students, titled P.O.W.E.R. (an acronym for Promoting Outstanding Writing for Excellence in Research). She has authored two academic books: Theory in Health Promotion Research and Practice: Thinking Outside the Box, published in 2009 by Jones & Bartlett Learning, and Becoming an Academic Writer: 50 Exercises for Paced, Productive, and Powerful Writing, published in 2012 by SAGE Publications.  

Panelist: Erin McTigue, Associate Professor at Texas A&M University in the Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture, co-directs the P.O.W.E.R. Writing Services (support service for graduate students) and the TAMU Reading Clinic. Prior to academia, Erin was a classroom teacher at both the elementary and middle school levels, and a reading specialist.  Her research interests include comprehension of informational texts, visual/graphical literacy, and the role of self-efficacy for learning.

Panelist: Katherine L. Wright is a doctoral candidate at Texas A&M University, where she specializes in Curriculum and Instruction, focused in Reading and Language Arts. Her research interests include reading and writing motivation, second language content-area literacy, writing-to-learn, and scientific literacy development. Through her dissertation, Katherine developed feasible and effective means to implement literacy instruction in content-area classes. She will be graduating in 2016 and pursuing a career as an assistant professor. 

How Self-Publishing Complements the Academic Life Cycle

Self-publishing is easier today than ever - You can publish your work and make it accessible to readers in a matter of hours. It’s also rising in popularity with even the most serious of scholars reconsidering established attitudes toward this form of scholarly dissemination. However, one must determine if self-publishing accommodates their publishing needs. What specific advantages are available according to where you currently stand in the course of your academic life cycle? The insights conveyed by this presentation will help academic authors, whether they are tenured faculty members, doctoral students or any other type of academic author, understand the advantages that self-publishing brings to each phase of the academic life cycle and publishing process, as well as illustrate the advantages available to their readership.

Presenter: Daniel Berze is the Senior Vice President of academic publishing at He acted previously as the executive publisher at Emerald Group Publishing, where he was directly responsible for bringing hundreds of textbooks to market. 

10 Tips and 20 Questions for Your Next Book Deal

Veteran intellectual property attorney Steve Gillen will take you on a tour of a typical textbook publishing contract, pointing out the highlights along the way – what’s usually negotiable; what’s often not negotiable; what questions to ask; and when to ask them.

Presenter: Steve Gillen teaches Electronic Media Law at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Steve worked for nearly 20 years in publishing prior to entering private practice in the middle 1990’s. He is presently a partner at Wood, Herron & Evans (a 145-year-old Cincinnati law firm focused on intellectual property) where he concentrates his practice on publishing, media, and copyright matters. Steve is a long-time member of the TAA Council and a regular speaker at TAA conferences.

Leveraging Online Learning Technology & Environments to Benefit Research Group Writing

Join this session to discuss overcoming research writing and time management hurdles by using online learning platforms. With many competing demands for attention, faculty and graduate students alike have to cope with little time and structure in their research efforts. Online learning platforms afford not only structure, but also the capability to convene collaborators to design, implement, analyze and report research. Come explore using technology to better address your needs! This model of group writing provides powerful, scalable features to support writing, research collaboration and mentoring by leveraging both adult learning principles and online learning environments’ potential. The benefits include greater efficiencies, conquering limitations of time and travel, and overcoming many internal and external demands. The virtual group experience can include dynamic interaction, flexible formats, unique experiences, and new opportunities for anytime, anywhere collaboration. Participants discover the processes, benefits, and pitfalls of using LMS to facilitate research group writing.

Presenter: Kathleen P. King is Professor and Program Director of Higher Education & Policy Studies at University of Central Florida, Orlando. Her major areas of research include transformative learning, technology innovations, leadership, faculty development, and diversity. In 2011, she was inducted into The International Continuing and Adult Education Hall of Fame. As an award winning author who has published over 30 books and 150+ articles, Kathleen is a popular keynote and conference speaker, mentor, and professor.

Creating an E-Textbook: A Collaboration and Innovative Journey

This presentation will focus on the design of an e-textbook and the digital technology used for publishing in the 21st century. The authors of a recent introductory textbook will describe their journey into the digital publishing world. They will discuss the ease and challenges of designing a project electronically with editors on the other side of the continent. Three areas will be highlighted for an audience that may be interested in their e-publishing opportunities in the future:

  • The steps in creating a proposal for an electronic book using interactive features
  • The innovative use of video to support the vision of the project
  • How to work collaboratively and electronically with both co-authors and publishers

The overall goal of the session is to offer useful, practical information regarding strategies for collaboration, writing tips, and developing an e-book with interactive features.

Presenter: Audrey Cohan is a Professor in the Division of Education at Molloy College in New York. She teaches courses on the foundations of education to both undergraduate and graduate students including change of career teachers. Before coming to Molloy College, she was a special education teacher in New York City.  She has published on child sexual abuse and effective development practices and has co-edited the Breaking the Mold series with Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld.

Presenter: Andrea Honigsfeld is Associate Dean and Director of the new Doctoral Program focused on Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities at Molloy College in New York. Before entering the field of teacher education, she was an English as a Second Language teacher in New York City. A Fulbright Scholar and sought after national presenter, Andrea is the coauthor or co-editor of over 15 books on education.

Blogging to Promote Your Academic Works: Where Do I Start?

Are you ready to start blogging but don’t know quite how and where to start? Then this session is right for you! Blogging can be an extremely effective tool for academics in terms of promoting academic works and networking to establish yourself as a voice of influence within your academic discipline. A blog provides a virtual “home base” to share information about your writing, teaching, and academic interests. It provides you an effective outreach tool to network with your peers and students, and allows you to tailor your messages to the specific audience you wish to reach. In this session you will learn how to set up a blog account, what content to share, and how to select effective images. A variety of blog posts formats will be shared as well as methods to promote your blog and network with others. On your mark, get set, BLOG!

Presenter: Kevin Patton is the author of several popular anatomy & physiology (A&P) textbooks and manuals. He has worked as an A&P professor for three decades, having taught at high school, community college, university, and graduate levels. He is a President Emeritus of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) and was the founding director of HAPS Institute, a continuing education program for A&P professors. Kevin publishes several blogs and websites related to teaching and learning, including

Mentoring Emerging Academic Writers

Academic writers typically begin developing writing skills during undergraduate education and continue throughout one’s career.  For many emerging academic writers, graduate education signals a shift in the expectations of writing and spurs the development of specific writing habits that ensure (or not) academic productivity. In our experience, developing emerging academic writers requires an intentional and holistic approach, including mentoring and professional development. In this session we will present the Sisters of the Academy (SOTA) model for mentoring emerging academic writers, and provide practical tips and strategies mentors can use to support emerging academic writers and facilitate the development of a community of writers at their institutions, or virtually.

Presenter: Tamara Bertrand Jones, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Florida State University, is a founder and past president of Sisters of the Academy (SOTA) Institute, an international organization that promotes collaborative scholarship and networking among Black women in the academy. She coordinates the Research BootCamp®, SOTA’s professional development for early career scholars. She has collaborated with fellow scholars to write Pathways to Higher Education for African American Women (Stylus Publishing, 2012) and Cultivating Leader Identity and Capacity in Students from Diverse Backgrounds (Jossey-Bass, 2013), and most recently How to Write a Literature Review (Sense Publishing, in press). 

Presenter: Felicia Moore Mensah is Professor of Science Education and Program Coordinator of the Science Education Program, Teachers College, Columbia University, NYC.  Her research focus is diversity and social justice education with emphasis on improving science experiences for PreK-16 teachers and students. Felicia has advised and worked with doctoral students and junior faculty nationally and internationally. She received the Early Career Award, Division K, American Educational Research Association (2012), and the Race, Culture and Diversity Teaching Award, Teachers College (2006, 2015). She is a past President for Sisters of the Academy.

Presenter: Dannielle Joy Davis is an Associate Professor at St. Louis University. She has studied and conducted research in Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Her interdisciplinary research examines the experiences of marginalized groups in educational settings, the role of organizational policy and practice in the promotion or inhibition of egalitarian academic and occupational outcomes, and spirituality in the workplace. She has published over 35 refereed journal articles, book chapters, academic commentaries, volumes, and reviews; co-edited the books Black Women in Leadership (Peter Lang Publishing) and Social Justice Issues and Racism in the College Classroom (Emerald Publishing); and served as an Associate Editor for Learning for Democracy: An International Journal of Thought and Practice which is sponsored by the AERA SIG, Democratic Citizenship in Education.

Presenter: Anna L. Green is an Educational Psychologist who has spent 20 years serving the Higher Education community.  She is currently a consultant for non-profit organizations providing expertise in college and career readiness, community partnerships and academically enriched summer programs for high school students. She is President Emerita and a founder of Sisters of the Academy Institute. She has two co-edited books, Sisters of the Academy: Emergent Black Women Scholars in Higher Education (Stylus Publishing, 2001) and Journey to the Ph.D.: How to Navigate the Process as African Americans (Stylus Publishing, 2003).  

Making it Stick: Incorporating Cognitive Science Research Into Textbook Elements

Research in cognitive science has much to tell us about how people learn, retain, and retrieve information. Can we use this information to our advantage in developing textbooks to support student learning? Taking cues from the research presented in the book Make it Stick by Brown, Roedinger, and McDaniel, the presenters will lead an interactive session engaging the audience to discuss how people learn and how cognitive science research can be incorporated into textbook writing and development.

Presenter: Laura Frost is the Director of the Whitaker Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education and Professor of Chemistry at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Whitaker Center serves as a regional hub for expertise and leadership in STEM education reform across all levels of education including professional development for STEM faculty. Frost is actively engaged in reforming STEM education through inquiry-based teaching and evidence-based practice and has demonstrated increased student learning in her courses using this approach. Laura is also author of a chemistry textbook for the health professions (Pearson Education) and a series of guided-inquiry activities in chemistry. Her textbook takes a unique, integrated approach to the delivery of chemical topics that has been shown to increase student interest in the course.

Presenter: Karen Timberlake received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a master’s degree from the University of California Los Angeles. She taught chemistry at Los Angeles Valley College for 36 years and has been writing chemistry textbooks for 40 years. Her writing utilizes pedagogical tools that promote student success in chemistry and the application of chemistry to real-life situations. She is the author of Basic Chemistry, fifth edition, General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry: Structures of Life, fifth edition, and Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, twelfth edition. Timberlake received the Excellence in College Chemistry Teaching Award given by the Chemical Manufacturers Association, the McGuffey Award in Physical Sciences from the Text and Academic Authors Association, and the “Texty” Textbook Excellence Award.

Plan to Write: Organize and Sustain an Academic Life of Predictable, Peaceful Productivity

The requirements and expectations of the academic life can easily squeeze out the time and energy you need to write. When this happens, despondency and panic set in (and you might even get cranky). Professors talk about writing, fret about writing, and feel pressured to write. Most also have a deep desire to communicate their knowledge and passion by writing articles, books, and other resources for learners. Unfortunately talking, fretting, and wishing rarely result in manuscripts or manuals. How about trying a different approach? Plan to write. Participants in this session will learn a dozen strategies to increase their writing productivity by organizing themselves as academics. Walk away from the session being informed about what to do to get organized and being inspired to do it. Expect a mixture of humor and structured practicality that will ensure an academic writing life that’s more predictable and peaceful. We’ll see you there!

Presenter: Meggin McIntosh, Professor Emerita, University of Nevada, Reno, is now known as “The PhD of Productivity.” As an academic, she has written books, manuals, articles, and a host of blog posts and e-publications. Although not naturally organized, she learned how to create and sustain a predictable, peaceful, and productive academic life. Integrate what you learn in this session so you can, too. Meggin’s 6-word bio: “Put on Earth to teach. Thankful.” Learn more at  

Roundtable Sessions

Intellectual Property Rights:  What You Should Know

This roundtable discussion will concentrate on copyright and trademark rights that are important to authors. We will discuss the difference between works-made-for-hire and transfers of copyright; we will go through the fair use test, and how it applies to textbook and academic authors; we will distinguish fair use from derivative works; we will talk about the mechanics of the reversion and termination provisions of the copyright act; and we will discuss how trademark law plays a role in book titles. This will be an interactive session. 

Presenter: Ed Klaris is a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property, media law, and the sale and acquisition of literary property. He is principal of Klaris IP, a law firm based in New York City and an adjunct professor of law at Columbia Law School. Ed spent 8 years at Condé Nast as Senior Vice President in charge of IP assets and rights; he was the General Counsel of The New Yorker for 6 years, and media counsel at ABC, Inc. He presents and writes often.  See for more.

Writing a Book Proposal: The First Step in Getting Published

Writing your book proposal is the initial step toward getting published, and the quality of the proposal is key to being offered a contract. It also is a means of clarifying and improving your book project. We will explore general strategies and specific tips that result in a good proposal. The roundtable will include an interactive exercise to flesh out the essence of your book, which is essential to communicate in your proposal. Although the emphasis will be on textbook proposals, we will also cover monograph proposals. If you haven’t written a proposal before, please have a book project in mind (even a potential one) so you can have a context for our discussion. If you have written a proposal before, come share your experiences with others (what TAA is all about) and get ideas for making your next proposal even better.

Presenter: Michael Spiegler, Professor of Psychology at Providence College, is an academic and textbook author with leading psychology textbooks, including Contemporary Behavior Therapy (6th ed.) winner of the McGuffey Award in its 5th ed., and Personality: Strategies and Issues (8th ed.). He has presented more than 30 workshops and intensive courses on textbook writing nationally and internationally. He is a consultant/mentor to college textbook authors in diverse disciplines. Michael is active in TAA governance and has been elected to the TAA Council of Fellows.

Journal-Keeping Strategies:  Boost Your Motivation, Organization and Creativity in One Place

Keeping a journal for your professional life has many benefits. At the simplest level, journals provide an extremely efficient organization tool to help manage the complex events and activities in your academic life. Yet, on another level, journal-keeping can offer much more. Practicing research-based reflective activities in a journal leads to increased motivation to write, and a bevy of fresh and creative insights into your work. In this roundtable, you will learn tips on the art of journaling for success and practice several reflective activities that can be captured in a journal and used as seeds for generating research, writing journal articles, and other writing activities.

Presenter:  Dannelle D. Stevens, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Portland State University, Oregon, has coauthored three books framed around different ways to assist faculty in their complex roles as scholars and teachers. In her role as PSU Faculty-in-Residence for Academic Writing in the Office of Academic Innovation, she created and facilitates the Jumpstart Academic Writing Program involving nearly 100 faculty practicing and publishing academic writing. Dannelle is widely published in journals and presents academic writing workshops nationally and abroad.


Editing Efficiently in Academic Writing for ESL Academic Writers

Once you complete the draft of any academic writing project, it is time to edit! Checking the big picture (ideas), the structure (paragraphs), the detail (grammar, spelling, or words usage), and gaining feedback (from peers and professors) are critical steps to editing any piece of academic work. However, for ESL academic writers, language limitations and cultural differences present unique challenges to be considered. Research indicates ESL academic writers experience language issues which increase the hours spent on writing and also create increased emotional stress when compared to non-ESL peers. This interactive presentation will introduce hands-on tools to help ESL academic writers edit more efficiently and with less stress. Participants will discover and practice useful strategies needed in the editing process in order to maximize writing productivity!

Presenter: Qian Ji is a doctoral candidate in Health Education within the Department of Health & Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. Her research investigates the relationship between expressive writing and health outcomes among graduate students. She is also engaged in promoting academic writing strategies among international academics and has recently delivered several workshops on the POWER Writing Model to health care researchers in China.

Presenter: Leigh Szucs is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. Her research interests include school-based health instruction and teen pregnancy prevention. Leigh has published several peer-reviewed manuscripts and also has presented at state, regional, and national conferences. She earned her B.S. degree in Health & Physical Education from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and her M.Ed. degree in Health Education from Texas State University.

Let's Talk Twitter: Brainstorming Content

Are you interested in becoming more active on Twitter but struggle with knowing what content to share and how? Join us for this brainstorming discussion to share ideas on what content works, how to format and share content, and how to grow your Twitter retweets, shares, and followers. Come ready to share your tips, strategies and examples, and benefit from others.

Presenter: Mike Kennamer serves as Director of Workforce Development at Northeast Alabama Community College and is President/CEO of Kennamer Media Group, Inc., a B2B content development and management company. Kennamer has written a number of textbooks, workbooks, instructor resources, video scripts, and Internet content in the health and public safety fields and has several academic articles published in higher education journals.

Presenter: Through her practice, Tweed Editing, Katie Van Heest, refines scholarship so that research makes its mark within the academy and beyond. Her services are retained by professors, independent researchers, and advanced graduate students, and she edits for university presses, research centers, and scholarly societies.



View programs from past conferences:

2015 Conference
2014 Conference
2013 Conference

Disclaimer: TAA reserves the right to cancel or replace program sessions as circumstances require.

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