This week, members of the Association of University Presses honor our late colleague Mark Saunders, director of the University of Virginia Press, with a blog tour recognizing the people who make up our university press community. We asked our colleagues at Duke University Press to tell us what they appreciate about the people they work alongside.
“I spent a week-in-residence over a decade ago in the production department at the University of California Press. During that week I was overwhelmed by the generosity of Tony Crouch and Marilyn Schwartz, and the lengths to which they went to make sure I met as many people as possible and had access to whatever information they had that might help me and my department back home at Duke. I think that week was when I truly learned what university press publishing is all about: sharing ideas and resources freely with colleagues, both at home and around the country and world; struggling together with new technologies, new ways of doing business, new problems thrown at us by the likes of Amazon; and forming lasting friendships through annual meetings, committee work, listserv interactions, and even Twitter. Duke University Press is the house I live my work life in, its staff is my family, and my AUPresses colleagues are my virtual community.” —Patty Chase, Digital Content Manager
“I’ve worked at Duke University Press for 14 years—longer than I’ve lived at any one address. My colleagues and I know each others’ footsteps, tea preferences, and pet peeves. We’ve weathered tough projects and stressful times, and have greater trust and respect for each other as a result. Candidates often ask what we like about the Press and the answer is always the people. It feels trite but it’s true.” —Jocelyn Dawson, Journals Marketing Manager
“I’ve worked at Duke University Press for almost two years after several positions in the library services industry. Being new to the publishing side, I appreciate that my veteran colleagues are committed to providing resources that help all of us succeed. We celebrate each others’ accomplishments, whether big or small, as a team.” —Katja Moos, Digital Collections Sales Manager
“A visiting editor once asked our sales team what incentive they had to make sales if they didn’t get bonuses or commission. A few of us almost laughed because to us it was so obvious—the incentive is the mission and the fact that we want the Press to thrive and continue contributing to the scholarly dialogue. That’s what makes working for a UP special; the people who come and stay at places like Duke University Press believe in that mission and put their hearts into it. Even after 19 years at the Press, I am impressed on a daily basis with the dedication, creativity, intelligence, and humor of the people with whom I work.” —Cason Lynley, Director of Marketing and Sales
“My colleagues at Duke University Press are dedicated, smart, and creative, and I could write tributes to each of them. One person stands out as a star example of everything that is great about university press staff. Our Title Management [publishing software] Product Manager Ashley Postlethwaite never ceases to amaze me with her ingenuity, efficiency, deep knowledge, and eagerness to solve problems. I have come to believe there is no Title Management error she cannot troubleshoot, no report she cannot improve on, and no workflow she cannot make more efficient with a few under-the-hood tweaks. I’m also really impressed that with Title Management working generally smoothly for much of the organization, Ashley is not resting on her laurels, but instead going to various staff members to conduct audits of all the work we do in the system so that she can help us make it even better. Thank you, Ashley, for all you do!” —Laura Sell, Publicity and Advertising Manager
We are fortunate to work with a large number of dedicated and thoughtful individuals, and we hope that you feel the influence of their care as you read our books and journals.