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TAA President’s Message

steven barkan
Steven Barkan, Ph.D., TAA President

As the new TAA president, I am honored to be able to help lead this fine association as it continues its mission: “To support textbook and academic authors in the creation of top-quality educational and scholarly works that stimulate the love of learning and foster the pursuit of knowledge.” For my first official proclamation, let me thank Karen Morris, now the past president, who set such a worthy example for me to follow; the outstanding TAA staff for all their help during my two years as Vice President/President-elect; and TAA Council members and general members for helping to make TAA such a godsend for the authoring community.

I discovered TAA about ten years ago, which was 15 years after I began writing my first textbook and some 25 years after I began my academic career. I still remember two thoughts that came to me immediately when I first heard about TAA: (1) how I wish I had known about TAA when it began in 1987; and (2) how wonderful it was to know that there was a group of people out there who shared my joy of writing and who also knew what it was like to be writing, writing, and writing. When I attended my first TAA conference in Orlando, little did I ever imagine I would one day assume the office I now hold.

If you were fortunate enough to have attended our June 2015 conference in Las Vegas, you saw first-hand why TAA is so valuable to the authoring community. There were many excellent sessions on a wide variety of topics; great food and drink at great receptions; and, perhaps most important, an atmosphere that made brand-new members feel very welcome and returning members feel as if they were greeting family members anew. What happens in Vegas might usually stay in Vegas, but participants at our June conference brought home many new insights and much new information about writing and publishing in the digital age, and also memories of new colleagues and old friends.

TAA’s next conference takes place next year in San Antonio, June 24-25, 2016. The conference hotel will be the Hotel Contessa, an all-suite boutique hotel right on the Riverwalk. TripAdvisor ranks this hotel as #6 out of 352 hotels in San Antonio, and it also ranks the hotel’s restaurant as #79 out of 3,930 restaurants in the city. Doing a little math, that means that the hotel and restaurant rank in the top 2% of San Antonio’s lodging and dining establishments. Quite a venue!

Plan to attend the conference, read this newsletter and all the later newsletters you’ll be receiving, visit the TAA website, and take advantage of all the resources TAA offers. Whether you’re a novice author or an experienced author, TAA is here to help you produce your own “top-quality educational and scholarly works that stimulate the love of learning and foster the pursuit of knowledge.” Who knows, maybe one day you, too, will become the TAA president!