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7 Candidates running for two seats on TAA Council

Seven candidates are running for two open positions on the TAA Council, the association’s governing board. Council members serve three-year terms beginning July 1, 2016.

To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing. Members received an email with a link to the election ballot on March 3. If you are a TAA member and cannot vote electronically, contact Kim Pawlak at or (608) 687-3106 to request a paper ballot. The deadline for voting is April 1, 2016. Winners will be announced April 6, 2016.


Robert BarlowRobert H. Barlow

Position Statement: “I am an experienced educator and author. I liaise regularly with teachers of students in the disciplines for which I write, and with my publisher to understand the latest trends in the industry. I have a proven record of working collaboratively with others to achieve common goals. ”

Robert H. Barlow is the author of 10 successful books in the field of Business and Legal Studies, with three titles currently in print. He retired from teaching having served on State (NSW, Australia) Curriculum and Examination committees. He regularly gives free seminars to students using his textbooks.

Richard HullRichard T. Hull

Position Statement: “I am eager to join the Council and bring my Academic years of publishing mostly academic works back into service of an organization I love and admire. I believe I can can contribute both to the professional development of academics and help manage this excellent organization. While not myself a significant Textbook author, I do understand that activity and the issues that make it complicated: mergers of publishers, the challenges of contract negotiation, and the dominance of publishing house staff by individuals not coming out of academic experiences. I hope to add my voice to those of the Council who seek to advance the interests of academic writers as they develop their careers. I will appreciate enormously the support of members as I seek office.”

Richard T. Hull took early retirement after 30 years as a professor of philosophy at SUNY at Buffalo to try his hand in non-profit organization management. He was offered a position by TAA as Executive Director in 2005 when TAA was struggling with membership and budget issues. During the next 8 years, TAA regained a comfortable membership and resolved its budgetary and other issues. He retired from that position, spending a year as Senior Advisor to the new Executive Director. 2014 saw him dealing with some serious medical problems that are resolved at this writing.

Laura MarkosLaura Markos

Nominee position statement: “As Laura Markos’ bio shows, she is experienced in the areas important to TAA members. She understands the processes and stages of academic writing and publishing and knows how to guide others to accomplish them. However, I am nominating her because she has other qualities that do not appear in professional bios. Laura knows how to bring human qualities into the virtual environment. She is a real team player, someone who takes seriously the need for the thought and preparation that makes meetings productive and collaborative work successful. Based on my work with her on numerous (virtual) teams, projects and on doctoral committees, I believe Laura Markos would be a terrific contributor to the TAA Council.”

Dr. Laura Markos has advised and coached hundreds of doctoral scholars. She has published numerous scholarly and business articles, book chapters, manuals, research and technical papers. Dr. Markos founded Sage’s peer-reviewed Journal of Transformative Education. Her practice draws on 30 years’ international experience in writing, publishing, coaching, consulting, teaching, training, mentoring, facilitation, and public speaking, as well as extensive dissertation mentoring experience. Clientele include grad students, postdocs, and doctoral faculty, spanning five continents, in disciplines across the social sciences. Clients include authors and anthology editors who have published articles, chapters, and/or books with Dr. Markos’ assistance.

Margaret ReeceMargaret Thompson Reece

Position Statement: “The world of book publishing in general and textbook publishing in particular are in flux. It is no secret that students avoid reading the standard books of established textbook publishers. Every month there is greater emphasis on use of online resources inside the classroom and outside it. Therefore, pedagogy methods are also evolving. In many fields, including but not limited to life science and technology, this is confounded by the fact that essential information expands at a rapid pace. I believe it is imperative for academic authors to incorporate new opportunities like self-publishing, social media tools and blogging into their portfolios. The Textbook & Academic Authors association is in a unique position to assist faculty in these new opportunities for outreach, and I would like to participate in doing that.”

Margaret Thompson Reece PhD, physiologist, former Senior Scientist and Laboratory Director at academic medical centers in California, New York and Massachusetts and CSO at Serometrix LLC is now CEO at Reece Biomedical Consulting LLC. Dr. Reece has published original research in female reproduction, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. She lectured physiology, anatomy, biochemistry and genetics in college classrooms as adjunct faculty for over 30 years. Dr. Reece is passionate about helping college students attain careers in healthcare. Her books Physiology: Custom-Designed Chemistry (2012), Inside the Closed World of the Brain (2015) are for beginners. Her website is

John RussoJohn Russo

Position Statement: “During my 14 years as a TAA member I have enjoyed learning about academic writing through workshops and publications offered by the organization. For many years I have also served as a judge for TAA’s Textbook Awards. During the past three years, as a member of the TAA Council, I have helped to shape the future of the organization by helping with strategic planning. I have also been involved in planning several of the conferences and also served on the grants committee. As we move forward in the digital age, academic writing faces some new challenges. The days of traditional textbooks are waning as the industry tries to find its way. While no one is clear on what the future holds for textbooks, we as academic authors need to be looking ahead and thinking of new ways to deliver content. Since my discipline is computer science, I have a passion for finding new ways to use existing technology. As a member of the Council, I would like to continue to help TAA and its members explore new ways that we can utilize technology to provide the best content in the most economical way possible.”

John Russo is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Wentworth Institute of Technology. He has worked in academia for 17 years after spending close to 15 years in the industry. His latest project is a book on database management systems.

Janet SalmonsJanet Salmons

Nominee position statement: “Janet Salmons’ experience and expertise link to key aspects of TAA’s mission. A disciplined, inventive, and generous contributor to diverse organizations, Janet is well versed in academic writing and publishing. She brings both team and leadership skills to her work. An experienced teacher, mentor, and writer, she excels at presenting complex ideas in clear, accessible ways – verbally, visually, and technologically. A caring coach and mentor, Janet connects and partners well on individual, group, and institutional levels. Further, her contributions include consideration of local and global concerns, and alignment of initiatives for engagement, collaboration, effectiveness, and results. Most importantly, she works to ensure ethical consideration and social justice in all she does. As a colleague for over a decade, I believe Janet Salmons would be a strong and valued contributor to the TAA Council.”

Dr. Janet Salmons is an independent researcher, writer, and consultant through her company, Vision2Lead. Her publications include Doing Qualitative Research Online, Qualitative Online interviews, Online Interviews in Real Time, Cases in Online Interview Research, and numerous articles and book chapters. She is an active blogger for the Academy of Management’s The Ethicist and other academic and research sites; and a peer reviewer and editorial board member for academic journals. Janet serves as a dissertation mentor for Walden University’s Educational Technology PhD program. Previously, as graduate faculty in Capella University’s School of Business, honors included the Harold Abel Distinguished Faculty Award.

Al TrujilloAl Trujillo

Position Statement: “I find great value in TAA as an organization and I support the mission of TAA. I appreciate that TAA supports networking opportunities with other textbook authors. Being an author is a time-consuming and individual endeavor, so it’s nice to communicate with other authors about authorship issues, which TAA facilitates through a wide range of professional development resources, events, and networking opportunities. I have been a member of TAA since 2010 and have attended TAA annual meetings since 2013, where I have been a presenter for a breakout session and served as a panelist. I have also done a webinar for TAA about the 20-year evolution of my oceanography textbook. I am a seasoned textbook author and I bring to the table many new innovations in textbook pedagogy. I care about TAA as an organization, so I think I would make an excellent TAA Council member.”

Al Trujillo teaches oceanography and geology at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California (near San Diego), where he is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Earth Sciences. He is a co-author of two leading college-level oceanography textbooks: Essentials of Oceanography and Introductory Oceanography and is also a contributing author for two Earth science textbooks: Earth and Earth Science. In 2012, Essentials of Oceanography, 10th Edition, was awarded the Textbook & Academic Authors Association’s Textbook Excellence Award for textbook excellence. In addition to teaching and writing, Al works as a naturalist and lecturer aboard National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions vessels.