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2020 TAA Council elections – Cast your vote

Six candidates are running for two open positions on the TAA Council, the association’s governing board. Terms begin July 1, 2020. Council members serve three-year terms.

A link to the ballot was emailed to TAA members on March 16. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing. If you are a TAA member and cannot vote electronically, contact Kim Pawlak at or (507) 459-1363 to request a paper ballot. The deadline for voting is April 12. 


Dave Dillon

Position Statement

My passion and enthusiasm for quality content, authors rights, and the TAA organization give me the foundation to be a thoughtful candidate for a council position. My gentle, diplomatic style, and counselor trained listening skills allows me to be mindful of TAA Council topics and issues and respond with respectful contributions. I am constantly surveying the changing academic publishing landscape and am aware of changing roles and how faculty, authors, and content experts will be contributing to educational content in the present and future.

Dave Dillon is counseling faculty and a professor at Grossmont College. He curated, co-authored and edited three College Success textbooks including Blueprint for Success in College and Career (Rebus Community, 2018), which won a Textbook Excellence Award from TAA and the Open Textbook award from Open Education Global. Dave was a Stanford University Global Studies Fellow in 2019 and is passionate about student success, textbook quality, open pedagogy, access and affordability, and design. He has been a TAA member since 2015 and recently completed a first term of serving on the TAA Council.

Dr. Aileen McCabe-Maucher

Position Statement

I am dedicated to helping academics, scholars, and textbook authors prosper and thrive in today’s publishing environment. I am committed to educating and advocating for the next generation of textbook and academic authors.

Dr. Aileen McCabe-Maucher earned her doctorate in clinical social work from the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of the books, The Inner Peace Diet (Penguin, 2008) and Complete Self-Care (Cognella, 2020). Dr. McCabe-Maucher earned a masters degree from Widener University and holds bachelors degrees from the University of Delaware and West Chester University of Pennsylvania in nursing and social work, respectively. In addition to private practice counseling, for over 25 years Aileen has worked as a mental health professional/social worker for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Salvation Army, as well in non-profit community mental health, child welfare/adoption, hospice, and drug and alcohol treatment settings. Dr. McCabe-Maucher is currently a faculty member at Simmons University and the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Rick Mullins

Position Statement

I am hoping to be elected to the TAA Council in order to give back to an organization that has given me much over the last four years. I have experience in professional organization leadership, serving the Cincinnati Local Section of the American Chemical Society (~1,200 members) as Auditor, Secretary, Co-Chair, Chair, Trustee, and now as Councilor to the National ACS where I serve on the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs. Being an in-progress first edition author of an organic chemistry textbook, I will bring a unique perspective to the Council where I can hopefully design programming for early career, aspiring textbook authors. My experience as Chair of the Faculty at Xavier and now as Chair of the Department of Chemistry has given me important insights into the broader textbook market, especially as it relates to impressions of non-authoring faculty.

Rick Mullins is a Professor of Chemistry at Xavier University and is working on a first edition organic chemistry textbook with Pearson Education. He started at Xavier after earning his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Indiana University in 2004. An award winning teacher, he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010 and then to Professor in 2017. He currently serves as Chair of the Department of Chemistry. He has been actively involved in faculty governance at Xavier University, serving most recently as Chair of the Faculty Committee and on the University’s Rank and Tenure Committee. He has held multiple leadership positions in the local and national American Chemical Society, currently serving his second term as Councilor.

Emily Patterson-Kane

Position Statement

I am an experienced project manager and volunteer leader. As a new member I can offer a fresh perspective and substantial time commitment as required.

Emily Patterson-Kane is an author, psychologist, independent scholar, and employee of the ASPCA.

Steven Skaggs

Position Statement

I spent the last fourteen years working in medical education; from this I developed a deep devotion and strong commitment to the adult learner. Over the past three years, my investigational efforts shifted from traditional course delivery (i.e., passive, lecture-based learning) to more progressive instructional strategies (i.e., critical thinking, learner-centered, problem/project-based, and flipped classroom). Another one of my primary interests is the integration of instructional technology and novel/unique teaching strategies into health services educational curricula. I have also committed my research efforts towards the challenging diversity disparity that currently exists within healthcare education, particularly among lower socioeconomic status individuals. My interest in publishing developed later in his life; however, I presently have two peer-reviewed articles, six manuscripts in development, one book chapter under review, and three poster presentations. Additionally, I presented at eight conferences over the past five years, two of which were at the National level.

Steven Skaggs is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He spent twenty-one years on active duty in the military, retiring in 2011. In May 2000, He earned his Bachelor of Science, followed by his Master of Physician Assistant Studies in August 2001. Always focused on personal development, he entered into an Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Ph.D. program in 2017. He expects to defend his dissertation in 2021. The last fourteen years were devoted to education, which has led to an enthusiastic interest in learner-centered methodologies and integration of andragogy-focused instructional technology.

Robert Tallitsch

Position Statement

I am a seasoned textbook writer that is new to TAA, having joined within the last two years. I didn’t know about TAA at all nor did I know what it did/does, even though I have been a textbook author since 1984. I will be attending my first national conference in April of this year. If elected I would try to provide a fresh voice to the council, hopefully providing insight into how the organization can better advertise and recruit new members, as well as continue its excellent work in supporting academic writers of all types of academic material. If elected I would be honored to serve on the council.

Robert Tallitsch served as a professor in the Biology Department at Augustana College (IL) from 1975 until 2018, and as a faculty member in the Asian Studies Program from 1989 to 2018. He earned my Ph.D. at the ripe old age of 24. He is the lead author on one of the best-selling Human Anatomy text (Human Anatomy by Martini, Tallitsch, Nath), and on more than 30 peer-reviewed PBL cases and 25 research abstracts/articles.