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by Mary Stevenson, Coordinator, Writing Across the Curriculum
Extension 0573,

Ever served on a textbook committee and find nothing quite matches your needs? In search of that right book, Sherman Silverman, professor of Geography, began by writing a prospectus for McGraw-Hill, a proposed cultural geography textbook. The responses from reviewers were divided: the community college faculty saw their issues and their students in the proposed book; but those from four-year schools were not as enthusiastic. Sherman’s solution? He contacted Wiley, a custom service publisher. For $28 to $33, the company publishes his textbook, complete with exercises and articles, all written by Sherman. The articles are ones that he has written and presented at professional conferences (many published). And all are about subjects he finds interesting; his enthusiasm for the subjects carries over to the book and the classroom. Listening to Sherman, I too found myself interested in the geography of Prince George’s County and intrigued by the continued existence of Jewish high school fraternities, in the face of forces that encourage assimilation. Besides interesting content, each article also offers a demonstration of key concepts, terms, and methodology in his field. If you have questions about his experience in publishing for his class, call Sherman on extension 0530. And if you would enjoy reading an interesting article outside of your own field, ask him for a copy of that paper on those Jewish high school fraternities, "Diffusion and Ethnic Assimilation."

Entries for the Tracy Walker Writing Contest have been submitted. The winner of this annual award for 2002 will receive the $500 prize at the Student Honors Convocation, May 7, 2003.

This spring, WAC will be sponsoring a new series, Works in Progress, authors on campus reading from work in progress. If you have been writing a novel or a play or long work of nonfiction, consider sharing part of your working draft with the college. If you know of a colleague who has such a project but who may be shy, please call Mary Stevenson. I promise not to reveal who told.

Writing and organizing the portfolio for promotion and/or tenure is a very difficult task, one due early in the spring semester. This year the new faculty handbook contains revised instructions on content and organization that give specific directions. You may access the Faculty Evaluation and Promotion  Handbook on the Web at  Also, the library has copies of portfolios done last year that serve as excellent models. If, though, you would like a friendly reader, e-mail or call me.


The Instructional Area Newsletter, Volume 18, No. 2

Spring 2003