UHV publishing program gets mention in leading industry magazine

Jan. 7, 2012 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 6, 2012 at 7:07 p.m.

The young but rapidly expanding University of Houston-Victoria Master of Science in publishing program was recently recognized by a leading industry voice.

Publishers Weekly, an international magazine that covers all aspects of book publishing - from printing, to authors, to digital innovation - included the UHV program among six highlighted from around the nation in its Nov. 21 issue. The program, which is the only one in the southern U.S., was cited for its focus on giving students real-world experience through an expanding array of publications housed at the university.

"This has been a forward-looking program since its beginning, and this recognition from Publishers Weekly further validates what we are doing," said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. "Even with so many recent changes in publishing, we are staying relevant by offering the most up-to-date and intensive training for our students."

Other programs around the U.S. profiled in the magazine included: Emerson College in Boston; New York University; Portland State University in Oregon; Pace University in New York City and Rosemont College, located outside Philadelphia.

The UHV publishing program began in 2009. Prior to that time, Di Leo brought two periodicals, the American Book Review and Symploke, and the Fiction Collective Two press to UHV. Those offerings gave the new program a backbone for students to get publishing experience. Through internships and course work, master's students learn about the daily operation of these publications and acquire the skills that prepare them for the transition from graduate studies to their professional life.

Other presses now housed in the UHV Center for Literary Publishing include Cuneiform Press, Dark Sky Press and University Press of Victoria. UHV's Centro Victoria recently published a new Latino literary journal called Huizache.

Kyle Schlesinger, assistant director of the UHV Center for Literary Publishing, said the publishing program focuses on theory, practice, tradition and innovation.

"There has never been a more interesting time to seek out a career in publishing," Schlesinger said. "The Master of Science in publishing program at UHV came of age at a dynamic moment in the culture of the book, and our courses reflect that change. For example, our online classes resemble the freelance marketplace that is becoming the standard, while our emphasis on e-books and digital publishing software is informed by a deep historical celebration of the tradition of typographic arts."

The piece also noted that more than half of the students at UHV take online courses, and a large focus of the school is to create the best online learning environment for that growing need. This fall's online courses included students from New York, Georgia, Missouri and other locations.

Students work under the guidance of nationally recognized faculty, and explore acquisitions, book and magazine design, professional editing, publicity and marketing.

Students also work with cutting-edge software, such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and FontLab. Students also are invited to take part in literary events, field trips, lectures, critiques, meetings with visiting authors and publishers and interactive projects.

Publishing students also benefit from the UHV and American Book Review Reading Series events, in which four or five authors are brought to the university for readings each semester. They read to packed houses, benefiting publishing students and English composition students alike.

UHV President Phil Castille said the publishing program is one way the university is establishing a unique identity for its focus.

"UHV is nationally recognized for our focus on the literary arts," he said. "Our new master's in publishing program and its talented group of faculty offer students an opportunity to gain a level of expertise not available at any other university in the South or Southwest."



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