FACULTY & STAFF
Faculty Authors Celebrated
Left to right: Provost David Christy, Associate Professor John Casey, Professor Carl Rollyson, Adjunct Professor Patrick Reilly, Assistant Professor Anna Boozer, Adjunct Professor Jeanne Stauffer-Merle, Distinguished Professor Gail Levin, Adjunct Professor Trudy Milburn, Professor Sankar Sen, Professor T.K. Das, and President Mitchel Wallerstein at recent faculty author celebration
Publishing a book is a "monumental achievement" and a hallmark of academic excellence, intellectual rigor, and profound commitment to knowledge generation, President Mitchel B. Wallerstein said at a recent celebration of faculty authors.
In just the past few years, the Baruch College faculty has published more than two dozen tomes that highlight the great range and depth of expertise that our professors have to offer (see titles below). In April, the College's administrative leadership, along with dozens of faculty member and students, cheered our authors' accomplishments at a special event in the campus bookstore, where the books are now on prominent display.
"There is nothing like seeing your own book, and holding it in your hand. I know from personal experience that it's a point of enormous satisfaction and pride," President Wallerstein said. Faculty members at Baruch carry heavy teaching loads, yet they find time to pursue their research and to publish. In many disciplines, writing a book is the hallmark of a successful academic career. The works on display here demonstrate that Baruch faculty are highly productive and competitive in numerous disciplines."
Provost David P. Christy also praised the "tenacity and dedication" of so many Baruch faculty members, some of whom have published multiple books already. "It is a tremendous point of pride for the College community to have such a productive, engaged faculty. Our students directly benefit from your intellectual engagement and so do your fields at large."
The Drive to Publish
Insatiable curiosity—or some say obsession with a particular topic—was generally cited as the reason why an author decides to pursue a book topic. For two faculty authors—Carl Rollyson, professor of Journalism and the Writing Professions, and Patrick Reilly, adjunct assistant professor of English—their lives as former actors also played a central role. "As a former actor, I looked at biography as an impersonation," explained Rollyson, a self-described serial biographer who has written about Walter Brennan, Michael Foot, Marilyn Monroe, and others. "Going through records and archives, I could inhabit this person's life and make it come to life."
For Reilly, his career in theater and the impact of the AIDS epidemic on plays like Angels in America sparked his exploration of plague texts. "I began my dissertation in my late 40s, thinking I would like to say something about the AIDS epidemic," he explained. "It led to an examination of plague texts from ancient days to our postmodern times. What struck me were the similar patterns of behavior and notions of destiny that the texts revealed. If read dialogically, I realized, the texts together had a powerful story to tell."
All faculty authors talked about the sustained need to dig for information, but for Anna Lucille Boozer, assistant professor in the Department of History, that was literally the case. For three years she led a research excavation site in Egypt that uncovered the artifacts, architecture, and ecofacts from the Amheida House, which dates back to the late third century. That was followed by two years of onsite analysis, all to answer a question she had: What happens when an empire attacks an area? How does that impact individual lives?