The Wilson Library foyer was full of faculty, students and other supporters all waiting to hear members of the University of La Verne faculty talk about their published works for Faculty Publications Day, a few weeks ago.
The event highlighted the published works of several faculty members, each of whom spoke about their recent accomplishments.
Among the speakers was Jeffrey Kahan, associate professor of English, who has written several books, and on this particular day decided to share a piece from his latest work, “The Cult of Kean” (Ashgate, 2006).
The book is based on Edmund Kean, an actor who in his day caused quite a commotion with his “recreational activities” and colorful personality.
Kahan captured the full attention of the audience as he read an excerpt from his book, and also evoked a few laughs throughout his reading.
Faculty Publications Day is an opportunity for authors like Kahan to get the word out about their books.
“Its celebration at ULV is a sensible display of our intellectual dynamism,” Kahan said.
“Research is neither good nor bad but a constant. We request that students do homework; what students don’t realize is that their professors are engaged in their own homework. We just call it research.”
Another highlighted author was Kathy Lamkin, professor of music, whose book, “Esterhazy Musicians 1790-1809, Eisenstadter Haydn-Berichte 6”, is actually part of a series on the subject.
Lamkin told the audience that one of the reasons why she chose this particular period of the Esterhazy musicians’ career, who were under the guidance of the great composer Joseph Haydn Franz, was because nothing had ever been written on it.
Many staff members, like Lamkin, were granted sabbaticals, and used that time to do research on their respected subjects.
“Research and publication are what distinguishes a university among its peers,” Al Clark, associate vice president of academic affairs said.
“All of the great universities are known for their research. Although ULV sees itself primarily as a teaching institution, we seek to encourage our faculty to distinguish themselves among their colleagues at other universities with peer-reviewed publications,” Clark said.
Other acknowledged authors were Ken Scambray, Ken Marcus, Christine Broussard, Andrea Labinger, Tom Harvey, Larry Kemper, Pat White, Ngoc Bui, Glenn Gamst, Jerry Kernes, Patricia Long, Barbara Nicoll, Jan Pilgreen, Raymond Scott, Matt Witt and Alden Reimonenq.
“During the first decade I was at La Verne, no faculty member was doing serious research and only one published anything of note,” Clark said. “At present, the end of my third decade here, our faculty are producing three to four publications a month, on average, and five to ten books a year.”
Clark added that over 100 members of full-time and part-time ULV faculty have published their works.
Students who attended the event were pleasantly surprised and impressed with the speakers, especially those who are or have been their professors while taking courses at ULV.
“I think this event was great because it allows students to see their professors’ hard work outside of school,” Isis Romero said.
“Sometimes, as students, we tend to think that a professor only teaches and grades tests and homework. We never really think about their outside work and dedication to other things aside from students,” Romero said.
This was the third annual Faculty Publications Day and many more are anticipated.
“For 116 years La Verne has been respected as a teaching institution,” Clark said. “In the last 10 years it has begun to shine in research, too.They go hand in hand: research enlivens teaching and teaching stimulates research. It is my hope that La Verne faculty continue to star in teaching while they make a reputation for the university with their publication.”
Cindy Lopez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.