The first event was a Student Appreciation Dinner held on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 163 Williams St. The event’s purpose was reflective of its name: an evening dedicated to celebrating the success and hard work of the MS in Publishing students. It was an evening of celebration and good food and conversation.
In attendance were many Pace University officials including Uday Sukhatme, Provost and Executive VP of Academic Affairs, Nira Herrmann, the Dean of Dyson College, Eugenia Hayes, the Director of Development for Dyson College, Maria Iacullo-Bird, the Assistant Dean of Grad Programs, Susan Ford, the University Director of Graduate Admissions, and Professor Sherman Raskin, the Chair of the MS in Publishing program. Faculty members Manuela Soares, Jodylynn Bachiman, Xiao-Chaun Lian, Andrea Baron, and Paul Levitz were also in attendance alongside some new faculty including Rich Johnson and Kevin Callahan. Click here to view MS in Publishing Faculty bios!
Both David Delano and Kathy Sandler spoke about their experiences teaching in the program and their dedicated work in the publishing industry. To the students and young professionals in attendance who are getting ready to make their debuts, they offered words of advice and encouragement. Harry Wang and Ram Katri, recipients of the 2015 Edgell and Littleford scholarships, spoke about the opportunities that the Publishing program has provided for them, and Melanie Mitzman, Imprint Marketing Manager at Gallery/Pocket Books, shared with attendees her role in the industry and how her education in the program prepared her for that role.
Current students and alumni of the program also made up most of the audience, which included over 70 people. We are very fortunate to have such a dynamic and successful group of alumni (see our alumni interviews here), who frequently contribute to the Publishing program by attending events, teaching in the program, mentoring students and assisting them in their job and internship searches. This event provided students with a wonderful opportunity to network and to learn more about opportunities for employment within the publishing industry.
On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, students, faculty, and friends of the MS in Publishing program were invited to the Spring 2015 David Pecker Lecture. It was an honor to have Professor Paul Levitz serve as the David Pecker Distinguished Professor for the 2014-2015 academic year. Formerly president and publisher of DC Comics and presently teaching Publishing Comics and Graphic Novels and Publishing Transmedia at Pace University, Professor Levitz is a comic fan, editor, writer, and executive. He is currently working on a book on Will Eisner and the birth of the graphic novel for Abrams Comic Arts.
Professor Levitz has been in the comic book business as a writer and editor for more than 35 years, and has been in part responsible for the discovery of writers like Marv Wolfman and Alan Moore, and artists like George Pérez, Keith Giffen, and John Byrne.
Professor Levitz presented a lecture titled, The Era of Visual Information. Professor Raskin, the Chair of the MS in Publishing program, gave Professor Levitz a warm welcome and thanked him for his support of the program.
“We expect everything to be visual now,” said Levitz, detailing the rise of a visually driven society. “We are living in the era of visual information and visual communication, and as publishers we need to acknowledge that. More, we need to be prepared to accomplish that. Further, we need to advocate that.” Professor Levitz reminded attendees that the growing interest in visual content is not going to go away any time soon, and as such, publishers need to consider how to approach their field in a way that draws newer generations to storytelling.
The tools that allow laymen to create content are readily available, and as they continue to develop, more opportunities become available to a wider range of people. New avenues for curating and publishing content are emerging, and Professor Levitz presented a challenge to those in the industry: “We are obliged, as publishers, to find the best ways to connect our creators with the community that is interested in their work. We are obliged, as publishers, to be effective in presenting their work with the widest variety of forms and tools possible.”
The words of Professor Levitz are an urgent reminder to both those just starting in publishing and those who are already an active part to embrace the challenges that the changing publishing and media landscape are presenting. It is our responsibility to engage and present the work of authors and artists in a way that is most meaningful to our audiences and culture.