UNC Press at AUPresses 2022

Once a year, academic publishing professionals convene for the Association of University Presses Annual Meeting. Following CDC guidelines and in an effort to limit the spread of Covid-19, the 2020 and 2021 meetings were held virtually. This year, the AUPresses Annual Meeting resumed in person in Washington DC. Members of UNC Press staff traveled to DC to attend, and here’s what some of them had to say about the conference:

#AUPresses22: a smashing success for all the things, including compelling sessions, an excellent number of mix/mingle meetups, top of the line guest speakers, and smart pandemic protocols for being in person attendees. Having the opportunity to reconnect with, and meet new university press people (including ones from UNC Press!) has a value that extends far beyond the three days spent in DC.—Peter L. Perez, Director of Public Relations and Communications

“A wonderful reintroduction to in-person conferences. Taking advantage of the walking tours that AUP coordinated, meeting up with former colleagues, and meeting a host of individuals in the same early to mid-career phase as me was not only engaging, but it provided a great sense of support, community, and purpose for what we do in publishing.”—Andrew Winters, Editor

“With an opening reception at the Library of Congress, AUP returned to in-person conferences in style! As an early career professional attending for the first time, I found it to be a truly invaluable experience. The sessions were engaging and informative, and I enjoyed connecting with people from different presses in multiple stages of their careers. I left feeling motivated and excited.”—Brock Schnoke, Digital Marketing Specialist

Opening reception at the Library of Congress.

“AUP was as energizing as it was informational. Graduating and starting my first job during the pandemic meant a persistent lack of social and professional spaces for me to experience personal growth and foster interpersonal connections. As an extrovert, this meant feeling drained at school and at work, and sometimes left me wondering if I was in the “right place.” The experience of meeting other young people who work in academic publishing, learning about their interests, and forming relationships based on our commonalities gave me a sense of stability regarding where I am in my position, and a sense of certainty about how I’d like to conduct my professional life from here on out. If I could go once a month to socialize, compare notes, and form bonds with the people I met in DC, I would!”—Carol Seigler, Acquisitions Assistant

Photo by @BethanyWasik on Twitter.

“There was the expected pleasure of seeing friends and colleagues for the first time in three years and the opportunity to feel about as close to normal as one can these days. It was both familiar and exotic. But I also sensed an unexpected shift in the collective attitudes about open access, an area I have been focused on as chair of the association’s OA Committee. While there remains significant challenges in developing sustainable OA models, it was clear that OA no longer resides on the fringes of our work. Expanding access must be at the core of the mission for any organization that claims to be focused on equity and inclusion.”—John Sherer, Spangler Family Director