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Rewards of Writing for the Press

Math Professor Lisa Healey provides a brief look into working with Chemeketa Press and describes the pleasures of penning her own equations for the Intermediate Algebra class.

Chemeketa Press works with faculty at the college to create and produce affordable textbooks for their students. But why should a professor with a full course load want to use her spare time to write a book? For most, the answer is probably about striving to improve students’ education and getting a bit of credit themselves. But maybe there’s also a a draw in working collaboratively with students, faculty, and a publishing press.

Lisa Healey offers a look into the motivation of a Press-published professor.

She is one of Chemeketa’s math professors, and author of Intermediate Algebra, which is just one vollume of the Press’ math series. With this book, Healey feels confident that she is delivering something to her students that is of good quality and that will lighten their financial load. The average student will pay between $50 to $180 for a comparable textbook, she says. Intermediate Algebra costs each Chemeketa student only $34.

Healey writes that she is proud to present Intermediate Algebra to her students as opposed to the former traditional commercialized text. She also comments on her experience in working with the Press, citing that staff she worked with were one of the best parts of the process.

“The collaborative aspect of working on the text was above all my favorite part. The fellows at the Press were just wonderful to work with: intelligent, professional, supportive, humorous…” she says. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team.”

Healey says the Press allowed for quite a bit of personal creativity in writing the book as well, including the use of added color and how it applied to the learning aspects of equations and probelms. She was also able to sneak the names of  her friends and family into word problems.

Creating a math book was a worthwhile and fun learning experience, she says — it opened up opportunities that Healey had never before experienced. “I grew as a person, I improved as a writer, and I believe I am a better math teacher for it.”

Erica Tackman is a researcher working with Chemeketa Press to bring meaningful stories to all. Her goal is to make learning science fun and accessible. She is currently studying scientific and technical communication, a subject she is very passionate about. She also finds joy in costuming for her local theatre.

A New Model for Textbook Publishing

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