Our own Professor Denning recently wrote an article in Publishers Weekly’s Soapbox column on the Women’s National Book Association and the wonderful world of book clubs. To view the full size, click on the thumbnail image of the article below! This article appears in the November 5, 2012 edition of the magazine.
This summer, there were 20 students enrolled in PUB 699A, Internship I, and interning all over New York City (with one student in Florida) in prestigious internships in both the book and magazine publishing industries. It has been a very exciting and rewarding summer for all, and certainly a wonderful way for Pace MS in Publishing students to build their resumes and launch their careers. Below is a list showing where these students interned and what their titles were. I have also included links to five of the final Internship Essays (one of the requirements of the course) in case any of you are interested in getting a better sense of what the internship experience was like for some of these students. All of the essays my students submitted were excellent, but the ones attached represent a broad spectrum of experiences and showcase the varied interests and talents of our students.
I am very proud of all of these students and very grateful to the companies who hired them and provided them with such a wonderful educational opportunity.
Students in our program are required to complete one internship for credit (if they are not online students or already working in the industry or another industry) and to write a thesis paper in PUB 699B, Internship II, the following semester. It is a wonderful way for them to reflect upon the experience and to develop expertise in a particular area of the industry—a useful thing for them to take with them as they begin interviewing for their first entry level positions.
These courses are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer, so if you are a student in the program and interested in doing an internship, please email me at email@example.com to set up an appointment. If you are an employer and have internship positions available and would like to interview some of our students, please email me at the above address anytime.
I believe that our internship program, coupled with courses that students take to complete the MS in Publishing degree, really prepare our students for successful publishing careers. They enter the workplace with excellent skills, practical, real world experiences, outstanding technological skills, and a strong knowledge of current issues facing a dynamic and evolving publishing industry.
It is a pleasure working with our students and I am looking forward to another exciting academic year!
DJ McErlean-Hopson: Research Assistant for Dr. Sarah Blackwood (Pace University) and Professor Janet Neary (Hunter College) on their text, A More Perfect Likeness: African Americans Write Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture
Professor Jane Kinney-Denning, the Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach for the Pace Publishing program, was recently appointed the President of the New York Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association! Professor Kinney-Denning previously worked as the Young Publishing Professional Outreach Coordinator for the WNBA-NYC, and in this role she reached out to many Pace students and alumni, helping to involve them in the organization and establish beneficial ties between Pace and the WNBA-NYC chapter. Below is an interview with Professor Kinney-Denning that was conducted for the WNBA-NYC blog.
Member Monday: Meet Jane Kinney-Denning! Interview conducted by Hannah Bennett and Erica Misoshnik
Erica and Hannah: Congratulations on your appointment as the new President of the WNBA-NYC chapter! Can you tell us a bit about your involvement with the organization so far and what you are most excited about in taking on this new role?
Jane: Thank you! I am honored to have been asked and was thrilled to accept the Presidency.
The WNBA is a wonderful organization that has enriched my life in so many ways. Since becoming a member and starting to serve on the Board of Directors a few years ago, I have met some truly remarkable people and have attended and participated in a number of outstanding events that the organization has hosted.
One of the first events I attended was a National Reading Group Month panel, a WNBA annual event (in October) which was organized by Roz Reisner and Lori O’Dea, and I was hooked. The authors there were engaging, interesting, and inspiring. It was incredible to listen to authors like Julie Metz, who wrote Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal, and to hear her and the other writers there tell their stories of how their books came to be. This year’s panel was just as fascinating and included the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Julia Otsuka, who wrote the beautiful, poetic novel, The Buddha in the Attic.
It is just so wonderful to have the opportunity to meet and listen to writers who have achieved a certain level of success and who write such amazing books. If you are a writer, or a reader, for that matter, you gain a tremendous sense of community by attending these events, and if you are working in the publishing industry, you have the opportunity to share ideas, network, and be reminded why a career in publishing is so rewarding. One can’t help but to be inspired!
I also had the privilege of interviewing Deirdre Bair, an author (and WNBA member) who has written a number of important biographies, including the National Book Award-winning biography of Samuel Beckett. I was also fortunate to have been asked to co-moderate a panel on “The Making of a Bestseller,” in November 2011, which featured Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, and her outstanding team of publishing professionals from Random House.
So, to answer your question about what I am most excited about, I would have to say, everything! I am especially looking forward to continuing to work with the amazing group of people in the NYC chapter who are so dedicated and work so hard to organize events, write and publish the monthly newsletter, update and edit the blog, handle our social networking and media presence, manage the chapter’s finances, and take care of all of the other tasks that keep the chapter vital and in good standing. In addition, I am looking forward to another year of outstanding events that promote the book, to possible collaborations with other organizations that have similar goals, and to expanding our membership. It is very exciting for me to think about what the next two years hold.
Erica and Hannah: Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you end up in New York?
Jane: Well, I am a native (and proud) Wisconsinite. I grew up in the northern part of the state (very close to Lake Superior) in a small town called Hayward, WI, which is famous for its very large fiberglass museum in the shape of a giant muskie and a really great old-fashioned candy store. My parents still live in the house on the lake that I grew up in and I travel back every summer with my family. It is a beautiful part of the country and, for me, there is nothing like lakeside living! I went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees and also spent a year studying abroad at the University of Bologna in Italy. My master’s degree in Italian Literature—a very luxurious degree, to say the least—really allowed me to pursue my love of reading, writing, and travel. I was not exactly sure what direction my career would go in with a degree like that but I knew it had to have something to do with books. I moved to Chicago once I graduated and, like many publishing careers, mine was a bit accidental: I met somebody who knew somebody, etc., and before long I was working in sales with Little, Brown and had moved to St. Louis, Missouri. I traveled all over Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, and Tennessee, selling college textbooks. It was a hard job, but I had the opportunity to scout for manuscripts and my success in doing that was what ultimately brought me to New York in 1989. One of the editors I had worked with called me up out of the blue and asked me to interview at Harper & Row (later merged into HarperCollins). I got the job, packed my suitcases, and moved to New York.
I spent the next several years acquiring textbooks for the English curriculum, from basic skills books to rhetorics, readers, and handbooks. It was a challenging job but a lot of fun; I traveled all over the country and met some remarkable people in the process. My next few jobs were still on the acquisitions side of things but I managed to merge my talents with my interests and worked primarily acquiring books for the environmental sciences. I was also doing some writing then, mainly interviews with environmentalists and activists like Leonard Peltier, Bianca Jagger, and Michael Moore, for a magazine called PLAZM that was published in Portland, Oregon. My own writing got sidelined a bit when I had my children but I am still writing and plan to continue doing those kinds of interviews as well as other kinds of writing. I also started teaching as an adjunct professor at Pace when I was an editor at HarperCollins, and 12 years ago I left my publishing job to become Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach for the Master’s in Publishing program at Pace University. I love my job because it is the perfect blend of teaching, learning, mentoring, advising, and the constant study of this dynamic, rapidly changing industry. It is simply fascinating to witness (and teach about) the impact of new technologies like the iPad, the Nook, and the Kindle on the industry. I am the thesis advisor for all of my internship students and reading their thesis papers on current topics in the industry is a revelation; I learn a great deal from my students.
I also manage the blog for the program and started writing a series of alumni interviews and faculty profiles. It has been really interesting to do this and I love having the opportunity to hone my interview skills!
Erica and Hannah: What has been your favorite part of working in publishing?
Jane: Well, as I mentioned in response to the previous question, I have worked in publishing as an editor, writer and most recently as a professor at Pace. What all three professions have in common is the written word, whether it be found in books or magazines. As an editor, I love the process of getting to know authors, understanding their passions and goals for writing their book(s) and working with them to help make their ideas into a published book. The writing process is so interesting and such a unique journey for whoever is embarking upon it. It was always so rewarding to hold the published book in my hands at the end of the process and to share in the author’s sense of accomplishment and joy. As a writer, I love being able to communicate ideas, passion, and information and to tell a good story. I have primarily done interviews and plan to continue in that vein. I love doing interviews with people who are making a difference in the world—I get to know them and get to help them share their stories and experiences. And, there is the personal journey that I go through during the writing process, just like any writer. There is a remarkable sense of accomplishment when one finishes a piece. As a professor, I love working with students and other publishing professionals. Since the industry is constantly changing, I am always learning. I accomplish this in many ways: by reading, interacting with other professors in the program and other industry professionals, and by attending interesting panels, seminars, and conferences. I really can’t imagine working in any other industry. Publishing is such a rich profession and one can go in so many different directions with his or her career. In this time of great change, I see only opportunity in terms of a publishing career.
Erica and Hannah: You have been involved with the WNBA as the Young Publishing Professional Outreach Coordinator. What were some of the highlights of this experience? What was the most rewarding aspect of this position?
Jane: Yes, I took on this responsibility a couple of years ago. It dovetailed nicely with my position at Pace and was a wonderful opportunity for me to involve our students and make them aware of the wonderful things the WNBA does and has to offer. The WNBA also benefited in terms of membership because our students are interested in networking and in being more involved in the industry they have chosen for their careers. These students became aware of the organization at Pace, but many are now working in the industry and in a position to spread the word about the WNBA to their colleagues. I also talked to everyone I could about the organization—be it an alum of the program or someone I met commuting or at other publishing-related events. My successor (to be named shortly) will be working to expand our reach even further—to other publishing programs in the city as well as to young professionals working at the many publishing companies in New York. I believe that this position on the Board of Directors is a critical one to the health of our chapter (or any chapter for that matter). Already some of the young professionals who have joined the organization are making significant contributions.
Erica and Hannah: Do you have any advice for young publishing professionals who are just starting in the business?
Jane: Well, as I mentioned earlier, I think this is a time of great opportunity—for a lot of reasons. The first being how quickly technology is changing and impacting all aspects of the business. What this means is that the industry needs people with good skill sets: computer and social networking skills coupled with good writing and communication skills. You need to be open to change, willing to learn new things, and flexible in the workplace. If a new social media site like Pinterest becomes wildly popular and you are working to promote an author, you need to see if a site like this might be of use to you and then figure out how to maximize its potential for your author. I am also a big believer in education, both formal and informal. Keep yourself current. Take classes if you need to learn new skills, attend seminars, panels, and conferences and join organizations like the WNBA where you will have the opportunity to meet like-minded people. Also check job boards regularly, even if you are not looking at the moment; there are so many new positions out there now that did not exist a few years ago. This will help you keep abreast of what kind of people publishers are looking to hire and give you a sense of where you stand in terms of your own skills. Lastly, enjoy what you do and read a lot of books!
Erica and Hannah: What are some of the initiatives that you hope to launch in your upcoming term?
Jane: At the moment, my main goal is to keep the wonderful momentum that the organization currently has going. Valerie Tomaselli, the current Acting President of the NY Chapter and soon to be National President, is a hard act to follow! She is so dedicated, organized, smart, and focused. She has guided the organization through some rough waters with a sense of calm and clarity that is truly admirable. I am very happy that she is my friend and that I will be able to turn to her for advice when I need it!
This past year was particularly exciting and the events were outstanding. I recently had lunch with a good friend of mine who is involved with another organization and he commented on how interesting and unique our programing is, from author panels, to bookstore crawls, to open mics, to panels on current trends in publishing, to neighborhood lunches. I could not agree more and hope that the coming year will bring more of the same. I am really looking forward to working with all of the talented people in the NY chapter—they have so many great ideas and are so skillful at organizing and promoting our events. I also hope to be able to bring more of my professional and personal contacts into the organization as members, panelists, and moderators, or as committee chairs and board members. In addition, I would like to see our social media presence and publicity efforts continue to grow as the chapter grows. The women doing this now are doing a phenomenal job and I am looking forward to seeing what they do as we continue to move forward.
Erica and Hannah: What are you currently reading?
Jane: Well, in my opinion I never get to read enough! That said, I do have a really, really long commute to New York (two hours each way), so I try to take advantage of it by filling that time with books. I also have three children (10, 12 and 13) who are avid readers and keep me current with what their current favorites are and I love that. My daughter will spend a whole Saturday curled up with a book and I often find my son under his covers with his Nook—he was the first in our family to read The Hunger Games series and was so passionate about it that we all read it. My youngest is an independent reader but we still like reading together at night. I will miss doing that someday!
One of my favorite genres is biography, and right now I am reading Walter Issacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. I bought it as soon as it came out because, as Isaacson puts it, Jobs is viewed by so many as “The ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination,” and because Apple completely changed the landscape of publishing forever. Jobs, like all of us, was an incredibly flawed human being, but I can’t help but admire his candidness and believe that his story is, as Issacson states, “. . .both instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership and values.”
I have also been reading a lot of contemporary fiction lately. One of my favorite books is a novel by the South Korean writer Kyung-Sook Shin, Please Look After Mom. Oh, what can I say about this book? That every woman should read it? That every man should read it? Maybe it moved me so because of where I am in my own life or because the theme of motherhood is universal no matter what the culture is. Or perhaps because it is so relevant to think about how modern society is impacting our familial relationships. It is a tragic story about an elderly woman who gets separated from her husband as they are getting on a subway in Seoul to go and visit their children, and the feelings of the woman’s family as they unsuccessfully search for her. As the author stated in a recent interview, “It’s the mother who goes missing, but that’s a metaphor. It doesn’t have to be the mom who disappears; it could be anything precious to us that has been lost, as we’ve moved from a traditional society to a modern society.” I could not put this book down and cried when I read the last sentence of the last chapter. I have not been so moved by a book in a long time. A beautiful, sad, moving story.
I also just finished a wonderful book about Hurricane Katrina and a small town in Mississippi called Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward. It won the 2011 National Book Award, and reading it, I can see why. It, as many reviewers state, has the aura of a classic about it. The story is so removed from my own life but really transported me to the lives the characters are living. It is a remarkable book that reminds us of how tragic Katrina was and about how prevalent poverty is in our country. In spite of all of that, one of the things you walk away with from this book is the power of family loyalty and the strength of the human spirit.
Recently I found a book of short stories by Margaret Drabble called A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman. I had not read any of her writing before and have to admit I bought it because of the title. I have not been disappointed and am so pleased to have discovered her. She is a magnificent storyteller and I can’t wait to read more of her work. Other books sitting on my desk are Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, which I bought after reading an interview with Susan Larson, the WNBA New Orleans Chapter President and chairperson of the jury that nominates the finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She spoke so eloquently about the book that I could not resist getting it! I also have The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman, and Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout, waiting for my summer vacation!
Erica and Hannah: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Let’s do a follow-up interview next year, not only to get your feedback on your first year as Chapter President, but to reassess the advances in technology within the publishing industry.
We are proud to publish this interview with Professor Allan Rabinowitz, one of the founders of the MS in Publishing program at Pace and a creative force who has contributed greatly to the overall success of the program. Professor Rabinowitz has had a long and illustrious professional and academic career. He has worked in the corporate sector in many different capacities as a finance and accounting professional and as a Professor of Accounting and Publishing at Pace University for the past 50 years. With his wealth of knowledge and practical real world experience, he has positively impacted the lives and careers of countless students and colleagues as well as many business and publishing professionals. After teaching his last course this summer, Professor Rabinowitz will be retiring so that he can spend more time with his family, travel, and of course, read!
In this interview, Professor Rabinowitz will tell us a bit about how the MS in Publishing program came to be, share his thoughts on the value of publishing education and some thoughts on the future of the publishing industry.
Prof. Denning: Hi Allan and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for the MS in Publishing blog. You have had a remarkable career in both the professional and academic worlds. Can you tell us a bit about your work and the path that led you to where you are today?
Prof. Rabinowitz: I graduated from Pace with a Public Accounting major, was set up with interviews by Career Planning, and became an Auditor for an international CPA firm. During my last year with them, I was in charge of the audit of the Crowell – Collier Publishing Company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which was later renamed Macmillan, Inc. It was a multinational corporation involved in publishing, printing, home study and classroom instruction, distribution and retailing, and manufacturing. The Company then hired me as Manager, Corporate Accounting Department and appointed me subsequently in a series of financial executive positions as Manager, Corporate Internal Audit; Controller, Macmillan Book Clubs, Inc.; Controller, Mail Marketing Division; Assistant Controller, Macmillan, Inc.; and Vice President – Finance, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.
My next position was Controller of Gilman Paper Company, which manufactured paper and paper bags, owned lumber mills and hundreds of thousands of acres of timberlands, and bred racehorses. I then re-entered publishing as the Vice President of Finance of Family Weekly (today USA Weekend), a weekend newspaper magazine appearing in approximately 360 papers throughout the U.S. This privately owned company was acquired by CBS as part of its Magazine Division. Next up was the position of Executive Vice President and Treasurer of The Scribner Book Companies, where the Board of Directors elected me President several months later. I was also on the Board of the Scribner Book Stores. Entrusted by the Scribner family to sell the Company, I negotiated its acquisition by Macmillan, Inc. and I became the President of its Scribner Books Division. After integrating Scribner into Macmillan, I joined Williams Real Estate Company as its CFO, before beginning to teach full-time at Pace in 1989, where I had been an Adjunct Professor since 1962.
At various times since 1979, I have done consulting for numerous entities, principally in the publishing industry, and conducted accounting and auditing education sessions for many organizations.
Prof. Denning: I know you were instrumental in the creation of the MS in Publishing program. Can you tell us a bit about how and why it was created?
Prof. Rabinowitz: In November 1979, I was asked by Dr. Edward Mortola, then the Pace President, to attend a meeting that would discuss the feasibility of a graduate program in publishing studies. Sherman Raskin, then English Department Chair, was also present at that meeting along with other interested parties. Over the ensuing years, it was decided that New York City was an ideal site for such a program, a beginning curriculum was formulated, New York State approval was received and an Advisory Board was formed in 1985. My years in the publishing industry equipped me to propose Advisory Board candidates who I held in high regard, a number of whom continue to serve.
Prof. Denning: At the time the program was started, publishing was still considered to be an “accidental profession.” Why did you think a graduate degree in publishing was necessary/important then? Why do you think it is valuable today?
Prof. Rabinowitz: We continue to believe that Pace was the innovator of graduate publishing education. In 1985, remarkably few industry employees had engaged in such formal studies. They were generally stereotyped as editorial, marketing, sales, distribution or production area personnel and too often considered unsuited for positions in other areas, let alone for moving between books and magazines and newspapers. Too few of these people understood the full sweep of the publishing processes. We strongly felt this needed to change, by having publishing personnel equipped with ample understanding, mobility and enhanced ability to advance in their careers and provide enhanced value to their employers.
Today, with change in the industry occurring more quickly than ever, we want to give our students a solid base from which to launch and then maintain successful careers. This has motivated us to consistently supply them with the cutting edge of knowledge demanded of successful industry employees.
Prof. Denning: You have taught PUB 618 – Financial Aspects of Publishing since the program started. Why is this course important and what do you try to get your students to understand about the business of publishing?
Prof. Rabinowitz: PUB 608 – Financial Aspects of Publishing was designed based on my experiences in magazine, book and newspaper publishing operations as well as my grounding in accounting and finance. It has attempted to introduce students to the basic concepts of accounting and finance as it applies to the industry and to every one of their personal lives. Among other things, they need to understand the budgeting process, how to protect their employer’s and their own financial interests, how to read financial statements pertaining to the entity employing them and to their area of responsibility. Students with entrepreneurial aspirations cannot succeed without this knowledge.
Students are required to read the Wall Street Journal over a ten week period during the semester and provide meaningful comments on articles they select relating to topics covered by the course. I have been a constant reader of newspapers for many years and follow the other media to stay on top of industry developments and changes in the economic environment that need to be communicated to students.
Guest speakers prominent in the book, magazine, and newspaper fields visited individual course sessions on at least 75 occasions over the years to impart state-of-the-art insights in their areas of expertise.
Believe it or not, Professor Rabinowitz, was the major reason that I pursued my MBA after I completed the MS in Publishing program at Pace. His experience amazed me, but it was his teaching style and humility that made me believe in myself. He was a great professor and I’m most upset that he won’t be there to teach my nine year old son.”
Thomas August Di Mascio Director of Supply Chain Management & Logistics DC Entertainment Adjunct Professor, Pace, MS in Publishing 1994 graduate of the MS in Publishing Program
Prof. Denning: Teaching for 50 years means that you have taught a lot of students- do you still keep in touch with any of them?
Prof. Rabinowitz: My undergrad and grad students in the Lubin School of Business over a 50 year span and in the Publishing Program over a 27 year span must approach at least 8,000. I recognized many years ago that I could not practically reach out to them after their graduation but would instead remain in periodic contact with those who felt I could assist them with career advice and letters of recommendation.
A satisfying number of my former students have informed me of their career success in the accounting, financial, and publishing fields. One evident indicator of their success rests with the number of Publishing Program grads who have taught or now teach in the Program and were my students. Another was at the two Pace Alumni reunions I attended to mark the 50th anniversary of my own Pace graduation, where I was thanked by students from each of my decades of teaching.
I have long advised current students and grads that education is subject to depreciation as things learned are forgotten and as a profession changes. I urge them to get as much formal education as they objectively feel will be useful to them and to keep it as fresh as they can throughout their careers.
When I took Professor Rabinowitz’s class, I never dreamed that some of his lessons would stick with me ten years after taking his class. I have found it extremely helpful to have a solid understanding of Accounting principles even though my career is not in Accounting or Finance, and I thank Professor Rabinowitz for instilling that knowledge.”
Kerry Rosen, Client Services Manager HarperCollins 2002 graduate of the MS in Publishing Program
Professor Rabinowitz was the most intimidating professor of my Pace experience — on the first day of class, he seated the students in alphabetical order by last name, and we all feared it would be a stern, dry semester. It soon became clear, however, that he had a wonderful sense of humor, and a fascinating collection of stories from his publishing experiences. I learned a great deal about the publishing industry in his course, and also found an appreciation for the Wall Street Journal! He was very influential in my own career, discouraging me from returning to California when I completed my degree because he thought New York would have better opportunities for applying my publishing skills. He was right, of course, and I am thankful to him as a major influence in the development of my career and the successes I’ve achieved. He is a true mensch.”
Linda Bathgate Publisher Communication and Media Studies Routledge/Taylor & Francis Adjunct Professor, Pace, MS in Publishing 1991 Graduate of the MS in Publishing program
Prof. Denning: What are some of the major changes you have seen in the publishing industry that you find interesting, remarkable, game changing? How has the industry changed since you were working in it?
Prof. Rabinowitz: I recall reading and hearing in the early 1970’s that the book’s days were numbered and that they would soon disappear. Those predictions appear to have been premature but what has occurred during the past decade more than makes up for all the previous non-eventful years. We are now in an era of constant and significant change, with no end in sight. When I entered the field as an auditor in 1962, book publishing was still considered a “gentleman publisher’s” profession where mid-size houses thrived and independent bookstores dominated book retailing. At Scribner’s, privately owned before its sale in 1984, I relished that environment and the freedom of movement and innovation that it offered. Macmillan, Inc. in the 1960’s was constantly buying companies connected in any way to publishing and education. Other organizations began doing the same in the publishing industry, buying the smaller houses with well-known names, which became imprints in complex organizations. A similar trend took place in the magazine field but, despite these developments, many new magazines are launched by individuals and increasing numbers of books are self-published each year.
Prof. Denning: Why do you think the Advisory Board is an important element of the MS in Publishing program?
Prof. Rabinowitz: The Advisory Board has long served as a valued and trusted sounding device for an ever-changing Program. On many occasions it has pointed the way for the introduction of new courses and course content. It has functioned as a forum for informed and friendly guidance by persons acquainted with most aspects of the industry. It has been kept fresh and lively by regularly infusing new members and invited guests engaged in evolving areas, accomplished Program graduates and highly intelligent young people possessing wonderful aspirations. Board meetings remain as vibrant and state-of-the-art as ever because of these members.
Board members have also supported our endowment fund-raising efforts by their own contributions and by providing valued connections to external contributors.
They have also supplied links to qualified adjunct instructor candidates and to prospective guest speakers.
Some 45 years ago, I was a young accountant with the auditing firm of Deloitte, when I was assigned to the audit of a major publishing company. This was a very difficult client to audit, and the auditors had a lot of questions for senior financial officers about accounting matters that might have been problems. Every time we raised a question, they would say “what does the head of our internal audit dept think?” and I found out that they placed a lot of reliance on what this person thought of Deloitte’s recommendations, and accordingly what they would or would not do about making changes.
This person was Allan Rabinowitz. I had the opportunity to work with him for the rest of this audit, and many times thereafter in the years ahead. I found him to be extremely competent, very professional, with the highest integrity, and (by the way) an absolute pleasure to work with…. and, he became my friend.
When Allan asked me, over 25 years ago to join the pace MS in Publishing program’s Advisory Board, I readily agreed. I knew almost nothing about the program, and almost nothing about Pace. But, because of the respect I had gained for Allan, I knew my involvement was an appropriate one for me. I have never regretted that decision, and over those 25+ years, I have spent more time at Pace than I have with my alma mater, again because of people like Allan Rabinowitz affiliated with the Pace program”
Ed Lewis (proud) Member of the MS in Publishing Advisory Board Former Vice President & Treasurer Hearst Corporation
Prof. Denning: The MS in Publishing program is comprised primarily of adjunct faculty—why do you think that is important?
Prof. Rabinowitz: Adjunct faculty, like most guest speakers, are critical to student success for they are currently employed in the industry and speak with authority about existing realities. Our adjuncts have been carefully selected for dedication to their field and the desire to impart their knowledge to our students. Excellent examples are all of the program grads who have come back to teach for those reasons, for their love of the program and for what it has done for their careers and their lives – the very same reasons that brought me back to Pace to teach accounting in 1962.
Prof. Denning: How have you seen the program grow and change since it was first started?
Prof Rabinowitz: We began with 24 students in the fall of 1985, passed 100 for the first time in fall 2004 and stood at 124 in fall 2011. In 1985 none of our courses were online; today all of them are online as well as taught in NYC classrooms. Our lineup of courses has been greatly expanded, with new courses being introduced each year to reflect the current makeup of the publishing industry. Our student internship availabilities have grown greatly in number and variety and many of them have led to full-time positions. Sherman Raskin, with Prof. Lian at his side, has created a unique connection with Chinese publishing companies and brought their employees to New York. Important ties to Chinese university publishing programs have also been forged and Chinese professors have been in residence in our Program.
Fortunately, there are some things that have not changed at all, among them our shared desire to have the Program do its very best for each of our students and help them to embark on a career of their choice. Barbara Egidi remains the jewel she has always been in effectively dealing with each applicant and nurturing every accepted student as needed. Our instructors have consistently shown their devotion to the Program and provided outstanding learning opportunities in or via the publishing capital of the world.
‘Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life…When you serve, you see life as a whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.’ — Rachel Naomi Remen
From his very enthusiastic response to my application to Pace University’s Publishing program many years ago, to his guidance while I took his course in accounting (and passed!), and his support as a colleague while I served as adjunct staff in the program, Professor Rabinowitz has exemplified a soul at work. I will always be grateful to him for his belief in me.
Denolyn Carroll Deputy Managing Editor Essence Magazine 1990 Graduate of the MS in Publishing Program
Prof. Denning: You have worked with Professor Raskin for over 40 years, can you talk a bit about your working relationship with him and about how the two of you worked together to build this successful program?
Prof Rabinowitz: Sherman and I, working together, have conducted over 200 information sessions over the past 27 years. We generally have a few lengthy conversations each month concerning the program and we both have an abiding love for Pace University, this Program, and for what they are capable of doing for students. It is in this spirit that we have both dedicated ourselves to this Program.
We do have differences of opinion on some matters, and heated discussions at times but these instances lead to better outcomes as we almost always come to a productive meeting of the minds. Sherman, as Program Director, has in recent years spent nearly all of his Pace time with the Program and few, if any, details escape his watchful eyes. I, as Associate Director, serve largely in a consulting capacity. We complement each other for, between us, we currently have just under 100 years of academic experience at Pace and I possess 55 years of business experience in public accounting, companies and consulting. These combinations have equipped us to function well in this very practical educational endeavor.
I have known Allan Rabinowitz for more than 30 years. He was President of Scribner Book Companies when we were planning to establish the Masters degree in Publishing. Allan assisted in establishing the first advisory board for the program back in the 80’s, a board that assisted in developing curriculum and endowment. For twenty eight years, Allan enjoyed teaching Financial Aspects of Publishing as well as assisting in the recruitment of students. He loves Pace, the program and teaching and to me will always be a dear friend and colleague. I congratulate him on his retirement and look forward to his continued service on the Advisory Board.
Professor Sherman Raskin Director MS in Publishing Pace University
Prof. Denning: I know you are a collector of books and love everything about them. Can you tell us a bit about your collection?
Prof. Rabinowitz: My collection comprises in excess of 20,000 books, each of them selected by me as something I would wish to read and most probably retain. I have two good sized rooms filled with floor to ceiling bookcases, except for the window areas and doorway. There are bookcases in almost every other room including the kitchen, which houses my wife’s extensive cookbook collection, and in the garage. Some books came from the publishing companies for whom I worked but the great majority were purchased at sales in houses, garages, yards, libraries, religious institutions and schools, at auctions and at bargain prices. My workspaces at home are in book-filled rooms and I find special warmth and delight in being surrounded by them.
Prof. Denning: As someone who has a special appreciation of the printed book, would you share your thoughts about how technology is changing the industry and about eBooks in particular?
Prof. Rabinowitz: I have yet to read a book on an electronic device and have some doubt that I ever will have that need. I love public libraries and frequent them when I go on a lengthy vacation so I don’t have to carry many books with me. I applaud the use of technological advances in reading books, magazines, and newspapers and do believe that their use will continue to grow very quickly and create many new readers of all ages. I do not believe that printed books will disappear anytime soon for there are so many people who grew up with them and want to continue enjoying them. Then too, there are some types of books that will sell best in traditional form.
Prof. Denning: What is your hope for the future of the MS in Publishing program?
Prof. Rabinowitz: I feel that it has been pointed in the right direction for reasons I mentioned previously and will continue to do well. Our students have come from many parts of the U.S. and the world and will continue to do so. The internet has proven to be our best way of attracting new students during the past decade and should provide an effective draw in coming years. The new Pace dorm building on Fulton and Broadway in 2013 may be helpful where out-of-state prospects are concerned. Hopefully, the Program will continue to reflect the state of the industry, introduce new course content whenever warranted, and recruit talented faculty and Advisory Board members.
Prof. Denning: What is your hope for the future of Pace?
Prof. Rabinowitz: Pace has been dear to my heart since I was awarded a full tuition scholarship bearing the name of Homer St. Clair Pace in December 1953. I had an excellent undergrad experience both academically and in extracurricular activities. It was my fortune to serve as President of the Pace Alumni Association and participate in laying the cornerstone for the One Pace Plaza building. Pace has been an integral part of my life for 58+ years and has given me a wonderful life, as I hope it will do for every student.
Based upon the foregoing, I wish that Pace will continue to thrive and play a transformative role in the life of each student and a fulfilling role in the life of each faculty member and administrator.
Prof. Denning: What do you plan to do when you retire?
Prof. Rabinowitz: My wife and I look forward to spending a good part of each year traveling through both the U.S. and foreign countries – including enjoying three of the coldest New York months in Hawaii. I plan to read a great many of my books and spend more time with my children and grandchildren.
Prof. Denning: Any final thoughts or parting words for our students? Alumni? Faculty? Advisory Board?
Prof. Rabinowitz: I plan to continue to serve on the Advisory Board and play some part in shaping the Program for some time to come. As always, I wish everyone associated with the Program health, happiness, and the satisfaction derived from being a part of a highly worthwhile Program that builds people’s careers and success.
I wish to thank Sherman Raskin for his continued and highly valued friendship and a very special, longstanding working relationship; Prof. Kinney-Denning and Prof. Soares for the very fine work they do and for the pleasure I have taken from my contacts with them; all of my former students who now teach or have taught in the Program for the pride I have derived from being a part of their lives; and my fellow Advisory Board members for their collegiality and contributions to the Program.
I have had the good fortune of knowing Allan for years that I couldn’t begin to number. We have always enjoyed a collegial and mutually respectful relationship. Each of us having spent many years in the publishing industry as well as the accounting profession has likely enabled us to think alike and serve each other as mentor. He is a one-of-a-kind professional and always professional.
We served together for over twenty years as pro-bono consultants to The CPA Journal published by the New York State Society of CPAs and also enjoyed joining heads, hearts and minds in guiding the Society with its flagship publishing endeavor.
I have no doubt but that he will be missed in the corridors and classrooms at Pace. His students have gained mightily from his dedication to his every endeavor as well as his intellect, sense of humor, and caring.
I wish him a very long, healthy and happy “retirement” and hope that his fertile mind will continue being engaged in pleasurable activities.”
Ed Ruzinsky Member of the MS in Publishing Advisory Board Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group
Prof. Denning: Thank you Allan for taking the time to do this interview and to share your insights and all of this great information about your career and the MS in Publishing program. In closing I would just like to extend our congratulations, thank you for all that you have done, and to extend our best wishes for you and your family in your retirement. We look forward to seeing you seeing at the fall Advisory Board meeting!
Since 2000, Professor Jane Kinney-Denning has taught full-time and has served as the Executive Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach for the MS in Publishing program at Pace. In this capacity she works with students to help them secure internships in the book, magazine and digital publishing industries and advises them as they write their master’s thesis papers. Pace students intern throughout the industry at prestigious publishers such at Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Oxford University Press, Scholastic, Conde Nast at innovative new publishers such as Open Road Media, Rosetta Books, Pubslush and at literary agencies such as The Writer’s House, Jean Naggar Literary Agency and Folio Literary Agency to name a few.
Professor Denning has also worked to develop extensive contacts in the industry via her role as the Executive Director of Corporate Outreach. She works closely with key industry professionals, HR Managers and organizations such as, The Book Industry Guild, the Book Industry Study Group, BookExpo America, the American Association of Publishers and their Young to Publishing Group, to provide opportunities for students and faculty attend conferences and panels for educational and networking purposes. In the spring of 2012, Professor Denning began serving as the President of NYC Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association, an almost 100 year old, non-profit organization that was founded to provide women working in the industry with educational and networking opportunities. In June of 2016 she began her term as the National President and will be working to coordinate the organization’s Centennial Celebrations that will take place in the October of 2017 in NYC. This relationship has provided numerous opportunities for Pace MS in Publishing students, faculty and alumni, to participate and gain experience in the publishing industry in unique and dynamic ways.
In addition to her teaching duties, Professor Denning is also the Blog Editor for the MS in Publishing Blog where she has written over 20 interviews of Pace MS in Publishing Alumni and has developed it into a highly valuable resource for current students, alumni and faculty. As the Blog Editor, she is responsible for all aspects of its development including the extensive resources for the internship opportunities. She supervises two Graduate Assistants and a Student Aide who work with her to create and post timely and unique content.
Professor Denning also has extensive experience in acquiring academic, scientific and trade books most recently having worked as a Senior Acquisitions Editor for the scientific and professional publishers, CRC Press and Van Nostrand Reinhold in the area of Environmental Science. There she acquired a number of important titles on issues such as wetlands restoration and chemical brain injury. Prior to that, she was a Senior Editor at HarperCollins Publishers acquiring books for the academic market in the areas of Composition and Literature. Earlier work includes a position as a Developmental Editor at CV Mosby and working as a Sales Representative for Scott Foresman/Little, Brown Publishers.
Professor Denning’s own published works include interviews with such high profile figures as Leonard Peltire, Bianca Jaggar, Michael Moore and Deirdre Bair. She wrote a “Soapbox” piece on the Joy of Shared Reading for Publishers Weekly and did an interview of John P. Stern, the President of the Storm King Art Center for Chronogram Magazine. She is also responsible for contributing to the regular editions of the WNBA’s official publication, the Bookwoman.
Courtesy of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), graduate students and faculty from the NYU and Pace Publishing programs will be able to attend IBPA’s Publishing University, scheduled for May 24-25 in New York City, at no charge.
“For the past three decades, one of our association’s primary missions has been publishing education,” points out IBPA President, Florrie Binford Kichler. “IBPA is delighted to support the book industry by bringing the best of that education to the young people who will shape publishing’s future.”
“Our students are thrilled to have the opportunity to attend this year’s IBPA Publishing University,” said Professor Jane Kinney-Denning, the Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach at Pace University. “This is a wonderful opportunity for them to learn directly from experts in the field, to network with key industry professionals and to become a part of the larger publishing community. The timely topics covered make for a fantastic educational experience. Thanks to IBPA for including us!”
“We are delighted that our Master of Science in Publishing students and faculty will have the opportunity to attend IBPA Publishing University this year,” says Andrea Chambers, Director of The Center for Publishing at NYU-SCPS. “We encourage students to immerse themselves in publishing, both in the classroom and through important conferences. Hearing experts speak about the latest trends and best practices in book publishing will benefit both students and faculty and continue an important ongoing dialogue about the changes transforming our industry.”
In addition to more than 20 break-out sessions, general session highlights of IBPA Publishing University include a keynote speech by mega marketer and best-selling author Seth Godin, an opening day kickoff address by Dominique Raccah of Sourcebooks, and Emagination: What’s Now and What’s Next in Ebooks, a roundtable of digital pioneers and industry prophets who will weigh in on a host of e-issues. The annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards Gala for excellence in publishing will be held Monday evening, May 24.
For additional information, speaker bios, photos, and video from the 2009 University, visit IBPA Publishing University Founded in 1983, the Independent Book Publishers Association is the largest not-for-profit trade organization for publishers in the United States, serving more than 3000 book publishers of all sizes. IBPA’s mission is to help independent publishers market their titles, to provide education on all aspects of publishing, and to act as an advocate for publishers’ rights.