Monday, April 29, 2013

Leadership in Agriculture

In a world facing chronic and increasing shortages in food crops and natural resources, visionary leadership in agriculture becomes more and more critical for building and maintaining a sustainable future.
In their new book Leadership in Agriculture: Case Studies for a New Generation, John Patrick Jordan, Gale A. Buchanan, Neville P. Clarke, and Kelly C. Jordan – veteran agricultural educators and administrators -- define leadership as “motivating other people to follow you in a given direction to achieve a specific goal”. Specifically, agriculture is evolving into an enterprise based more on science and technology rather than on resources -- which requires a greater degree of visionary leadership.
Using case studies from research, industry, education, administration, and extension services, the authors present real-world circumstances ranging from natural disasters to major restructuring that demanded problem solving, new initiatives, consensus, and organizational commitment. Drawing on their own experiences and covering topics as diverse as closing facilities, mounting a national research initiative, reinventing a major corporation, and dealing with invasive termites, the studies contain examples of booth good and bad outcomes and refer back to the leadership principles and qualities outlined in the opening chapters.
For more on Leadership in Agriculture, or to order your own copy, please visit our website or call 979-845-0147.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Finding Creativity Through Our Madness?

In TAMU Press’s new book, Madness and Creativity, author and analyst Ann Belford Ulanov utilizes her years of clinical work and reflection to come to the conclusion that madness and creativity work together. It is through the suffering of the human psyche where the foundations of creativity and genius are drawn. She pulls from the themes of Jung’s Red Book, which presents some of the most important experiences of his life—including his psychic encounters from 1913-1928.

As prompted by the title, Ulanov’s book is divided into two parts: part one-madness, part two-creativity. Within part one she delves into the madness of ourselves—of the breakdown and breakthroughs of our personal lives, and in the other part, the madness in the world—the violence of the world and our sense of meaningless within it. The second half of the book focuses on creativity. It is divided into studying the complex that haunts our lives, and then the transformation of our complex into creativity. Ulanov writes on the connection between madness and creativity in her introduction: 

"Madness dislocates us, out of our bodies, out of our minds. And yet, and yet, in the midst of madness dots of light appear; Jung calls them scintillae. These act as creative points indicating something bright, hopeful. Strung together, the dots construct a path, which can transfigure our madness into our creative contributions.”

Ann Belford Ulanov, a Jungian psychoanalyst in private practice, is the Christiane Brooks Johnson Memorial Professor of Psychiatry and Religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
To order this book, click here.
--Madeline Loving

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Woman “Like No Other”

“Jane Sibley is indeed like no other. Nor is this memoir. It is hopefully a work of literature, but it is also a significant history of times and places and people too little recorded or remembered in a Texas that has changed within her lifetime from a rural state to a crowded urban one.”—from the Foreword, Jane’s Window: My Spirited Life in West Texas and Austin

Jane Dunn Sibley tells her fascinating life story in her new book, Jane’s Window. Growing up in the Great Depression in a rural community, Sibley went on to the University of Texas where she delved into her passion of the arts, philanthropy, and fashion. After returning to Fort Stockton, she met and married the love of her life, the local doctor D.J. Sibley, and raised a family together.

Sibley’s life stories are fascinating, intriguing, and oftentimes humorous. In Chapter 2, she tells of growing up in Fort Stockton: “Aside from an occasional smoke, my friends and I led a wonderfully unsophisticated life. One of my favorite childhood memories involved playing in an old-style retail establishment…To a girl like me, who was certain she was born with a love of fashion, it was like landing in paradise.” 
After graduating from UT, Sibley’s love for fashion became a reality when she moved to Dallas and was hired by Sanger’s in their advertising department. Sibley writes in Chapter 5, “For the first time in my life I had a real job. I really like writing ads and quickly began to realize the more practical value of my UT education…the best thing about that first job was seeing the veterans I knew from Fort Stockton and UT coming back home after the war ended.”

After working in the oil industry, marrying local doctor D. J. Sibley, raising a family, and now having grandchildren, Jane Dunn Sibley has quite a story to tell. In her last chapter, she offers advice to her grandchildren, telling them the secrets of success to a happy life. She writes, “Now that I am eighty-eight, I feel I have earned the right to offer some advice…I mean to answer this question: What are the ingredients of a meaningful, productive, and happy life?”
For more exciting tales on Jane Sibley’s incredible life, check out our website or purchase your own copy of the book from Texas A&M University Press at 979-845-0147.
                                    --Madeline Loving

Friday, April 19, 2013

Softly Call the Muster

One of the oldest and most honored traditions of Texas A&M, Aggie Muster is a time to honor all those who have lived and served under the Aggie name. Always held on April 21st, the same day as Texas independence, this year it will fall on a Sunday. From the TAMU Muster website:

“Muster is a time to look to the past, present, and future…not only to grieve but to reflect and to celebrate the lives that connect us to one another. A gesture so simple in nature yet so lasting in spirit, Muster is the lasting impression every Aggie leaves with us; it reminds us of the greatness that lies within these walls, of the loyalty we possess, of the connection that binds us, and of the idea that every Aggie has a place of importance – whether they are present in flesh or spirit.”

This year the speaker is Bill Jones, Class of ’81. Jones is currently Principal at The Jones Firm, practiced law in Houston for fifteen (15) years in a litigation practice, including trial and appellate work in state and federal courts of all levels involving complex business litigation.  Jones also served as General Counsel to the Office of the Governor of the State of Texas for Governor Rick Perry from December 2000 to November 2003.

You can read more about the speaker and the tradition of Aggie Muster by clicking on their website, here.

TAMU Press has published various books on the traditions and history of Aggieland. Softly Call the Muster: The Evolution of a Texas Aggie Tradition (TAMU Press, 1994) by John A. Adams, Jr., is a book dedicated specifically to exploring the deep history and meaning behind Aggie Muster. This book traces the evolution of Aggie Muster from its early roots to the modern-day observance. Through research and hundreds of interviews, John A. Adams, Jr. '73 has captured the essence and spirit of this honored Texas Aggie tradition.

Hope to see you at Aggie Muster this year!
--Madeline Loving

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

2012 Solid Year for University Press Book Sales

University press ebooks saw phenomenal growth in December, climbing 158.9% at a time when the publishing industry saw overall net book sales fall 7.3%.

According to the Association of American Publishers, net book sales for the full year slipped 2.2% to $14.9 billion for the 1,193 publishers and distributed clients covered in the report.

University Press ebooks netted $1.1 million in sales, while the sector's hardcover sales dipped 1.4% to $5 million and paperback sales tumbled 6.1% to $7.3 million.

Despite the grim December, Shelf Awareness reports trade publishing as a whole had a solid year, with adult book sales and children's/YA making gains. University press sales rose 10% to $33 million in 2012.

Check out TAMU Press's ebooks in our new and past catalogs!

Friday, April 12, 2013

100 Year Tour of the Building of Aggieland

Thanks to the latest computerized technology, the past 100 years or so of the development of Aggieland can now be viewed online. Labeled with color-coded markers, the digital map, called “Mapping Historic Aggieland” provides a bird’s eye view of the campus as it is being built.

Beginning with the earliest map dating back to 1919—a map of cattle pastures and cropland—the exhibit continues with building markers up to present day. The exhibit also includes a few aerial photos sporadically taken throughout the past century. It was all made possible by the creative use of maps, aerial photos, and historic building photos by the staff of the Map & GIS Library and Cushing Memorial Library and Archives.

If the fascinating history of Texas A&M University intrigues you, Texas A&M University Press has quite a few books that will peak your interest:
1.      Learn about one of Texas A&M’s leading tacklers, the history of the “Wrecking Crew,” and about the first Vietnamese American football player in the NFL in Dat: Tackling Life and the NFL by Dat Nguyen and Rusty Burson.

2.      Read about the one and only transformation of Texas A&M from a land-grant college for men only to its prominence today as housing close to 50,000 students, as well as the traditions that make the Aggie spirit in The Pride of Aggieland: Spirit and Football at a Place Like No Other by Homer Jacobs.

3.      In Building Leaders, Living Traditions: The Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University by Amy L. Bacon, the important functions and development of the MSC are further explored, included with many attractive illustrations.

4.      Read about the Corps of Cadets, who inspire some of A&M’s deepest traditions and contribute to its rich heritage, in Keepers of the Spirit: The Corp of Cadets at Texas A&M University, 1876-2001.

5.      Delve into the unique history of Texas Aggie recipients of the Medal of Honor in Texas Aggie Medals of Honor: Seven Heroes of World War II by James R. Woodall. Woodall, a 1950 graduate of Texas A&M and a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, searched archives, family collections, and other sources to compile the complete stories of the seven courageous Aggie men of World War II.

To read more about the making of the digital exhibit, click the TAMU Times article here.

--Madeline Loving

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Birding is TP&W’s April Outdoor Activity of the Month

Want to try something new during the month of April? Why not try birding?
Texas Parks and Wildlife says April is a great time to get outdoors with your family, and birding is an activity the whole family can enjoy— even while hiking, biking or picnicking. Texas state parks are some of the best places to view birds, and many host guided bird walks, workshops, and other birding events. Visit the calendar to find a birding event near you.
Before you head out, share Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Introduction to Birding with your family to learn what to look and listen for. You can also download their colorful PDF called “Texas Birds: Introducing Texas to Common Birds” to take with you. And watching this month’s featured video, “Basics of Birding,” will give you an overview of what you should bring, and what you can expect on your family birding adventure.
You can also check out Texas A&M University Press’s many birding books on our subject catalog.
TP&W’s Best Birding Blinds at State Parks
From observation platforms to enclosed shelters and traditional birding blinds, these parks offer optimal perches to experience some of the best birding in Texas.
Austin Area

Dallas and Fort Worth Area

Houston and Gulf Coast Area

San Antonio Area

South Texas Plains Area

Monday, April 8, 2013

Family That Inspired Oscar-Winning Film "Saving Private Ryan" Reads Glider Infantryman

Texas A&M University Press book Glider Infantryman: Behind Enemy Lines in World War II  made national news in an unexpected way this week. It turns out that the family on which the movie “Saving Private Ryan” was based has been circulating the World War II memoir among family members.
“It’s perhaps the most lasting regret for the kids of this branch of the Greatest Generation. How is it possible it took books by outsiders, movies from Hollywood, old stories by others, to cut through the silence in their own homes?” said John Beilein, head basketball coach for the University of Michigan (now in the Final Four) and close relative of the Niland family, on which the 1998 Oscar-winning film “Saving Private Ryan” was based.
In 1992 Stephen Ambrose also featured the family’s story in his bestselling book Band of Brothers.
“I didn’t know a whole lot about the situation until I saw the movie,” said Beilein, who added that even among his generation the war was just rarely discussed.
Beilein’s uncle, the late Tom Niland Jr., served with his cousin Fritz June 6 when both were dropped behind enemy lines, part of the 327th glider regiment of the 101st Airborne. Niland also was Glider Infantryman coauthor Don Rich’s S2 (intelligence officer).
Niland often invited Rich to go on intelligence gathering missions with him and recruited Rich to play on the 327 basketball team that won the 101st Airborne Tournament. Niland is mentioned often in Glider Infantryman, and his family provided a great deal of information for the book.
The Niland family was the inspiration behind the movie Saving Private Ryan. Tom Niland was author Don Rich's S2 (intelligence officer). Tom often invited Don to go on intelligence gathering missions with him. Tom also recruited Don to play on the 327 basketball team that won the 101st Airborne Tournament. Tom selected Don because of his team play. Don was a bench warmer with coauthor Kevin Brook’s father at Wayland High School. Tom is mentioned often in Glider Infantryman. His family helped a lot with information for the book.
Beilein has said that Glider Infantryman is a “phenomenal” book.
Click here for the full article which discusses the impact of WW2 on the family.
--Paige Bukowski

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monarch Butterfly Numbers Continue to Decline

This spring, you may not see too many of the beautiful, orange and black winged Monarch butterflies flying across Texas. Texas A&M butterfly expert and enthusiast, Craig Wilson, says the harsh drought, historic wildfires and increased use of pesticides over the past few years are the main causes of the decline in Monarch numbers. Because of the severe drought, the necessary nutrient food needed for their survival—the milkweed plant—is not in ample supply. This plant is the only type of food the Monarch is able to digest when making its trip north from its breeding grounds in Mexico.
What can we do to help? Wilson says simply buying and planting some milkweed plants at the local farmer’s market will help aid the colorful butterflies in their migration north.
If you would like to learn more about how to attract butterflies to your garden or are a butterfly enthusiast, check out TAMU Press author Geyata Ajilvsgi’s new book, Butterfly Gardening for Texas (TAMU Press, 2013). Considered among the state’s top plant and butterfly experts, Ajilvsgi shares a wealth of practical information about all kinds of butterflies and the many flowers and plants utilized in their life cycle.
To read more about the book, which is available in May, click here. To read more about the declining numbers of the Monarchs, click here for access to the TAMU Times article.

--Madeline Loving