2021 TAA Council Elections - Cast Your Vote

Seven candidates are running for five open positions on the TAA Council, the association’s governing board. Positions include Vice President/President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, and two Council positions. Terms begin July 1, 2021. Officers serve two-year terms, with the exception of the Vice-President/President-Elect, who serves a two-year term as Vice-President, a two-year term as President, and a two-year term as Past President. Council members serve three-year terms.

Vote by clicking the "Cast Your Vote" button located after the candidate information below. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing. If you are a TAA member and cannot vote electronically, contact Kim Pawlak at [email protected] or (507) 459-1363 to request a paper ballot. The deadline for voting is May 1.

Candidate Bios & Position Statements

Paul A. Krieger, Vice President/President-Elect

Paul KriegerBio
After 28 years of service as professor of biology, Paul Krieger retired from Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan in 2019. A TAA member since 2003, he has attended numerous conferences, given presentations, written for The Academic Author, and is currently serving on the 2021 Conference Planning Committee. For Morton Publishing, he is the author and illustrator of a successful four-book series called The Visual Analogy Guides. His previous leadership roles such as Department Head of Biological Sciences, President of the Michigan Community College Biologists, and various committee chairs have all prepared him well to serve effectively as Vice President of TAA.

Position Statement
"Out of my gratitude for all the guidance TAA has provided me throughout my authoring career, I want to give back to this terrific organization. I intend to focus on three major goals: (1) Help TAA remain true to its mission of supporting textbook and academic authors as it has done so impressively over the years; (2) Assist the recently established Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI) to achieve its goals; and (3) Explore new sources of revenue to keep TAA on solid financial ground in the future. Much has changed in academia and the publishing world since TAA was first established in 1987, so we need to help members navigate the everchanging market. By focusing on these goals and also responding to specific member needs as they arise, TAA will continue to serve as a respected, professional, and valued organization far into the future."

Juli Saitz, Treasurer

Juli SaitzBio
Juli Saitz leads the contract and royalty compliance practice at Ankura and has extensive experience serving clients including several textbook authors.

Position Statement
"I have been serving as Treasurer and find that I bring a unique perspective as a non-author with a financial background. I also serve as treasurer for another non-profit trade organization, this experience allows me to bring best practices from another organization to TAA and vice versa."

Brenda Ulrich, Secretary

Brenda UlrichBio
Brenda Ulrich is an intellectual property lawyer with a focus on publishing, higher education, copyright and trademark law. She provides legal advice for clients reviewing and negotiating publishing, co-author, licensing and consulting agreements, as well as on registering and enforcing copyrights and trademarks. Brenda’s clients include authors and publishers, colleges and universities, health care organizations, consumer and retail businesses, and educational, scientific and cultural organizations. Brenda regularly presents on copyright, trademark, publishing and higher education topics for TAA, the Boston Bar Association, MCLE and other entities.

Position Statement
"I have served for the past year two years as Secretary for TAA Council, as well as on TAA's Governance, Executive and Publishing Practices Committees. I have enjoyed working with the Council and TAA staff on the numerous issues and challenges facing TAA in a rapidly changing publishing environment. I would be honored to serve again."

Council Positions

Stacie Craft DeFreitas

Stacie Craft DeFreitasBio
Dr. Stacie Craft DeFreitas is a licensed psychologist as well as the Interim Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston- Downtown. She received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Duke University. Currently, her primary research interests are concerning the academic and mental health development of youth, particularly urban youth of color. She is particularly interested in strengths-based and positive psychology examinations of psychological phenomena and is the author of African American Psychology: A Positive Psychology Perspective, which won a TAA 2021 Most Promising New Textbook Award.

Position Statement
"Greetings! It would be an honor to serve on the TAA Council as I am an enthusiastic champion of textbook authors in academia and would like to see these efforts valued as they should be in their respective fields. Further, I believe in diversity and the value of various voices. I, therefore, would work to foster a more inclusive TAA membership while also bringing the resources of TAA to a broader audience. I also have a history of community service including serving as a Board member and the secretary of Wellsprings Village, which is transitional housing for homeless women and giving talks in the community concerning mental health issues for people of color. I have experience with issues of mental health, academic achievement, and diverse populations as a clinician, researcher, professor, and advocate which provide me with a unique perspective that I bring to TAA."

Cynthia Wheatley Glenn

Cynthia Wheatly Glenn

Cynthia Wheatley Glenn has been a teacher since 1991 and has taught every grade level from ABCs to PhD. Her first article was published in 2006, with her most recent project (in 2020) being a textbook for beginning K-6 teachers. Her focus throughout her teaching and writing career has been critical thinking, resilience, and motivating students to want to learn. In addition to teaching and writing, she is the principal/owner of a small education research firm and is a regular (pre-Covid) speaker and presenter at national and international conferences.

Position Statement
"I found TAA in 2014, when I heard Tara Gray speak at a conference in Newport Beach, CA. Imagine, giving yourself permission to only write for 15 minutes a day! Armed with this baby-steps approach to written communication, I found my courage and developed a much deeper and broader writing voice (I also learned to write for much longer than 15 minutes a day!). I immediately joined TAA and have learned so much from the leaders and other members. I can personally vouch for the validity and authenticity of TAA's mission statement, 'helping you navigate your path to writing success,' and would be honored to come along side others whose paths meandered a bit like mine, encouraging them to find and strengthen their writing voice and passion."

Brian Shmaefsky

Brian Robert ShmaefskyBio
Dr. Brian Shmaefsky is a professor of environmental science who applies his research to environmental justice issues and natural resource policy nationally and in other countries. His authoring experience includes academic journal publications, textbook writing, science books for general audiences, newspaper journalism, and technical writing. He also served as a peer-reviewer for scientific and science education journals as well as being a contributing editor for the Journal of College Science Teaching. He currently serves TAA on the newly formed Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI) and is experienced at serving on advisory councils and governing boards.

Position Statement
"I always believed in being an active member of professional organizations by serving on committees, focus groups, and elected positions. I see this as my way of giving back to organization for all the benefits I receive. My interest in serving the TAA membership is to provide my insights as an author and editor who has adapted to dramatic changes in the publishing sector. I also want to share my years of experience promoting equity and diversity in professional careers including writing. The journey that led me an academic position was full of many seemingly unsurmountable hurdles due to being raised in poverty by immigrant parents. Learning to become an author was equally arduous because of my poor English language skills. I hope to apply what I learned from my struggles at becoming an author to help others build confidence at taking on writing projects."

Dione Taylor

Dione TaylorBio
Dione Taylor, Ed.D. is in her 21st year as the Director of the Pupil Personnel Services, School Counseling program in the School of Education at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. She supports issues of social justice and racial equity and serves on the university Campus Climate & Diversity Task Force and as a member of the Diversity Council. She encourages her graduate candidates to strive for cultural competence as evidenced in their personal and professional lives. She also published an article entitled "Developing graduate and undergraduate student cultural sensitivity and emerging competence using the Intercultural Development Inventory®."

Position Statement
"I admire and appreciate the contributions of journal and textbook authors who communicate with clarity and precision to the delight of their readers. Subject areas that garner much of my attention within my university community are those related to social justice, racial equity and cultural competence. I recognize that the steps in the journey to effectuate substantive change in these areas is to be self-reflective, examine implicit bias, and engage in courageous conversations. There is a need for authors to address these issues in all disciplines, throughout the academy, in corporations, and in our laws as well. The values that TAA embraces encourage and empower its members to merge their aspirations with its mission to assist and inform those who seek useful resources toward that end. I would like to increase my involvement with TAA and nominate myself to serve as a Council member. Thank you for your consideration." 

Cast Your Vote

Meet the Current TAA Council