The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI to offer publishing track in writing certificate

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A new publishing track at the University of Iowa next semester will offer students the competitive professional edge they have looked for.

The Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing will offer a new publishing track in the Undergraduate Certificate in Writing. The move is part of a partnership among the Nonfiction Writing Program, the School of Art and Art History, and the Center for the Book.

“We started to notice that students were coming to us and saying, ‘I love reading, and I love writing,’ ” said Daniel Khalastchi, the associate director at the Magid Center. “They say if I could do anything, I would like to read for a living.”

He said the track would be beneficial to students.

Participating students will be required to take classes that would lead to nine credit hours for the certificate. They will also need to take three classes for the publishing track: Publishing I, Publishing II, and Book Design and Publishing.

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Publishing I will focus on how publishing works in real life. While Publishing II allows students to take part in the publishing process and publish an actual work. Book Design and Publishing will teach students the technology they need to be successful in the publishing industry.

“The whole idea is that students in the track will be exposed to an entire range of professional skills they’d need,” said Allison Rockwell, the administrative services coordinator for the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs. “This will touch on every part of publishing, all in one track.”

The track will teach students the process of acquiring manuscripts, choosing stories, editing and proofreading the works, and creating the final design.

“We want to give students all the information they need to have a leg up on their peers from other schools who haven’t had this opportunity,” Khalastchi said.

Both Khalastchi and Rockwell said the new track would be open to students of any major.

“People in publishing are looking for people with a wide range of backgrounds,” Rockwell said. “People with any major would find it useful.”

Kelli Ebensberger, a senior majoring in English and psychology, said she would have loved to take the publishing track had it been offered in her undergraduate years.

“I’m really happy that it’s now an option, but I would have loved to be a part of this,” she said. “It’s really getting you a great overview of what it takes to be in the publishing industry.”

Ebensberger said she has worked with Khalastchi since she was a freshman, when he helped her get into the Book and Publishing Design class.

“After taking that class, we realized this type of direction for students is needed,” she said.

Khalastchi and Ebensberger worked together, along with leaders from other department directors and faculty members, to figure out what kind of classes would be helpful in the publishing industry.

“We came up with this idea for this capstone project at the end of the track based on an internship that I had at the end of the summer,” Ebensberger said.

Khalastchi said the center wanted to extend resources to students in order to help them with their career aspirations.

“We really want this to connect with as many students as possible and let them experience this awesome opportunity,” he said.

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