AHA Activities

Changes in AHA Editorial Staff

AHA Staff, March 1992

Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed a change in the masthead of the February 1992 Perspectives—Kathy Koziara-Herbert, long-time editor and advertising manager, is no longer listed. After more than five years of working on Perspectives and other AHA publications, Kathy has resigned to await the birth of her first child. In mid-January the AHA staff bade a sad goodbye to Kathy, whose editorial and managerial skills will be sorely missed.

Originally from western Massachusetts, Kathy moved to the University of Missouri, Columbia to pursue her bachelor's degree in journalism. Her advertising career began in Texas, where she worked as an advertising sales representative for newspapers in Wichita Falls and Houston. After fulfilling her quota of cowboy hats and rattlesnake hunts, Kathy returned to the East Coast to work as a program assistant at George Washington University while studying for a graduate certificate from the Publications Specialist Program there.

In 1986, Kathy started at the AHA as the assistant editor of Perspectives. In this position she managed several popular and time-consuming columns, including "Awards and Fellowships," "Meetings," and "Employment Information." After a short stint at the Smithsonian as an academic program specialist, she returned to the AHA in 1988 to become the editor of Perspectives and the advertising manager of Perspectives, the American Historical Review, and the annual meeting Program. Many of the changes that have occurred in the content and appearance of Perspectives over the past five years have been partially or wholly orchestrated by Kathy, who took an active role in improving and streamlining the editorial process.

Kathy considers her most far-reaching achievement as editor to be the switch from manual page layout to in-house desktop publishing using the Ventura Publisher system. Instead of sending laboriously marked-up pages to the printer, the Perspectives staff now produce laser-printed, camera-ready copy, as well as using Ventura to design in-house ads. Kathy recalled that the transition to Ventura was challenging at first because the so-called instruction manuals offered little practical help with the problems encountered by the staff. With much perseverance and a bit of overtime, however, the system was eventually mastered, as is evident from the nearly error-free issues received by members each month.

When asked about other changes during her time at the AHA, Kathy continued to focus on Perspectives, observing that it had become "much bigger, more interesting, and controversial." She described an increase in viewpoints articles and in letters to the editor, both of which often elicited responses in later issues. In addition to these modifications, Kathy noted "an explosion" in the number of employment advertisements since 1986 and an expanded page count of up to forty pages per issue. She also pushed for the establishment of eight contributing editors for Perspectives, each of whom is responsible for soliciting and editing articles for various columns. The participation of these historians in the editorial process has improved the quality of the newsletter material and has involved the membership more directly with the Washington office.

Another one of Kathy's notable achievements was to make major improvements in the Annual Meeting Job Register, at which more than 500 job-seeking historians interview each year. Kathy reorganized the pre-meeting preparation process, changed the procedures from sign-up interviews to appointments arranged directly by the schools, and developed the idea of providing a job listing handout to each prospective candidate rather than simply posting notices on bulletin boards. Kathy also helped the staff of the American Historical Review, which she described as "a first-rate journal," to develop the first four-color cover on any AHA publication.

Although she is looking forward to the birth of her child, whom she predicts will be a girl, Kathy is sad about leaving the AHA. She said that she "had the pleasure of working with some of the top historians" and that she would like to continue to work in the scholarly community after she returns to the work force. The AHA staff will miss Kathy's off-beat wit, her editorial expertise, and her distinctive Ford pickup truck. The AHA's executive director remarked that Kathy had done "an outstanding job" as both editor and assistant editor, and that "if she comes back on the job market, she should talk to us first!"

The new editor of Perspectives is Eve Weisberg, who was also promoted from the assistant editor position. Eve is a native of the Washington, DC area and received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Harvard University. Emily Frye, the new assistant editor, graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in history and has most recently worked as a publications intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Editor's Note: Helen Lucille Herbert was born on February 5, 1992, weighing a healthy eight pounds. Both Kathy and her daughter are resting and doing well.