University Press Week Staff Spotlight: Adriahna Conway
As part of University Press Week 2022, Hopkins Press is celebrating what's #NextUP : the people, scholarship, and programs that are creating change and innovation here at Hopkins Press.
Over the next five days, we will be joining other University Presses on a "blog tour" that will spotlight the amazing work being done by our colleagues and collaborators across the country.
Today's #UPWeek prompt was to spotlight who is #NextUp at your press. We are delighted to speak with Adriahna Conway to learn more about her work at Hopkins Press. Adriahna holds a BA in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University and joined the Hopkins press team in February 2021.
What is your role at Hopkins Press?
I am an Editorial Assistant for the higher education and the history of science, technology, and medicine lists.
What led you to working in publishing and specifically at a University Press?
I majored in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University during undergrad and through my own research and the advice of amazing advisors, I was able to learn about the field of publishing. Thankfully, Hopkins Press has a work study program for undergrads which I participated in for about a year. Given my background in fiction writing, I initially thought I would want to transition to trade publishing post-graduation, but ended up really enjoying academic publishing.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
All of us doing the work and getting a book at the end. Books are just really cool.
Can you tell us about a specific book or author that you’ve worked on/with that you enjoyed or learned a lot from?
I’ve worked with many great authors, but one that stands out is Patrick Hastings and his book The Guide to James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses.’ He was wonderful to work with, and the book will be an invaluable resource for students. It’s a great example of why I enjoy what I do.
What makes working at a University Press special?
I love learning. Since I grew up in a school system largely without access to textbooks and other essentials, access to knowledge is very important to me. To be able to work on projects where at the end of it all anyone can pick up the book and learn something is very meaningful to me.
What advice would you give to someone looking to enter publishing?
I think you’ll have an easier time entering the field and enjoy your stay more if you are eager to learn. Expressing my interest in learning the field beyond my position worked for me. I find it’s very easy to get stuck with your head down in your own day-to-day work, but take advantage of opportunities to learn from colleagues in your and other departments. I’ve benefited from doing this as it has really helped broaden my perspective of the entire process. Plus, I think everyone works together better when we do this.
What is a skill that’s important to have in your role?
Similar to the above and at the risk of being cliché and buzz-wordy, you have to be a team player. To me, this means listening and learning from your colleagues. And create opportunities to do so - rather than waiting for them to come to you for help or to let you know something isn’t working. Teams thrive when we all practice being good communicators.
What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?
I always say I have too many hobbies… Aside from writing, I’ve been studying Korean for about 4 years. These days, I’m enjoying baking, roller skating, and learning more about graphic and web design.