Logging On: Staff Comings and Goings

Cheryl Ball, Editor

I am so thrilled about all the staff changes Kairos is benefitting from this summer! We have added so many new staff members and promoted a bunch from within our current ranks! (Warning in advance: I am going to have SO MANY exclamation points in this Logging On column, because I am really happy about all these promotions and hirings!)

First, I am super happy to report that previous Managing Editor Michael Faris has agreed to join me as Co-Editor! Michael joined the journal about eight years ago as an Associate Editor (they were still called Assistant Editors then) to work on webtext production. Due to his keen copyediting eye, his willingness to always jump in and help his fellow staff members with technical issues in texts, and the quickness with which he responded to requests, Michael was an obvious choice for Managing Editor when the position opened up. As Managing Editor over the last few years, Michael has been working closely with the editorial board, running the peer review process for the journal and working with authors during the developmental stages of their writing process, alongside the Section Editors. He has excelled in that position, and reached out beyond scope to continue helping with the production parts of the journal. I have started to re-evaluate my work–life balance over the last three years, it became evident early this spring that I needed a co-editor and Michael was, again, the obvious choice. He agreed to the promotion, and jumped into the mix so quickly, leading the copyediting charge as I've reverted back to working again on peer review with the new Managing Editors and training the many new section and assistant editors we've onboarded since the year began. Thank you, Michael, for making the journal continue to run smoothly and be of the utmost quality that it can be.

One of the challenges of the Managing Editor position is soliciting peer reviewers, managing the review process, and keeping track of a dozen floating deadlines—all without an editorial-management system (we're still developing it...) due to the webtext nature of Kairos. It's a lot of manual work that requires knowing a lot about the field, the scholars on our board, the breadth of in-disciplines we publish in, and the editorial process, all while maintaining a congenial approach to multiple stakeholders and, nearly as important as everything else, keeping the whole process on time. A great managing editor has to weigh the completion of their scholarly work against their on-time performance. It's a big job, and given the capaciousness of our open peer-reviewing process at Kairos, we decided to replace Michael's position with two Managing Co-Editors, which is our preferred collaborative style at Kairos anyways.

After an internal search and application process, we are super excited to have been able to name Erin Kathleen Bahl and Christopher Andrews as Co-Managing Editors for the journal! As an assistant editor prior to this promotion, Erin was always willing to take on extra work, would often be the first one to jump on an assignment, and responded with the speed of a cheetah. She was probably the quickest promotion we ever made, placing her after an open search last year as one of five Section Editors of the newly combined Topoi/Praxis Collective. Even amidst needing to take a short leave this spring (and us suggesting to Erin that she take the leave literally, because we knew she'd want to jump in to help), she had already made her mark as a Section Editor, so we were thrilled when she applied for the managing editor position! Christopher, as well, started as a then-assistant-turned-associate editor, nearly a decade ago, and he became one of the go-to folx for solving complicated technical questions and answering them with quickness and joy—both incredibly valuable leadership traits for editors to demonstrate as they develop their skills! We hired him as a Reviews Co-Editor and then as a Topoi/Praxis Collective editor where he, like Erin, demonstrated his strong ability to develop authors and turn webtexts around in good time, so we were equally thrilled to be able to promote him to the next level of the editorial team this past spring! Michael and I have been working with them to learn our peer review process, and they've taken it up quickly and are pretty much working on their own already—just a few months into the position! Thank you, both, for helping to guide this ship!

We were lucky to have five strong editors in the newly formed Topoi/Praxis Collective, so we are happy to have the three remaining editors—Elkie Burnside, Elizabeth Fleitz, and Tim Amidon—to keep the work flowing with their amazing grace and intellect!

Meanwhile, we desperately needed to hire Reviews and Interviews Co-Editors to replace folks who had retired or been promoted over the last year. Again, we were lucky to have Monica Jacobe re-join the Kairos team as an Interviews Co-Editor late last fall. Monica had previously been an assistant editor about a decade ago, and her networking in the field will make her a great person for the Interviews section. But she needed a co-editor, and we needed to replace both Reviews section co-editors, Elizabeth and Chris, who had been promoted to the Topoi/Praxis collection at that point. After another round of open and internal searches, we have been lucky to promote three of our assistant and associate editors into these Section Editor positions!! We are thrilled to announce that Ashanka Kumari and Lucy Anne Johnson have stepped into the Reviews Section Co-Editor positions. Please check out their revised list of reviews needed! As well, Brandy Dieterle has joined Monica as Interviews Section Co-Editor! These three folx have been with the journal for almost a decade combined, and we could not be happier at the excellence they have shown as production editors at the journal, which made us want to raise them up to the next level of editorial leadership, working with authors. We can't wait to see the outcomes, starting in the spring issue!

Since we had decimated our assistant and associate editor population (she said jokingly but also in panic as the one who is responsible for hiring, onboarding, and training new folx and making sure we have enough staff to successfully publish the journal without overburdening any one group with editorial labor), we needed to promote Will Penman, who had been jumping into every editorial task with glee and had taken on the internal role of Media Manager, handling the logistics and uploading of all the third-party media assets we publish in the journal. We first met Will at KairosCamp 2017 and he applied to be an editor shortly thereafter. Having the HTML/CSS skills we need the associate editors to use for design-editing, we moved him into this new position over the summer since we desperately needing copyediting help on this special issue.

Then, in the associate editor ranks, we've said goodbye to Rachel Winter, Jen Carter, and David Maynard as they continue their professional development in other areas of their academic work. We wish them good luck and thank them tremendously for their time with Kairos! We threw open the application process for assistant editors with the spring issue and were inundated with excellent people willing to go through our multi-step test and hiring process. We just welcomed a cohort of TEN new assistant editors and interns in an onboarding Zoom video days before publication. They'll start training in September with the PraxisWiki section and assist with other Kairos projects, as needed. Please welcome associate editors Ashley Beardsley, Caitlin Burns, Jialei Jiang, Madison Jones, Elena Kalodner-Martin, Joanna D. Kohlhepp, and Thomas Pickering and interns Christopher Crumley (our first undergraduate intern!), Nupoor Ranade, and Charles Woods.

Finally, and excitedly, we announce a new position of Special Projects Editor, in which we asked the esteemed Traci Gardner to lead us. Traci has a long history of being a troublemaker in digital writing studies, and is the reason the 7Cs Technology Innovator Award is also called the Troublemaker Award—she created and named that award decades ago because of all the (good!) trouble it caused in CCCC when she created it, and also because, at the time, digital scholars were generally considered to be troublemakers within the rest of the humanities. Traci's CV as a delightful and productive troublemaker in the field is waaaaay too long to list here, but her most recent endeavor was to promptly email Doug Eyman and myself about a change she thought we should implement to the ScholarNames project section of the wiki. They were long changes that we've wanted to make at Kairos, among many others that—despite having the largest staff we've ever had, at 37 people now—we still don't have the bandwidth to make some of the larger (or even smaller) projects come to fruition. (If anyone else is interested in helping us complete some of these projects, which may be obvious but we're also happy to share, please contact us!) So we invited Traci to take on that task in getting 'er done in whatever form or fashion she wants, with staff help. We are honored she accepted the position and now has a formal role and title at the journal. Welcome, Traci!!

Whew. This is the largest staff onboarding we've ever conducted, and it's been keeping us busy in terms of updating our training wiki and hosting Zoom meetings (but not too many) to bring folx together to learn our processes and procedures, and also to more generally build community. We may end up hiring some more assistant editors as the months progress, so keep an eye out on our social media for updates, or send us a query any time.

As a post-script: We are sorry to learn of the recent passing of Lester Faigley, a digital rhetoric giant. We offer his family our many condolences and wish health and wellness to everyone.