UHV faculty, staff, students write for encyclopedia

Several University of Houston-Victoria employees and students contributed 25 articles to the just-released “The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest, 1500 to the Present.”

The eight-volume work was published this month by Wiley-Blackwell, one of the largest academic publishers in the world.

“I’m extremely pleased,” said Hal Smith, a professor and director of history programs at UHV and one of the contributors to the encyclopedia. “I think this reflects very well on UHV and the history program here.”

The project started with UHV history instructor Beverly Tomek, who was asked to be the editor in charge of race and gender for the encyclopedia. She had worked with senior editor Immanuel Ness on a previous encyclopedia project.

“I invited my colleagues and former students who I knew would do well at this kind of work to join me in the project,” Tomek said. “Everyone did such a wonderful job that many of them were specifically thanked in the acknowledgements section of the encyclopedia.”

Those three graduates are staff members at the UHV Academic Center: Ernest Amador, testing coordinator; Amy Hatmaker, lead tutor; and Summer Leibensperger, academic center coordinator.

Leibensperger, who earned her bachelor’s degree in humanities with a concentration in English from UHV in 2000, wrote eight articles totaling 8,500 words. She also holds a master’s degree in technical communication from another university.

“Some of them took several weeks to write,” she said. “I learned a lot both about the subjects and the process.”

Amador also spoke highly of the experience.

“I enjoyed working on this project,” Amador said. “I’ve never done this type of writing before and found it challenging and engaging.”

Amador earned his bachelor’s degree in humanities with a concentration in English from UHV in 2007. He is working on a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in film and communication.

“For me to get to do this was a pretty big honor,” he said.

Hatmaker said she learned about a lot of topics she didn’t expect to write about.

“I was part of the cleanup crew,” she joked, noting many assignments were handed to her to help finish up the book.

The experience also taught her a lot about professional writing.

“I learned how important it is to focus on audience expectations when writing,” she said, adding that writing a term paper is very different from writing for an encyclopedia. “I learned the intricacies of each editor’s style.”

Hatmaker earned her bachelor’s degree in humanities with a concentration in history from UHV in 2007 and is working on her master’s degree in history from another university.

Tomek also tapped another former student, Nathan King.

King earned his bachelor’s degree in humanities with a concentration in history and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in history from UHV, finishing in 2007.

“She had faith in me, so I said ‘yes,’” he said. “It’s almost like writing a paper for school except it will be read by the entire world.”

He hopes his work on the encyclopedia will help him when he pursues his doctorate in history.

Tomek praised the work of her fellow contributors.

“Everyone did such a wonderful job,” she said. “All of these graduates, and now many staff members, are a credit to the quality of education at UHV.”

More information about the encyclopedia is available online at

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342