UMU Professors Publish New Books, Garner Awards

December 12, 2016

Michael Olin-HittJamie CapuzzaAndy BainALLIANCE, Ohio — Four University of Mount Union professors, Dr. Andy Bain, Dr. Jamie Capuzza and Dr. Michael Olin-Hitt and Dr. Jennifer Martin have used their expertise to author or edit books in their respective fields during 2016.

Bain, assistant professor of criminal justice, has edited two books based on his research interests. “Understanding Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs: International Perspectives” was co-edited with Mark Lauchs at QUT and is the second book on the subject in two years. Bain is recognized as an award-winning researcher for his work with gangs and has presented on the topic to international audiences.

Bain was the sole editor of “Law Enforcement and Technology.” It includes chapters by a number of colleagues from the department, including chapters by Dr. Bryan Robinson, Dr. Jim Conser and Andy Turowski.

Capuzza, chair of the Department of Communication and coordinator of the gender studies program, co-edited a book about transgender communication with Mount Union alumnus Dr. Leland Spencer. “Transgender Communication Studies: Histories, Trends, and Trajectories” includes topics such as health communication, organizational communication, film and language. “Realizing that scholarship in our field of communication too often lumped trans experiences into the moniker ‘LGBT’ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), we decided to edit a book that focused on transgender communication on its own terms—centering the lives and experiences of transgender people and theorizing gender identity as something people create with communication” says Capuzza.

Spencer was a student of Capuzza’s during his undergraduate years, when studying communication and gender studies. “The fact that years later, we get to work together again means a lot to both of us and certainly says something about the strength of Mount Union student/faculty relationships,” comments Capuzza. Additionally, Capuzza and Spencer have collaboratively written award-winning articles. 

Jennifer Martin“Transgender Communication Studies: Histories, Trends, and Trajectories” has been awarded the Outstanding Book Award from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender as well as the Distinguished Edited Book Award from the Applied Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

Olin-Hitt, professor of English, authored “Messiah Complex and Other Stories,” a collection of 11 short stories that he has published in literary journals over the past 18 years. “The collection marks a significant moment in my career as a fiction writer because the earlier publications of the stories did not reach a wide audience,” comments Olin-Hitt. “I have narrators and main characters that range from a fifth grader to an elderly hunter, and I write from the perspectives of both men and women.” He explains that the stories have a wide range of topics but are unified by the style of literary fiction and the demanding form of the short story.

The collection won the Book Prize from Middle Creek Press and the title story won the 2016 fiction writing contest for Prism Review. All of his books are written for the common reader, not specifically for the academic reader. Olin-Hitt has published three other books entitled “The Homecoming,” The Word of God Upon My Lips” and “A Fish Made of Water.”

Dr. Jennifer Martin, assistant professor of education, also earned awards for her book "Racial Battle Fatigue: Insights from the Front Lines of Social Justice Advocacy." The book was named the recipient of the 2016 AERA Division B's Outstanding Book Recognition Award and was recognized as one of the 15 "Must-Read Titles in Urban Education" by the University of Pittsburgh School of Education Center for Urban Education.

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