With this issue, Kate Kiefer lays down her burden as Editor of Computers & Composition, and Gail Hawisher, of Illinois State University picks it up. For the past five years, Kate has labored with fortitude, grace, and infinite good humor to provide this resource for teachers of English who use computers in their classes. It was Kate, in fact, who identified the need for such a forum in the first place, at the 1983 CCCC during the Special Interest Group meeting on computers entitled "The Fifth C: Computers." After that session, Kate conceived of the format for this publication--in the first issue a newsletter of ten pages--and convinced colleagues from around the country to contribute their impressions and ideas on the computer revolution that was unfolding.
During the early years of Computers & Composition, Kate's efforts on behalf of the publication never flagged--in those days, we had to beat the bushes for contributors, and Kate made countless telephone calls to friends and teachers doing exciting work
with computers. In addition, she continued the never-ending job of seeking funding for a new journal, reviewing submissions, encouraging teachers to become subscribers, laying out and even typing entire issues, corresponding with authors, suggesting revisions, and consulting with a very inexperienced co-Editor. It was also Kate, in 1985, who made it possible for Computers & Composition to change from a newsletter to a small journal, who formed our first Editorial Board for reviewing submissions, who interpreted that Board's comments for authors revising their articles, who passed out countless subscription forms at annual meetings of the CCCC, and who sought out promising young scholars in this field and offered them a chance to publish their work in a national forum. Moreover, Kate did these things while she continued her own extremely successful scholarly career, did ground-breaking work on WRITERS WORKBENCH, taught her classes at Colorado State University, and raised two beautiful and talented children.
It is no wonder, therefore, that we cannot let Kate go easily; she remains the conceptual parent of this journal and a scholarly role model for all of us who work with technology in reading- and writing-intensive classrooms. We can console ourselves with the fact that Kate now becomes our first Editor Emeritus. This knowledge makes both the Editorial staff and the Editorial Board breathe easier as we face the 1988-89 year of Computers & Composition.
We could never do without Kate, however, unless we had waiting in the wings an equally talented and energetic Editor--Dr. Gail E. Hawisher. Many readers will recognize Gail's name from previous articles in Computers & Composition. In 1986 and 1988, she published what may well prove to be two of the most useful pieces this journal has offered in the last five years, both incisive summaries and critical analyses of research studies done on word processing and its effects on writing. As valuable as these pieces are in giving an overview of our progress during the last decade, they have even more value as indicators of our future, pointing the way to research that our profession needs to do during the next decade.
In addition, Gail Hawisher adds extensive expertise in English education, teaching strategies, and research methodology to our Editorial staff. She is, moreover, one of the best critical readers our staff has ever worked with. Those readers who submit articles for
publication can expect feedback that is positive, practical, insightful, and timely. Gail has already begun her duties as Editor, and we all look forward to working with her as she shapes this publication and its standards of excellence.
Enjoy this issue and the fine work it represents. We are proud to feature the efforts of talented colleagues such as John Ruskiewicz, The University of Texas-Austin; Diane Thompson, Northern Virginia Community College; Paul LeBlanc, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Delores Schriner, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; and Gordon Thomas and Mark Levy, University of Idaho-Moscow.
In our last issue (April 1988, Vol. 5, Issue 2), we were fortunate to be able to feature Christine Hult's scholarship in an article entitled "The Computer and the Inexperienced Writer," (p. 29-38). To our embarrassment and chagrin, we erred in our editing of that fine piece of work. By mistake, we substituted references to Elizabeth Sommers where Dr. Hult had referred to Nancy Sommers' work on pages 34-35. This inadvertent substitution affects the reading of the article and misrepresents Dr. Hult's careful scholarship. We apologize to our good friends Christine Hult, Nancy and Elizabeth Sommers, and all of those readers we confused. We continue in our efforts to be better Editors--it's a long row to hoe.
--Cynthia L. Selfe