Alumni Authors Honored During Homecoming Weekend

University alumni authors gather at the Cheng Library during Homecoming Weekend.

Alumni authors photographed at the event in the Friends Room of the Cheng Library

An event showcasing the publications of William Paterson University alumni authors took place in the Cheng Library on October 2, 2016 as part of the Homecoming Weekend festivities. Janice Schwartz, Executive Director, Alumni Relations, coordinated the event, and others contributed as well.  Nancy Weiner, Assistant Director of the Library greeted the alumni authors and guests in the Friends’ Room of the Library.

The event, “Bagels & Books,” was described as a celebration of William Paterson alumni authors and featured the award-winning children’s author and alumnus, Doug Snelson, MA ’78.

President Waldron welcomed those attending including many alumni. She commented that this event was different than the other events of Homecoming Weekend in that it is intellectual. “We are here to celebrate our alumni authors,” she said.

The featured author of the event, Doug Snelson, read from two books he wrote for children. His first book, Who's Got the Face? was written about his family’s dog, and it is dedicated to almost one hundred dogs. Mr. Snelson also explained his philosophy of reading aloud to children and demonstrated effective interactive techniques.

Part of Doug’s philosophy of writing and interactive reading focuses on the very emotive concept of play.  Mr. Snelson believes that children’s books should convey joy and engage the listener. His philosophy of story-telling is centered on the idea that children and adults are rewarded by play which, he believes, consists of two interconnected qualities: awe and concentration.  During the reading, Doug communicated these attributes, and even the audience of adult listeners was captivated by his stories. 

When reading Who's Got the Face? aloud, Mr. Snelson asked the audience to imagine that they were first or second-grade children. He read the book in its entirety, and during the reading, involved the audience by asking questions and encouraging participation. He animated many sections of the book and also read his second award-winning book, The Fable of the Snake Named Slim.

Mr. Snelson credited a professor in the Communication Department with encouraging him to write. When writing, one of the puzzles Mr. Snelson often thinks about is the joy of reading, and his books seek to share the joy he feels with the reader.

More than fifty books written by alumni were displayed during the event. These books were donated to the Cheng Library and are now part of the circulating collection. Many of these books were signed by the authors attending the event. A few of these titles are listed below.

  • Algebra in Words: A Guide of Hints, Strategies and Simple Explanations by Gregory Bullock
  • Grandeur: The Personal Reflections of Famous Grandparents by Mary Ann Cooper
  • The Work of Abstracts II by Jane Garnes
  • I Made It! by Juana M. Ortiz
  • Life 101: A Guide to Your Personal Evolution by Linda Voogd
  • The Test of a Woman: Real-life Encounters of Women from All Walks of Life by Shareyna Scott
  • In Transit by Kathleen Gerard


February 06, 2017