The Catholic University of America

Dec. 7, 2010

CUA Press Welcomes New Director

  Trevor Lipscombe

Trevor Lipscombe is the new director of The Catholic University of America Press. He stepped into the position on Dec. 6, following a nationwide search that began last spring.

CUA Press, one of the founding members of the Association of American University Presses, publishes 30 to 35 books each year in theology, philosophy, language and literature, history, and political theory.

Lipscombe replaces David McGonagle, who retired in 2010 after 25 years as director of CUA Press.

Most recently, Lipscombe was editor in chief of the Johns Hopkins University Press for 10 years. Prior to that he served for eight years as the physical sciences editor at the Princeton University Press.

“Dr. Lipscombe brings a diverse and rich academic background to the position of leadership of the CUA Press,” says Catholic University Provost James Brennan. “His linguistic abilities range from Esperanto to Welsh, while his publications range from research papers in his scholarly area within physics to studies of scientific and general academic publishing. Most important, he brings considerable experience in both the scholarly and the business aspects of academic publishing.”

Calling the CUA Press “one of the few university presses that has stayed true to its mission as a scholarly academic enterprise,” Lipscombe says he is excited about the opportunities awaiting him at Catholic University.

Lipscombe says one of the most intriguing challenges facing university publishers is, “How do we enter the electronic age?” While journals have made the leap to the electronic era, Lipscombe says university publishers must figure out the best way to respond to the challenge when it comes to book publishing. “I look forward to leading CUA Press into this new era.”

A native of England, Lipscombe received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Queen Mary College of the University of London in 1983, and he earned his doctorate in 1986 from Oxford University.

He did his post-doctoral work at the Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics at the City University of New York. He then made a commitment to a year of volunteer work at the Institute for Youth Advocacy at Covenant House in New York City. He met his future wife, a fellow volunteer, there and decided to make his permanent home in the United States. Lipscombe and his wife now have five children ages 7 to 19.

After a year at Covenant House, Lipscombe took a position as the senior editorial assistant for the American Physical Society’s Physical Review. With that first position in scholarly publishing, Lipscombe says he was “hooked.”

“Academic publishing is a wonderful profession. It is immensely rewarding to work with the leading professors in their academic fields and to help them publish the finest works of scholarship possible,” says Lipscombe.

Lipscombe continues to publish occasionally in his own academic field of theoretical fluid mechanics. A former high school and college rugby player, Lipscombe’s book The Physics of Rugby (Nottingham University Press) was named one of the top 10 physics books of 2009 by Physical World magazine.

His continued interest in physics is a hobby, he says. “While some people like to spend free time doing crossword puzzles, I like to play with equations as they relate to everyday life.”

Not shy about his commitment to his Catholic faith, Lipscombe (a lector at his local parish) says CUA had a unique draw for him. “I look forward to helping to support the mission of The Catholic University of America and to raising the visibility and prestige of the CUA Press,” says Lipscombe.


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