The University of Cincinnati Press strives to recognize the extraordinary talents and efforts of our team. Over the past year, the Press lost two incredible people that made our offices a much better place. The community of individuals within the UC Press is a strong one, formed by the tight bonds of companionship, appreciation, and understanding. We know that when we work together we only see a snapshot of our whole lives, but losing of any of the individuals of our team would inevitably send shockwaves through our entire workplace. When we lost both Luke and Mark, we were devastated.
Our grief has been immense, but our spirits are resolute. We will continue to relish the good memories, and we will especially cherish how they impacted our lives. We can see clearly how both Luke and Mark impacted all of our work, and made us better for it. Our hearts are full of love and joy for the times we were able to spend with those we have lost. We are thankful that we were able to spend just some of our lives with people as special as Luke and Mark. As a Press, we thought it would be best to share our love of these spectacular individuals with you.
Technical Publishing Intern
February 5th, 1993 – December 17th, 2021
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Luke stayed local for school and began working at the UC Press in 20XX. His work at the press allowed him to gain coding and video experience and helped him develop the same skills he learned in his coursework. Luke held a Bachelors of Integrated Studies in Electronic Media and a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology from the University of Cincinnati.
Luke Beckwith, a fourth-year CCM student worker and Co-op 2.0 participant at University of Cincinnati Press, passed away on December 17th, 2021. Luke’s time at the UC Press resulted in him touching many lives and contributing to multiple academic works. Luke worked on book trailers, video resources, StoryMaps, and more. His highly specialized skills made him an integral part of the Press’ staff. Luke was always willing to lend a hand, putting the needs of his coworkers and others before himself. He was a professional, jovial in his work, and a friend to everyone at the Press.
It’s clear that Luke had a great impact on the Press’ ability to produce high quality audio/video material. This is reflected in the praise he garnered from the authors he worked with over the years. Kathleen Smythe, one of the authors of Bicycling Through Paradise: Historical Rides Around Cincinnati, had high praise for Luke’s contributions to their project. “The StoryMaps part of [our book] is essential to its longevity and ease of use. But, of course, we had no idea how to do that… Luke created the templates, all the maps, and helped us to get the content we wanted into StoryMaps. For months, we met with him every week, changing formats, adding another level of mapping, changing pictures… He was punctual, efficient, and very helpful in terms of doing things that I did not have the training or inclination to do… He was also very personable. He was curious about what we were up to and shared some of how he spent his time. Every meeting opened with a smiling Luke asking how we were. He was a delight to work with… As far as we know, this kind of cycling book is the first of its kind. Luke played an instrumental role in that being the case. I will always be grateful for Luke’s dedication to this project and his significant role in making it happen.”
This was the kind of praise that would have embarrassed the ever-humble Luke, but regardless of what project he worked on, thanks and praise followed him. However, Luke wasn’t just a student worker. Luke was an excellent student, thoughtful, diligent, and praised by his professors for going the extra mile. Luke followed his interests and his heart, double-majoring in audio production and information technology. His unique mixture of talent and education, combined with his dedication, welcoming personality, and his openness to collaboration, made him an irreplaceable part of the UC Press.
Elizabeth Scarpelli, director of the UC Press, talks about the impact Luke had on her. “Luke worked for the Press for over two years as our Technical Publications Intern. He created his position and grew it over time from processing files to creating content. Our authors enjoyed working with him. He was highly dedicated and found joy in his job… Luke allowed me to see both the challenges and strengths of neurodiversity. He helped me be a better leader and encouraged me to ensure that the Press environment was accessible for everyone, regardless of who they are.”
Director Scarpelli and the University of Cincinnati Press aim to honor Luke’s memory by continuing their work in social justice books which highlight and improve inequities among populations such as Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education: Strategies for Teaching by Rita Kumar and Brenda Refaei and regional titles about the greater Cincinnati area.
Luke was dedicated to his work, and supported multiple projects with his unique abilities, including:
- conceptualization, filming, editing, and interviewing for Exploring the Architecture of Place in America’s Farmers Markets by Kathryn Albright.
- conceptualization and creation of the StoryMap for Bicycling Through Paradise: Historical Rides Around Cincinnati by Kathleen Smythe and Chris Hanlin.
- book trailer for The Speaking Stone: Stories Cemeteries Tell by Michael Griffith.
- recording and editing for Testimonials for University of Cincinnati Service Learning.
- video resources for Collective Bargaining and the Battle for Ohio: The Defeat of Senate Bill 5 and the Struggle to Defend the Middle Class by John McNay.
Scholarly Communications and Library Publishing Coordinator
January 13th, 1960 – February 10th, 2022
Dr. Mark Konecny was the Scholarly Communications and Digital Publishing Strategist at the University of Cincinnati. He was active in the promotion of accessibility, digital scholarship and open access publishing. He earned his [insert degree] at Texas A&M University, then earning his PhD in Russian Art History from the University of Southern California, where he then pursued a master’s degree in Library Sciences.