Northwest faculty textbooks published

Northwest Mississippi Community College is proud to announce the publication of two textbooks written by Northwest faculty members.

Hawkes Publishing has published the third edition of “Beginning Statistics,” written by Carolyn Wiley, Northwest’s associate vice president of Academic Instruction and Institutional Effectiveness, Kimberly Denley and Emily Atchley.

According to Wiley, the book is an introductory statistics textbook geared toward students in non-STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) pathways. The textbook contains applications from a number of areas, including business, psychology, education and medical.

“We try to draw from a whole bunch of different fields,” Wiley said. “Our focus is more on how to interpret and analyze the statistics and use them instead of crunching all the numbers.”

Wiley, Denley and Atchley, who have about 40 years of combined teaching experience between them, began writing the first edition in 2003 when all three were teaching statistics at the University of Mississippi.

“None of us were happy with the books we were finding because we felt like they didn’t have enough mathematics or we felt like they had too much of an emphasis on mathematics,” Wiley said. “We tried to write a textbook that spoke a little bit more plainly; we really tried to use language that anybody can understand.”

While they no longer all teach at the same school, they have continued to work together on their shared project. This time around, the plan was to simply update some of the book’s examples to make them more current. However, once they dug in, they soon realized there was a heavy amount of material they wanted to revise.

“It ended up being a major revision, and we are super excited,” Wiley said. “Of course you always want each edition to feel like it’s the best, but we definitely feel like this is the best of the three by leaps and bounds.”

As a full-time employee at Northwest, Wiley’s work on the latest edition of the book took place at night after getting she and her husband Bryan’s youngest child, an infant at the time, to sleep.

With a third edition of their book now on the market, Wiley said the experience is more surreal than ever.

“I didn’t think I’d have one, much less three, (books) on the market,” she said.

Wiley is originally from south Louisiana, but remained in north Mississippi after graduating from the University of Mississippi. She, her husband and their four children currently reside in Horn Lake. She has been a Northwest employee since 2005.

“Beginning Statistics,” which is among the top 20 in sales nationwide for statistics books, is available through

Pearson, another widely-known name in the publishing world, has published “Laboratory Manual for Human Anatomy & Physiology: A Hands-On Approach,” written by Department of Natural Sciences faculty members Melissa Greene, Robin Robison and Lisa Strong. The trio is also currently working on an instructor’s manual, online support and a computerized test bank to accompany the lab manual.

“We feel lucky and humbled to be able to do this,” Robison said.

The lab manual is self-contained and intended to be highly interactive, with students encouraged throughout the book to draw, label and make lists to help them learn and understand the material. The book is among only a select few lab manuals that Pearson has put out on the market, and is available in three different versions: the main version (no dissection), cat version (cat dissection), and pig version (pig dissection).

The three colleagues dreamed about the idea of collaborating on a book together, and when Strong met Pearson editor Serena Beauparlant at a conference, it was the beginning of a years-long adventure. The California-based Beauparlant paid a visit to the Northwest campus, and was highly impressed with the school’s lab facilities. She was also impressed with the way the three instructors wrote when they penned reviews for Pearson publications. When she asked if they wanted to write for Pearson, their answer was a resounding “yes.”

Between brainstorming, writing and editing, the textbook took a total of six years to complete and cycled through at least 10 drafts before the final product went to print. Any free time that the three might have had over the last six years was devoted to the manual.

“Every bit of work that we did was done at night, on a weekend, on a school holiday, on summer vacation,” Greene said. “Most instructors who write a book teach maybe one class, and we are all teaching full loads.”

In addition to the actual writing, the creation of media to accompany the book was also a process. Local photographer Nathan Dixon took the photos for the book, including the cover that features Northwest students, and lab assistant videos were shot on Northwest’s campus. The lab assistant videos are intended to be a major asset to students.

“We have a lot of equipment, but some schools don’t,” Strong said. “That video may be all that they have, and they might just watch that in lieu of actually doing the lab.”

One of the most important things that the group agreed on was that they wanted their lab manual to be affordable. The book is currently on sale for about $80, and can be used for both Anatomy & Physiology I and Anatomy & Physiology II. Due to the book’s scope of information, look, and accompanying resources, many have been shocked at its price tag.

“Typically, for a price like that, you don’t get color,” Strong said. “You get a black and white lab book with really no pictures.”

While the book is for sale through Northwest’s campus bookstores, none of its authors will profit from those sales, per school policy. Instead, royalties from the sale of the book at any of Northwest’s campuses will be paid to the Northwest Foundation.

There are many people for which the lab manual’s authors are thankful. Dr. Carol Britson, with the University of Mississippi’s Department of Biology, allowed them to photograph anatomy and physiology models that were not available at Northwest. They are also grateful to Dr. Michael Heindl, Northwest president, Dr. Matthew Domas, Northwest’s vice president of Instruction and Dr. Gary Lee Spears, now-retired Northwest president, for their support. The group also expressed their gratitude for the support of their coworkers. Most importantly, they are grateful to their students over the years for helping them become better instructors.

Professionally, the three authors have been honored by the lab manual’s reception. They served as the keynote speakers for Vision 2020 at the University of Southern Mississippi in January, and the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) has held a focus group for their book.

Greene, Strong and Robison have been Northwest employees for 17, 15 and 29 years, respectively.

Greene earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Christian Brothers University and her master’s degree in life science from the University of Maryland. Robison received his associate degree in biology from Northeast Mississippi Community College. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from the University of Mississippi. Strong attended Northwest before transferring to Delta State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology education. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Mississippi.

“Laboratory Manual for Human Anatomy & Physiology: A Hands-On Approach” is available internationally, and can be purchased through the Northwest bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and through Pearson’s website at Accompanying online tools, including homework and media, will be ready for use in the fall of 2020.

(From left) Northwest Department of Natural Sciences faculty members Robin Robison, Melissa Greene and Lisa Strong are pictured with Carolyn Wiley, Northwest’s associate vice president of Academic Instruction and Institutional Effectiveness. Robison, Greene and Strong have a new lab manual on the market. Wiley and her writing partners’ third edition of their statistics textbook has also recently been published.
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