The GSA team welcomes Vincent Price, PhD, as the new Early Career Leadership Program Editor! Vincent is a talented editor with years of experience under his belt as a consultant and published author, alongside a number of years teaching English and French at secondary and post-secondary levels.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your career trajectory?
I was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi—a city that people know because of its role in the American Civil War or because they drive through it on their way to a more exciting location. My two older sisters and I were raised by our mother in a literate environment. In just about every room you entered, there was a bookshelf spilling over with books or word games. From my mom’s attention to detail and presentation to the multiple educators in the family, we were raised to represent ourselves and our people well in whatever we do. I took to enjoying words and writing, eventually becoming an English teacher. With my BA in English, I spent five years teaching English and French in my hometown, and I even took a few students abroad to see the world beyond Mississippi.
Representation was important to me, and my five years of teaching showed me that African American literary representation could be stronger in the English classroom. So, I entered graduate school determined to find a way of bringing more African American literature into the classroom. Through the pursuit of my master’s and doctoral degrees, I grew as a thinker, teacher, and writer. My perspectives on teaching and writing shifted, thereby evolving how I approached them. After graduate school, I was both a classroom teacher and a copy editor/writing consultant, encouraging others to read like writers and write with the reader in mind. I’m currently an assistant professor at the University of Central Arkansas where I train future educators to enter the classroom. My editing business, which started during my doctoral journey, has expanded to offer multiple avenues of quality writing support to graduate students and professionals. Now, between my role as a scholar and a writing consultant, I’m finding fantastic opportunities to sharpen my writing for publication and help others do the same.
What are you most looking forward to working on in your new role?
Writing makes me smile. Talking about writing makes me smile even more. It’s my zone. Therefore, when I’m in a position where I get to discuss writing with others, what could be better? The teacher in me is looking forward to showing others how to strengthen their writing and have fun while doing it. I’m looking forward to the smiles of burgeoning confidence and the moments of newfound clarity from the members I’ll be working with. (And yes, I ended the sentence with an infinitive!)
What about teaching writing and editing do you find most inspiring?
I entered into the editing/writing consulting business partly because I realized that some people lack confidence in their writing. Producing strong writing isn’t beyond them; they simply need support. Some folks even need the “okay” to break the limiting “rules” that they learned in school. I enjoy watching the confidence grow in writers. With each piece of writing, they become stronger not only in how they express themselves on paper but also in how proud they are of their growth and accomplishments.
What’s one piece of advice every early career scientist should hear?
Don’t be afraid to experiment in your writing. If you never try new things, your writing won’t grow. So as you read, read like a writer by paying attention to what other writers do. That way, you can then try it out for yourself.
What would surprise your undergraduate self about your career path so far?
“What?! You’re not still teaching in high school?! What?! You’re a published author?! WHAT?! And you have your own business where you get PAID to edit?!” My undergraduate self then faints.
How have your mentors played a role in your career journey?
Multiple people in my life have spoken me into where I am now. From family members and friends to teachers, professors, and colleagues, folks have encouraged me to keep going and to keep pushing the limit. I oftentimes did not see what they saw, but ended up right where they said I would be. I not only am grateful for what they saw and still see. I welcome it.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the longevity of my editing business, which I started out of financial need. Six years later, it’s still going strong, cruising on word-of-mouth advertising. It had humble beginnings for sure, but along the way, I’ve grown as an editor, writer, and business owner. I never would have imagined it.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend?
My perfect weekend would be a weekend away on a Floridian coast with my wife and family. The sun is shining, the smiles are beaming, and the mood is full of joy. If this is a perfect weekend, money would not be a concern of course. So we would explore the food and activities of our surroundings to our hearts’ content.