We are proud to announce the 2012 Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew Award recipient as Audrey Mellichamp, a longtime managing editor for Castanea. From 1982 through 2011, Audrey worked to pull together manuscripts and organize them into issues of the journal. In the process she guided authors through the procedures, reminded officers of needed submissions, and communicated details to the printer.
Audrey received her B.A. in Biology from Albion College (Albion, Michigan) and her M.S. in Botany from the University of Michigan. She started learning the editorship ropes about 1980 as Jesse Clovis retired from his position as editor and as the Southern Appalachian Botanical Club (as it was known then) moved the Castanea central office from the University of West Virginia to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. It was a time of much transition, with changes in printers, journal size, communication methods, organizational officers, and technology of publication. Over the years one thing never changed: Audrey’s dedication to making sure the journal was formatted well and published in a timely manner.
When I first became Secretary-Treasurer, I quickly realized that Audrey was an important component in the article publication process. She developed a list of procedures and kept every author on task. Once accepted for publication, a manuscript was physically sent to Audrey for processing. She would look for errors, standardize citations, and make sure all components were present. Once manuscripts became proofs, she would check details and encourage authors to complete a timely review by orchestrating interactions between authors, editors, and the printer. She would lay out each issue, and then generate the table of contents and index. Numerous other components were added periodically such as award winners, presidential letters, statement of ownership, advertisements. Audrey oversaw the first Occasional Papers in Eastern Botany, which she edited as part of her other routine duties, and initiated the first line drawings on the cover of Castanea. As we moved into the 1990s, technology became an important part of publications: e-mail correspondence, submission of manuscripts electronically, and most recently, electronic publication.
Many authors relied on Audrey to help with the detailed formatting procedures that were required, commenting on uniformity and readability; and she could catch the tiniest typo in a lengthy manuscript. But perhaps even more importantly, she worked closely with first-time authors and graduate students to help them navigate the intimidating world of journal publication.
No one loved Castanea and all it represented more than Audrey; and by all accounts, she certainly carried on the spirit of Betty Bartholomew. So we, the Society, thank her for her service and wish her well in retirement as she engages in other botanical pursuits.
—Charles N. Horn, Newberry College, member, Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew Award Committee. 214