As usual, our summer issue masthead includes a number of changes. Our new cadre of Diana Hobby Editorial Fellows is listed there, with a healthy mix of first-time and returning fellows, giving us a fine balance of experience and fresh energy as we strive to cope with these strange times.
Becky Byron, who joined SEL as Associate Editor and Business Manager in 2013 and was promoted to the new position of Managing Editor in 2017, left SEL in early April 2020 to join her husband in Chicago as he began a new position there. Becky distinguished herself at Rice for attention to detail, wisdom, calm, and gentleness in all her dealings with those at all levels of the university and the intellectual community. SEL is a much better journal thanks to her time here. Fortunately, Rice allowed Becky to work remotely from December 2019 until early April 2020 so that she was able to participate in the search and training of her successor.
We were most fortunate that Becky’s successor, Leslie Marie Aguilar, had so much interest in returning to her native state that she and her husband were willing to move here from Northampton, Massachusetts in March, during the early days of the pandemic. However, because of the pandemic and Rice’s shutdown of oncampus activities in the spring, Leslie’s first two months working for Rice were entirely remote. She was heroic in negotiating that most difficult time and managed, with Becky’s help, to bring herself up to speed quickly—organizing the interviews and hiring of our new Hobby Fellows and assisting them while we adapted to a remote workflow. Her ability to handle the challenges presented by the need to operate our office almost entirely remotely has been extraordinary. We are delighted to welcome her to the masthead.
Both Becky and Leslie were especially valuable assisting us all, but particularly our editorial fellows, in coping with the untimely loss of Clancy S. Taylor, a Hobby Fellow in 2019–2020 reappointed at the time of their death to continue as a fellow for the 2020–2021 academic year. Clancy’s kindness and warmth were treasured by us all and will be deeply missed. The absence of their name on our masthead this year reinforces our sense of this very sad loss. Our memories of Clancy will doubtless inspire our work at the journal moving forward.