Member Spotlight

Fermilab/Stanford Linear Accelerator Center: Symmetry

Symmetry, Fermilab/Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Managing Editor: Kurt Riesselmann

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About URMA

The University Research Magazine Association promotes excellence and professionalism among those who write, edit, design, and publish magazines about the research and scholarly activities of a university, nonprofit research center, or institute.

These publications — aimed at general audiences with an interest in higher education — offer the inside story from a range of disciplines, from music and medicine to earth sciences and engineering.

URMA’s goals are to improve policies and procedures affecting the publication of research magazines and related materials; to develop training, documentation, and communication methods leading to the circulation of ideas and problem-solving techniques among URMA members; and to serve as a national forum and source of visibility for professionals working in this field. URMA is classified as a nonprofit educational organization. It is run by volunteers and has no paid employees.

Officers and Board of Directors

Bylaws and Standards

URMA’s bylaws and statement of standards guide the governance of the organization:


URMA traces its beginnings to Minneapolis in July 1981. A dozen editors of the then-new and growing field of university research magazines created an informal organization to share knowledge and support. William Kell, then a magazine editor for the Graduate School, University of Minnesota, organized the 1981 meeting. He believed that magazines reporting on research from universities and research institutions required an organization centered on needs specific to this medium. The twelve in attendance concurred and coined the acronym URMA.

Those attending were Jean Akhtar (Wisconsin, Madison), Harlan Berger (Penn State), Robert Fauteux (Minnesota), Carol Hatfield (Texas, Austin), Mary Jones (Rutgers), Leslie Lin (Michigan), Joan Marionni (Maryland), David Mathis (Virginia Commonwealth), Eric Rosenthal (Drexel), Alan Swatek (Wisconsin, Milwaukee), and Robert Toomey (Delaware). Until 1997, URMA members met in conjunction with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) meetings entitled “Communicating University Research” and, in 1995 and 1996, at the “New Horizons in Science” Briefing of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW).

In January 1997, URMA members gathered for the organization’s first independent meeting in Tucson, Arizona, on the campus of the University of Arizona. URMA annual meetings have continued. Conferences are hosted by a member of the organization.