F. A. Davis: Behind the Books #7

Meet our Director of Digital Solutions, Kirk Pedrick!

Name: Kirk Pedrick
Birthdate:
November 25, 1966
Age:
48
Height:
6’4”
Eye Color:
Hazel
Title at F. A. Davis:
Director of Digital Solutions
Years Worked at F. A. Davis:
18
Alias (Middle name, Street you grew up on):
John Hampshire
Left/Right Handed:
Left

What does your job entail here at F. A. Davis? I oversee a staff of 3, and I report to the executive publishing director of Digital Solutions, Kevin Sullivan. My workday typically entails coordinating with different departments. I oversee and work with them to fulfill their digital product visions; we work not only to meet what we want to do for our market but from an educational and technology standpoint too. So, my role is really to make sure that we uphold to those standards.

What’s your favorite part of your job? I have a lot of them. I get to help people learn, I help to teach people, and that’s probably the biggest thing that drives me. I’m big into education so every day I come here, I try to think of what can I do to help someone learn. The technology piece of course, because I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t love technology; it certainly drives me. I like playing with technology, I’m not afraid to be the guinea pig for a new toy. “Let’s take a look at this new piece of technology and figure out what it’s going to do in terms of the products we want to deliver. Last would be the people I work with. Working at F. A. Davis has always been for me a “cross-job”, and what I mean by that is that it’s part higher education or collegial and it’s part corporate. It’s kind of interesting that way, I call it “collegial corporate” and it really promotes engaging people into learning and being better with the main goal of participating and evolving the company.

How did you get the job at F. A. Davis? I was working at an architectural firm doing 3D design and virtual reality development, but my real passion was education. Before the firm I taught at Rutgers for a couple of years, teaching 3D computer animation and computer graphics. I wanted something that would take my love for education and marry it with what I really liked in technology, where can I find that? And I happened to get a call from a head hunter that said, “hey, I’ve got an opportunity with this publisher in Philadelphia would you be interested?” I walked away from the interviews with the idea that this really is an interesting place, a place I think I can really make a difference.

What is your favorite part about the company? Again, there’s a lot to say, but my favorite part? It’s hard to pick one favorite part. The family environment, the feel of family here is my favorite. You really feel that you’re part of something special that you’re doing something interesting. We’re not a big corporate publisher, but we’re the oldest and there’s a reason for that. It’s because we have a lot of smart people and a lot of people with similar passions and I think that is what really I love about Davis. You really just can’t put it into one word or sentence, there are too many things.

Do you have a favorite product? I love them all! There are some that I like better than others, but over all of the years I’ve been here? I love the work that we’re doing now, it really drives me; adaptive learning is where the future lies for higher education. We’re starting to do more work in that space and that’s really exciting to me. From where we were when I started here, making stuff on little 3 and a half inch disks to now has been an exciting journey. I am driven by the challenges that each of them (products) presents, but after all I don’t really favor one over the other.

What song is the soundtrack of your life? Born to Run

Do you have any hobbies? Cycling. I love to ride my bike, it gives me clarity of mind and it’s great exercise. If I couldn’t ride my bike, I don’t know what I’d do; I really love it. I like to play a round of golf every once in a while, it’s nice to get outside and be with company or friends. I don’t play for competitive reasons, I play for enjoyment of company.

Who is your favorite author? I have a couple, but I love Hemingway. If I was stuck on a deserted island and I could only read one author, it would be Hemingway.

Who would play you in a movie about your life? Colin Firth


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