Leading the Pack:
Milledgeville, GA, Feb. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Scholars with impressive records from prominent schools all over the country vied recently for a spot in a new academic journal based on undergraduate research.
Remarkably, this new research journal came from Georgia College —a small public liberal arts school with about 6,000 undergraduates. In fact, Google “undergraduate research,” and you’ll likely to find Georgia College in the top pickings.
“More and more, colleges are going to start integrating and trying to grow their undergraduate research programs and start seeing the value of undergraduate research, and we’ve just got such a great head start,” said Dr. Jordan Cofer, associate provost for Transformative Learning Experiences.
This month marked publication of the first edition of “Undergraduate Research,” founded at Georgia College and put together by two Georgia College assistant professors: Dr. Kelly Massey in exercise science and Dr. Alesa Liles in criminal justice. Three other faculty served as associate editors. The front and back covers were designed by two Georgia College art majors.
The 174-page magazine showcases research by students in their freshman, sophomore, junior or senior years of college. The journal is free of cost and one of few in the nation to highlight undergraduate work in all disciplines.
Each submission was given a “blind review” by two academic scholars before decisions were made on what to include. This means reviewers saw content only—not which student or school it came from. Reviewers worldwide came from schools like the New York Institute of Technology; University of California, Berkley; University of South Africa; Notre Dame of Maryland University; and the University of Wisconsin. Fifteen Georgia College faculty also signed up to review projects.
The editorial board had members from distinguished schools, as well, and representatives from CUR (Council on Undergraduate Research) and the AACU (American Association of Colleges & Universities).
The submission process was selective. Out of 45 submissions, only six—about 13 percent—were accepted. To compare, 60 to 70 percent of all applicants are accepted to undergraduate research conferences and just less than half are admitted to the annual “ Posters on the Capital, ” a research exhibit before state legislators, also founded by Georgia College.
The six published projects came from a variety of schools like the University of Virginia College at Wise, University of North Carolina, Columbus State University and Middlebury College. Topics ranged from the effects of parental relationships on academic success and music education to reflections from 1st-century Christianity and Chicano identity.
“There are some disciplinary journals for one university or on one topic. But we wanted to be an undergraduate research journal for all disciplines, so any student can submit,” Cofer said. “Our hope is it will continue to grow; it’ll start to gain some prestige and draw attention to the work we’re doing here.”
Plans are ambitious to publish Georgia College’s “Undergraduate Research” journal twice a year. Digital copies of the journal will soon be at: www.undergraduateresearch.org.
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Cindy O’Donnell Georgia College and State University 4784458668 firstname.lastname@example.org