Student research highlighted in newest issue of SURJ

May 30, 2017

The third volume of Clark University’s Scholarly Undergraduate Research Journal (SURJ) has been published, giving its all-student staff with “an inside look at academic publishing,” according to editor-in-chief Lauren Howard ’17.

“All these research articles were read in class; there is a peer-review process behind them,” explains Howard (pictured).

Amy Yeager '17, who drew the illustrations for the last two volumes of SURJ, also designed her major in scientific illustration.

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Like their professors, who serve as peer review editors for research journals, students on the SURJ editorial board solicit and review research papers submitted by Clark undergraduates, providing them with a fresh view of their individual or group work. The editors also help substantiate the validity and reliability of the students’ research.

This year’s volume involved 17 undergraduate peer reviewers and eight faculty reviewers. Besides Howard, the editorial board includes Alex Grayson ’18 and Amiel Jaggernauth ’18, peer review co-editors; Christian Rentsman ’18, web editor; Celia Ringland ’17, managing editor; and Amy Wong ’18, design editor. Michelle Bata, associate dean and director of the LEEP Center, serves as faculty adviser. Amy Yeager ’17, who self-designed her major in scientific illustration, created the cover art for SURJ the last two years.

“SURJ hopes to develop a network of students committed to the production of knowledge,” the editorial board writes in a letter introducing the third volume. “With this network, in addition to fueling our peer review process, we hope to connect students with similarly scholarly interests to foster a broader, more inclusive community of research at Clark that is done by Clark students for Clark students.”

The third volume of SURJ includes these articles:

  • “Understanding and Addressing Arab-American Mental Health Disparities,” by Sherief Eldeeb ’18, a psychology major.
  • “Region and Morality in Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit,’ ” by Sophia Friedman ’16, who majored in comparative literature.
  • “The Motionless Half-sun over the Postcolonial Horizon: Adichie, Bhabha, and Inaction,” by Themal Ellawala ’17, a psychology major.

“The overall message that we want to put out in the coming years,” Rentsman says, “is that anyone can submit – and I mean anyone, including first-years and those people who never would have thought they could submit to research journals.”