Undergraduate Journal Unveils a Landmark Volume
May 1, 2018
“The collegiate experience is something of wonder, a ponderous expansion into mind and into self. It is an hour of momentum, and to embrace it fully with a plume in ascension is a feat quite unlike any other. I have seen that plume, that tireless nose to the ground grit that has pure determination, dedication, belief, and vision.” Emily Purcell, managing editor of Philologia, wrote these sentiments in tribute to Rachel Moore, the publication’s editor-in-chief.
Eloquent words of gratitude, editorial processes, and tireless dedication marked the April 30 unveiling of Philologia, a peer-reviewed undergraduate research journal published by the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
Celebrating a decade of undergraduate research and creative scholarship, Volume X offers complementary experiences. Accepted student research is published on the Philologia website, while a print edition provides articles about the online work and showcases creative writing.
During the unveiling ceremony, the Philologia team continued the tradition of featuring both research and creative writing. Grace Kim, a sophomore majoring in criminology, presented her work on “Evaluating Differences in Serial Murderers on a Global Scale.” Shalini Rana, a senior double majoring in creative writing and professional and technical writing, then read her poem “Writhe,” inspired by J.M.W. Turner’s painting, “Slave Ship.” Volume X includes both works.
Monica Kimbrell, assistant dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, noted that the journal teaches the student editors and contributors about the rigors of publishing undergraduate research, the editorial process, and leadership.
Production of the annual journal, Kimbrell said, begins each fall, when the editorial staff and outside readers review student submissions. Together they decide which research and creative scholarship to include, and then move into the editing phase. During this process, student editors and writers work with faculty members. Three college administrators then review the final draft: Kimbrell; Debra Stoudt, associate dean for academic policies and procedures; and Daniel Thorp, associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs.
“We select submissions that represent the breadth of majors and the work we do in the college,” said Kimbrell, who joined the Philologia team as faculty liaison in the spring of 2017.
Rachel Moore, a senior literature and language major, said she found moving up the editorial chain to be empowering. She began as an associate editor, then managing editor, and finally, with Volume X, editor-in-chief.
“Being able to showcase the work of my fellow undergraduates has been such a rewarding experience,” Moore said, “and I am so proud of all the wonderful work being done by the students in my college every day.” She thanked the editorial team, as well as Kimbrell for her mentorship.
Moore then passed the proverbial torch to the incumbent editor-in-chief, Emily Purcell, a junior majoring in creative writing, fashion merchandising and design, and communication.
“This journal represents knowledge and growth, and this growth — the growth of reach, of influence, of knowledge — is what I will focus on going forward,” said Purcell, the current managing editor. “It is my hope that Philologia’s influence — our creative search for enlightenment — will become an integral part of this campus and the Hokie community, and that it will broaden the horizons of knowledge for a handful, if not a stadium full, of other students with this edition and those to come.”
Written by Leslie King