Monday, March 12, 2012

Princemere: the Gordon College Academic Journal

Hillary Sherratt ’12 is a Pike Scholar from Rowley, Mass, and student writer for the Office of College Communications. She writes about her experience as editor of the inaugural issue of Princemere: the Gordon College Academic Journal:

The Gordon student body is used to brightly colored signs and an endless supply of hot chocolate from the Academic Support Center during the final exam period each semester. Students carry stacks of books to and from the Jenks library and sit with each other late into the night in Chester’s Place, finishing the final papers and presentations for their classes.

When Alysa (Obert) Seeland ’11 suggested to me that there should be a way to honor the hard work of Gordon students in their classes, we immediately thought of an academic journal. I remember walking away and dreaming about how amazing would it be to gather a sample of excellent Gordon work, from different departments across campus, and share it with the whole community.

When I had the chance to lead the Gordon College Student Association's Academic Affairs Committee during my sophomore year at Gordon, we did some preliminary work on the journal. The next year, VP of Academic Affairs Maggie Austen ’12 created Princemere: the Gordon College Academic Journal. The journal opened a queue for submissions in April of 2011, and published its pilot edition in January of 2012.

When I asked some contributors why they had submitted to the journal, current Gordon junior Carissa Filip said, “I had spent about a hundred hours working on and presenting my paper… I was beyond excited to involve it in the publication and review process.” The opportunity to share her work was also important to recent Gordon alumna and current NYU graduate student Nicole Naudé ’11. “The paper went through various iterations, including a presentation at Dr. Gedney's Spring 2011 Philosophy and Science conference, and it ultimately felt like a true community effort. When Dr. Boorse recommended that I submit the paper to Princemere, I was honored to share the fruit of so many good questions and conversations.”

I had hoped that this community gathering and sharing would come from an academic journal. In my first letter from the editor, I wrote: “An academic journal creates a forum to share this work within our community. It allows the College to celebrate the strength of its students’ research, and makes that research accessible to the entire student body.” I’m excited realize that the journal already has the potential to strengthen academic community at Gordon.

But the journal has also been valuable in giving student contributors a window into the process of editing and publishing. Says Filip, who will be studying at the University of Colombo Medical School, “Only a few months later I was given the opportunity to write again for publication, and feeling familiar with the process certainly aided me along in my writing.” Joel Nolette, whose journal submission is about the Son of Man in Second Temple Judaism, echoed the sentiment: “As I begin thinking about applying to graduate/divinity schools, it is great to be able to point them to my essay in the Princemere so they can get a quick sense of my capabilities as a student and a researcher.”

Princemere is currently working on its next publication, tentatively scheduled for September 2012. It is an exciting new publication for Gordon. We are creating an important forum on campus to celebrate and share our students’ work, and I can’t wait to read future editions!

Click here to download a digital copy of the very first issue of Princemere: the Gordon College Academic Journal.

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