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Undergraduate journal hopes to shine spotlight on Sea Gull studies

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

The tradition of student research at Salisbury University reached new heights as a new undergraduate student research journal titled Laridae launched last month.

The journal, named after the taxonomic family that houses the seagull, is the first undergraduate research journal in the school’s nearly century-long existence.

Equally as difficult as research was starting up the journal from scratch.

The journal is the fruit of a combined effort by students, faculty, the Office of Graduate Studies and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.

The fall 2019 edition features articles from current students and recent graduates and covers a wide berth of topics, from the educational value of graphic novels to a study of the climate on Delmarva.

The launch event on the Nov. 21 brought students, faculty and members of the community together in the Guerrieri Academic Commons. Local sponsors were also in attendance.

Many in attendance expressed excitement for the watershed moment in SU research.

“I think it's a great moment for the university and for undergraduate research, which has been something we've worked on at the university for a long time,” said Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of the Fulton School of Liberal Arts. “It reflects our commitment to mentoring. Mentoring is making a huge difference in the undergraduate experience. And the fact that we now have this journal that spans disciplines and reflects the mentoring excellence that we have across the university is a real moment to celebrate."

To Pereboom, who has focused on undergraduate research since he arrived at SU almost three decades ago, research is one of the best things a student can do in his or her time in undergrad.

“Going deep on something and really sort of mucking around with the methodology and the ways of thinking within the discipline, the epistemology — how does the discipline work? What are the questions that it asks? How does it get at the human experience? What are its approaches? To really sort of go deep into that I think is an incredibly useful experience.”

Senior Harrison Leon, editor-in-chief of Laridae, believes that not the journal will be impactful not only as a way to publicize SU student research, but to make SU students more competitive in the job and fellowship market.

“There's a very small percentage of people who are able to say that they published words as an undergrad,” Leon said. “To bring that here to SU means a lot to me personally, because I believe that SU is an emerging presence in academia and also undergraduate research and creative activity.”

Senior Amar Naboulsi, who was in attendance, shared a similar sentiment.

“I think that a lot of students do research, but they don't think that it will go anywhere past what they do in the lab,” Naboulsi said. “I think that this shows that like your work can truly be highlighted outside of the laboratory setting, and you can actually be highlighted for your work in a broader setting.”

Student research not only enriches students' experiences, but in turn makes the network of knowledge at the institution stronger.

Interdisciplinary communication was one of the main goals for Laridae. Leon describes the communication between different schools on campus as “siloed."

“There was no real primary channel for interdisciplinary communication, and so what we wanted to do was introduce a journal or some type of platform that would enable communication across disciplines,” Leon said.

Leon and the rest of the Laridae plan to find staff members to replace the graduating members, collect submissions and release the next journal in the spring of 2021.

Those wishing to obtain a physical copy of Laridae can pick one up at the OURCA office in GAC 233 no later than Friday, Dec. 6. SU students can access a digital copy online.



News editor

Featured image: Arielle Tesoriero image.

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