The University Honors College at MTSU has published the inaugural issue of Scientia et Humanitas: A Journal of Student Research. The issue features articles on a diverse array of subjects by eight current and former MTSU students and is designed in part to highlight the University’s Centennial celebration.
The written journal is a transformation of an earlier on-line journal titled Scientia and founded by Dr. Phil Mathis, an emeritus professor of biology and former dean of the Honors College.
Dr. John Dubois had served as the previous faculty adviser. The Honors College renamed the journal in order to reflect its wider scope.
Dr. John Vile, dean of the Honors College, notes that the new journal accepts submissions from all academic disciplines whether they are in the natural sciences, social sciences or humanities.
The journal was supervised by Marsha Powers, who directs other Honors College publications, including its award-winning arts and literary journal (Collage) and newsletter (The Honors Edition).
Students Matt Bennett of Gainesville, Ga., and Lindsay Gates of Georgetown, Tenn., served respectively as managing and production editors, with Jamie Fuston of Watertown, Tenn., Daniel Gouger of Whiteside, Tenn., Cari Jennings of Murfreesboro, Sam Mitchell and Ruben Tavakalov, both from Nashville, serving on the student editorial board and Sherry Wiser George, Powers and Vile serving on the staff advisory board.
Vile notes that the journal provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates to publish their work. A number of the contributions were based on research that students had done in connection with honors theses or for presentations during MTSU’s Scholars Week or Social Sciences Symposium.
Contributors included Amanda Watson (M.A. in sociology, 2009) of Nashville, who co-authored a paper with Dr. Meredith Dye (sociology and anthropology) and Dr. Brian P. Hinote (sociology and anthropology), on ethnic prejudice in the U.S.; Shane McCoy (B.A. in English, 2010) of Morton, Miss., who wrote an analysis of Sachville-West’s All Passion Spent; Lauren Easley (B.S. in biology, 2010) of Antioch, Tenn., who co-authored with Dr. J. Angela Hart Murdock (mathematical sciences) and Dr. Don W. Morgan (health and human performance) on low back pain; Joseph L. Keasler (sophomore in anthropology) of Murfreesboro and Thomas Gildemeister (senior in anthropology and international relations) of Brentwood, Tenn., who wrote a garbology study of food and alcohol consumption at tailgating events on the MTSU campus; Bennett (senior in sociology and psychology), who authored a study of mental illness and treatment among African-Americans; Sarah Visocky (B.S. in anthropology, 2010) of Murfreesboro, who examined eating patterns among Tennessee immigrants; Monique Richard (B.S. in nutrition and food science, 2010) of Nashville, who studied nutrition knowledge among MTSU students; and Andrew D. Currey (B.S. in psychology, 2010) of Murfreesboro, who coauthored a piece with Hinote on the industrialization of food production.
Vile notes that the journal does not accept articles that have been published elsewhere. It does, however, allow contributors to maintain copyrights so that they may submit their work to other journals.
Vile said an increasing number of MTSU students are applying to graduate and professional schools and that having a publication in hand can be an important credential. He said the Honors College modeled its journal in part on the successful McNair Research Review, another MTSU research journal that highlights research of students in that program, which is designed to prepare minority and first-generation college students for graduate study.
Powers said that in reviewing, editing and formatting articles students had an opportunity to get a view of how the editorial process works. The journal even commissioned Chris Brady, a designer for Carolinas HealthCare System and former MTSU employee, to create a logo for the cover.
The Honors College anticipates publishing a yearly issue of Scientia et Humanitas and already has begun accepting submissions for the next issue.