Student-run academic journal releases inaugural issue

Media Credit: Arielle Bader | Hatchet Photographer

University President Thomas LeBlanc spoke at the launch of The GW Undergraduate Review at the Science and Engineering Hall Thursday.

A new student-run academic journal celebrated its inaugural issue at the Science and Engineering Hall Thursday.

At the launch of The GW Undergraduate Review, authors published in the journal’s first issue received certificates, and stacks of the journal were distributed to attendees. University President Thomas LeBlanc and Vice President for Research Leo Chalupa both spoke at the event about the importance of the journal and research at the University.

During the event, LeBlanc said the first issue is a success, and congratulated the students who contributed to making the journal a reality, noting how difficult it is to start an academic journal.

“With the release of this first issue, we can celebrate and we can root for their future success,” LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc said the journal’s student editorial board – which works with undergraduate researchers to improve research focus and structure of their papers – is especially important in creating a strong product.

“The reviewer is always right,” he said. “The most important lesson I learned in graduate school.”

LeBlanc added that the journal embraces the University’s research focus — a goal he has prioritized since he arrived at GW.

“When students in the future ask ‘why should I go to a research university?’, this is one of the answers,” LeBlanc said.

Sophomore Margaret Steiner, editor in chief of The GW Undergraduate Review, said she wanted to start the journal to promote undergraduate research on campus.

“It has been amazing to see how this idea evolved from our initial vision to the organization it is today,” Steiner said.

The first issue includes seven papers, which were chosen from more than 30 submissions, Steiner said. The journal will be published once a year and includes undergraduate research from all fields ranging from engineering to literature.

Chalupa announced at the event that he set aside funding for the journal next year – after funding the journal with $10,000 from the Office of the Vice President for Research earlier this year – even though he is stepping down July 1.

“I want to announce here in public that I’ve allocated my budget, and we’re going to support it for next year as well,” he said.

Chalupa told the authors present that their articles were achievements that would endure through generations.

“When you go on to your careers, you’ll remember this endeavor forever,” Chalupa said. “It’s something your kids will be proud of and your grandkids will be proud of.”

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