Academic journal now run by undergraduates

The George Mason Review (GMR), Mason’s annual undergraduate academic journal, is now operated entirely by undergraduate students for the first time in its twenty-year history. Graduate students and faculty remain involved in an advising capacity.

The George Mason Review, although featuring work by solely undergraduates, was operated by graduate students until 2010 when an undergraduate board was created. Undergraduates were put fully in charge for the 2011/2012 academic year.

“Because the GMR is a publication for undergraduates by undergraduates, the GMR board can represent what the Mason undergraduate community expects in their academic journal,” said GMR Editor-in-Chief Ashley Parker.

Graduate students and faculty remain involved with GMR as advisors, but undergraduates have total control over how the journal is run, edited, and published, according to GMR Graduate Advisor Justin Voigt.

Perhaps the largest change in the operating procedure of the GMR since the transition to undergraduate control, according to Voigt, has been the creation of the undergraduate board of directors that oversee the entire process. The board consists of editors, marketing directors, and designers.

Each member of the board is able to focus on a specific aspect of the journal’s development, which “gives undergraduates an opportunity to work in a self-initiated, self-driven, collaborative environment,” said Voigt.

The GMR was founded in 1992 as part of the university’s Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) mission to serve as a journal of exemplary academic writing to be viewed by incoming freshman students. The journal maintains its close relationship with the WAC to this day; the current faculty advisor is WAC Director Terry Zawacki, according to Voigt.

In keeping with its roots in the WAC program, the GMR accepts submissions from a wide variety of disciplines, including art history, biology, English and information technology.

Most submissions are research papers, but the GMR also receives work in categories such as creative nonfiction and visual art, according to Parker.

The GMR’s undergraduate board has also been working to maintain and create ties to scholarship focused organizations such as WAC and the Writing Center, according to Voigt.

The submission deadline for Volume 21 of the George Mason Review is April 15, with publication occurring over the summer.  It will be available in print and online by the fall 2012 semester.

Students can submit work, learn about the organization and read the most recent issue of the George Mason Review in its entirety on the GMR website.

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