New journal celebrates scientific research

Journal of the Sciences

There is a new entry into the world of academic publishing. The Hampden-Sydney College Journal of the Sciences was officially launched on March 21, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Michael Wolyniak, an assistant professor of biology. The annual Journal is a student-edited showcase of the wide variety of undergraduate research activity performed at the College.

Dr. Wolyniak says, "We have an incredible diversity of projects in the journal and the diversity is the most important part. We have research in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and psychology. Students have done work on the division of cells and on the mathematics of sound. It's a wide range of disciplines."

The idea for creating the Journal came to Dr. Wolyniak after learning about similar journals at other small colleges.

Submissions come from students in all of the scientific disciplines, including biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science, physics and astronomy, and psychology. The submissions range from honors theses to classroom research assignments and are edited by the student editorial board into a professional format. The board, which includes Osric Forrest '12, Yonathan Ararso '13, John Bishop '13, Ke Shang '13, and Dr. Wolyniak, has quite an international component. Bishop is from the United States (Alabama, specifically), but Forrest, Ararso, and Shang are from Jamaica, Ethiopia, and China, respectively.

The Journal provides an outstanding opportunity for Hampden-Sydney students to get involved in an authentic scientific research and publication process and to gain invaluable experiences that will help them in the pursuit of graduate or professional education after their time at Hampden-Sydney. Likewise, the journal's content shows prospective students and their families the kind of research opportunities available at the College.

Dr. Wolyniak says, "Much of the work in the first issue is very heavy research, so we are looking to add more reader-friendly essays in future issues. For example, I am teaching a bioethics seminar this semester and I hope that we will have some essays from that class for the Journal. I would love to see some essays about topics such as 'whether or not athletes should use stem cells in physical therapy' and other controversial topics."

The new student journal is available online at sciencejournal.hsc.edu.