Barry McNamara  |  Published May 11, 2022

MJUR Features Two Alums

Monmouth College’s Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research showcases outstanding undergraduate scholarship from around the world.

MJUR 2022: Monmouth College has published a new edition of its Midwest Journal of Undergraduate R... MJUR 2022: Monmouth College has published a new edition of its Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research.MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College prides itself as a school where students have plenty of opportunities to participate in undergraduate research.

It also prides itself on producing an annual publication that celebrates such research from around the country and even around the world.

The latest edition of the College’s Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research once again features scholarly articles on a variety of topics. Known as MJUR, two of the journal’s articles are by Monmouth graduates.

This year’s coordinating editor was Karisa Warren ’22 of Knoxville, Illinois. Grant Miller ’22 of Centennial, Colorado, served as operations editor.

“We pride ourselves on being one of the few multidisciplinary undergraduate research journals in existence, so any of our issues’ tables of contents reveal a whole range of disciplinary research,” said Monmouth faculty member Michelle Holschuh Simmons, who serves as the co-coordinating adviser for MJUR along with faculty colleague Anne Mamary. “This year we have articles on topics that include psychology, political science, literature and French history.

“We pride ourselves on being one of the few multidisciplinary undergraduate research journals in existence, so any of our issues’ tables of contents reveal a whole range of disciplinary research. This year we have articles on topics that include psychology, political science, literature and French history.”
— Michelle Holschuh Simmons

“One of the great advantages of having a multidisciplinary journal is that our editors read and review articles about topics outside of their intellectual comfort zone, which makes producing the journal a true liberal arts experience for the student editors.”

And that’s not the only advantage of serving as a student editor.

“Our student editors learn so much about writing and research across the disciplines by working with MJUR,” said Simmons.

MJUR’s team of eight student editors read and wrote detailed reviews for each of the submissions, then met to discuss if each submission warranted acceptance into the journal.

“This means that our editors have to be keen and incisive readers, ready to articulate and defend their reasons for their judgment about a particular submission,” said Simmons. “Many of our editors who have gone on to graduate school or law school cite their experience with MJUR as a seminal experience that prepared them extremely well for these future scholarly endeavors.”

Pair of Monmouth scholars

MJUR experience looks good on a résumé, and so does having an article published in the journal. Monmouth 2021 graduates Gunnar Leaf and Ashlyn Maher achieved that distinction, writing about, respectively, the diverse topics of poet Gwendolyn Brooks and psychopathic stress response.

ALUMNI FEATURED: Two 2021 Monmouth graduates, Gunnar Leaf and Ashlyn Maher, authored articles in ... ALUMNI FEATURED: Two 2021 Monmouth graduates, Gunnar Leaf and Ashlyn Maher, authored articles in the 2022 issue.Because MJUR uses a “blind review” process, authors are unknown to the editors until late in the production process.

“We learned the identity of the authors a few weeks before we sent the file to Kellogg’s for printing, so it was a joy to discover that Monmouth students are included in this elite group of scholars,” said Simmons. “This shows that the scholarly work that Monmouth College students are producing is competitive with the work of undergraduates across the nation and even the world.”

To her latter point, Simmons said that the MJUR team now has a visual reference for all the submissions it has received since it was first published more than a decade ago. Julia Oakson ’22 of Lombard, Illinois, served as an intern with the staff and created an interactive GoogleMap, crossing off a project that had long been on the journal staff’s to-do list.

“If you move around on the map, we have had submissions from all over North America, plus from Italy, England, Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, and many other far-flung locales,” said Simmons. “This map reinforces our belief that MJUR is fulfilling an important niche. Undergraduate students from all over the world are seeking a venue in which to publish their scholarly research, and we are delighted that they are finding our little journal at Monmouth College.”

How MJUR Covers the World …

This map shows from where MJUR has received submission since it began in 2011. Orange pins signify submissions that were reviewed, blue pins indicate articles that were accepted and published. Click on the blue pins to see a link to a PDF of the published article. Click on the + sign in the lower left corner of the map to zoom in; click on the – sign to zoom out; and drag the map left or right to see other regions of the world.

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