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Professors pair with students to publicate: A glimpse into the publication world of Monmouth College Faculty

February 21, 2014

Monmouth College professors work well with students. In fact, Monmouth professors work so well with students, a few of faculty members are collaborating with students for their own professional publications.

Audra Sostorez, Associate Professor of Chemistry, collaborated with Brett Dunn and Jacob Hutton, both senior chemistry majors, in order to research and write a paper entitled, “Phosphatidylserine Model Membrane Studies for the Investigation of Cholesterol Domain Formation in the Plasma Membrane Inner Leaflet.” The project seeks to find the effect of cholesterol related to Alzheimer’s disease. Also, Bridget Draxler, Assistant Professor of English, developed a tutorial for students to engage in archival research, which she “tested” on a group of Student Opportunity for Intellectual Activities (Sofia) students this past summer.

Sostorez’s project is an extension of her graduate school research and has been in the formative process for almost seven years. Part of the reason for the amount of time included comes from the lack of time for research during the semester.

“It’s not easy to publish with undergraduate researchers, not because they’re not capable…but because of the time constraints,” Sostorez said.

Just by happenstance the problems of time associated with crafting a paper for publication were assuaged by both Dunn and Hutton working with Sostorez over the summer under funding from the Doc Keift Fund.

Going into the research process neither Dunn nor Hutton anticipated the project developing to the point of publication. “It just came about that we were getting enough research…It kind of grew as we worked more on it,” Dunn said.

In order for Dunn and Hutton to get their name on the project, they performed much of the work and helped to write and revise the manuscript. Sostorez acted only as a “primary investigator” to the project. Hutton said, “She kind of directed what our research focuses were going to be and what we needed to read.” But, Sostorez said, “I didn’t do any of the [lab] work.”

While Draxler didn’t have a science laboratory within which to experiment, she did use her students as a “lab” in order to test the efficacy of a pedagogical project she developed while studying Joanna Baillie and Maria Edgeworth at the Chawton House Library in Chawton, England. In order to categorize and organize her research findings, which she claims she was “inundated with,” she created a Prezi timeline—a non-linear presentation tool. While her findings came up short, she realized the idea of making a digital timeline as a way of doing archival research was interesting and helpful.

“I wanted to develop a teaching project that was to develop a tutorial for students to do digital archival research and to make a digital timeline in order to organize their research,” Draxler said.

After developing the tutorial, Draxler had four Sofia students develop and present digital timeliness. Using the evidence and outcomes from the Sofia group, Draxler crafted a manuscript entitled “Teaching Jane Austen in Bits and Bytes: Digitizing Undergraduate Archival Research” that will be published next month in a journal entitled, Persuasions Online.

“The students provided brilliant work and examples that I could use in my project,” said Draxler, who was also selected to co-edit the journal for a special edition on Jane Austen.

Other collaborative publications from Monmouth College Professors include:

Communications Professor Kate Zittlow-Rogness, who is co-editing a volume of collected essays entitled: “Social Movements and Counterpublics: Connections, Contradictions and Possibilities for Understanding Rhetorics of Social Change”

Philosophy/Religious Studies Professors Dan Ott and Hannah Schell, who are co-authoring a book entitled, “Christian Thought in America: A Brief History.”

Chase Mowery
Features Editor

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