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Inside the Rowdy Scholar

MSU Denver’s first-ever undergraduate research journal showcases diverse student talent.

By Lindsey Coulter

August 19, 2019

The Rowdy Scholar Logo with Rowdy iconThis past spring, six Metropolitan State University of Denver students were published in the first-ever edition of the Rowdy Scholar, the University’s new online, open-access, multidisciplinary, scholarly research and creative-works journal. Their topics were as diverse and ambitious as our student body itself, including bilingualism in autism-spectrum disorders and evaluating forecasts for monsoon precipitation.

The Rowdy Scholar was developed by a Faculty Learning Community headed by Elizabeth Kleinfeld, Ph.D., director of the Writing Center, and Sheryl Zajdowicz, Ph.D., professor, Biology.

“Using the FLC approach was a good way to get a group of interested individuals from different disciplines together to research models and think through what might work best for MSU Denver from different disciplinary perspectives,” Kleinfeld and Zajdowicz said.

As an FLC is also a professional-development opportunity for faculty, each member played a role in developing the review process and assisting student authors with enhancing the quality of their submissions. The end result is a collection of works that advance their respective fields and disciplines, while also advancing the education of the authors.

Kleinfeld and Zajdowicz spoke with the Early Bird about what it took to make the Rowdy Scholar soar – and their plans for the second edition.

Did the Rowdy Scholar receive a lot of student interest?

Kleinfeld and Zajdowicz: The interest has been extraordinary. Students and faculty are exploring how students can prepare their work for the journal and how faculty can guide students in preparing a manuscript from the data generated from their independent research or class research projects. We received 10 submissions for our first edition, a higher number than expected. Following review, six of the 10 prepared modifications to their manuscripts, and all six were subsequently accepted. The students were thrilled!

What support do students receive in developing their research?

Kleinfeld and Zajdowicz: Student submitters must have a faculty mentor sign off on the submission, essentially vouching that the project is of publishable quality. Different student/faculty mentor pairs operated in different ways, and some of the faculty mentors were also FLC members. Two FLC members carefully read and responded to all submissions, and their comments were supportive and geared toward helping new scholars develop as writers.

What lessons will you carry forward as you develop the second issue?

Kleinfeld and Zajdowicz: It’s key to have faculty from different disciplines on the editorial board to give student authors helpful, discipline-appropriate feedback. It’s also imperative to have a diverse scope of reviewers to ensure that the Rowdy Scholar is inclusive to all disciplines.

When can we expect the next issue? How can students submit?

Kleinfeld and Zajdowicz: We’re aiming for April 2020. We accept submissions for review throughout the year, and more information is available online.

Topics: Academics, Student Success

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