November 27, 2002

New Undergraduate Publication Focuses on Research Experience

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Students have recently begun publishing The Research Paper, a magazine devoted to highlighting undergraduate accomplishments in academic research.

The magazine features work by undergraduate researchers from all seven colleges, in the sciences as well as the humanities.

Foundation

“A lot of people have the notion that research is only done in medicine and biology,” said editor in chief Emily Posner ’04.

The idea for The Research Paper originally came from members of the Cornell Undergraduate Research Board, a group whose aim is to give undergraduates a chance to showcase their work in a forum setting among their peers.

Prof. Isaac Kramnick, the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government, provides the funding to publish each issue.

For each issue, one student from each of the seven colleges is selected based on personal efforts and accomplishments in a given field of research.

The Research Paper’s Managing Editor Jack Cognetta ’06 finds this project appealing because “it brings all the colleges together. Everyone is represented.”

Choosing only one student from each college is often a difficult task. Editors and writers depend on recommendations from professors and other students to find candidates to feature in the periodical.

“We highlight the research to get people interested,” Cognetta said. “We don’t just publish the papers.”

The feature stories take a much more personal approach than hard research findings. Every article details the interests of each student in his or her particular field, those people who helped the student secure the research position and those projects on which he or she is currently working.

Approach

The focus of the magazine lies heavily in “how students did their research, and gives others something to read and think about how they can become one of these students,” Posner said.

Rachel Gage ’04, a student in the College of Art, Architecture and Planning, was featured in this semester’s issue.

“Being published wasn’t really about me; it was more about being an example to others,” she said.

Gage said that The Paper is an important tool which helps students learn about their colleague’s research.

“it’s really important for undergrads to read about what others are doing,” Gage said.

This semester’s edition also covers one graduate student’s research so that undergraduates can have an idea of what to expect at later levels of study.

Prof. William Sonnenstuhl, associate director of the Smithers Institute for Substance Abuse in the Workplace and a professor in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, is included in the magazine for his research on alcohol abuse in the workplace. Sonnenstuhl said he believes that the periodical fills an important niche at Cornell.

“They really provide a great service,” Sonnenstuhl said. “I think that this publication is something that the campus really needs.”

Currently, 20 students work on the Paper’s staff.

“The group dynamic was great,” said Liz Vassallo ’03, a writer, copy editor and part of the Paper’s layout team. “This was the most rewarding experience I’ve had here at Cornell. I wish it would have been around since I was a freshman.”

“We’re a relatively new magazine, so there’s a lot of room to get involved,” Cognetta said.

Students can find free copies of The Research Paper at any service center, the Straight or Day Hall.


Archived article by Amber Parker