A group of graduate students at UConn’s Neag School of Education are heading up the launch of the School’s first academic journal. The journal is now welcoming submissions through the end of May for its inaugural edition, slated for publication in Fall 2022.
Under development for nearly a year, the Neag School of Education Journal is an editor-reviewed, open-access, annual journal. Founded and run by graduate students and published online through the Neag School, its primary purpose is to offer a platform for graduate students to share their research and knowledge with academic communities, and to broaden and deepen the literature of education as written and experienced by graduate students, as well as early-career scholars.
“This process of creating a journal from the ground up reflects everything that we want the journal to be and stand for: graduate student-oriented, interdisciplinary within the fields of education, communicative, and a source of pride for the works we publish and the institution we represent,” says Emily Winter, a founding member of the journal who is pursuing her Ph.D. in school psychology at the Neag School. “We are so proud of our efforts and invite all graduate students within the fields of education to please submit your works!”
The journal is placing significance on pieces that seek to “improve education and social systems in order to facilitate increasingly effective, equitable, and socially just practices for educators and practitioners from a variety of fields, perspectives, and theoretical lenses as they serve their local communities.”
“I value my role on this team because it means I am helping fellow graduate students reach their goals and potential to contribute knowledge while in this stage of their careers.”
— Gina Norman, Editor and Neag School School Psychology Ph.D. Student
‘Showcase the Student Voice’
Five doctoral students from the Neag School make up the journal’s founding board, and three additional graduate students will serve as editors.
“Graduate students contribute so much to academia during their time at school,” says Sierra Trudel, Ph.D. student in school psychology and a journal founding board member. “The Neag School of Education Journal will showcase the student voice and highlight these contributions.”
“As a student editor with the Neag School of Education Journal, I am delighted to soon take part in helping students showcase their best work,” adds Gina Norman, one of the journal editors and a school psychology Ph.D. student. “I value my role on this team because it means I am helping fellow graduate students reach their goals and potential to contribute knowledge while in this stage of their careers.”
In addition to providing graduate students and early-career scholars an opportunity to share their work more widely, the editors foresee the journal fostering collaboration among students and their colleagues. Making the journal open access was also important, ensuring that its content can serve as an available source of information for current and future practitioners, say the editors.
“Graduate students make many quiet but immense contributions to academia,” says Brenna Fitzmaurice, an editor and school psychology Ph.D. student. “Through this journal, we have the opportunity to make the voice and contributions of graduate students known to our audience. As an editor for the Neag School of Education Journal, I am grateful to have a part in their recognition.”
The journal is accepting submissions of qualitative and quantitative research articles, essays, literature reviews, and personal experience and reflection pieces.
Starting the journal has also been a learning experience for the founding board members themselves. “The Neag School of Education Journal has been, already, a wonderful opportunity to work with fellow graduate students, to learn what it is like to birth a new journal, and to interact with supportive Neag School administration, educators, and staff,” says Sandra Sears, a founding board member enrolled in the Neag School’s special education doctoral program. “I had no idea just how much the Neag School had to offer, and I am beyond excited to be part of this endeavor.”
The journal encourages submissions of a variety of manuscript types — from qualitative and quantitative research articles to essays, literature reviews, and personal experience and reflection pieces.
“The research studies and experiences that are completed by graduate students in education are varied and informative for other students, researchers, and practitioners,” says Caitlin Blacksmith, founding member pursuing her doctorate in the Neag School’s Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation program. “I’m so grateful to be part of the founding editorial board for the Neag School of Education Journal, which will put forward the incredible work that graduate students in education produce.”
Jennie Weiner, associate professor of educational leadership at the Neag School, is serving as the journal’s faculty advisor. “It is a wonderful thing when, as future leaders in our field, student scholars take the initiative to create inclusive spaces for their and their colleagues’ work to be uplifted and shared with the broader community — the Neag School of Education Journal will do just that,” she says. “I am so excited and proud to a small part of supporting this incredible initiative.”
“Publishing is a vital part of researchers’ lives,” says Luis Orone Ferreira, a founding member who is pursuing his doctorate in educational psychology at the Neag School. “I feel we (students, professors and academic personnel) might be planting a relevant seed for our generation and the generations to come at the Neag School of Education.”