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Trent Students Publish Canada’s First Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Journal
April 4, 2007

Trent University celebrated the upcoming release of the Journal of Undergraduate Studies (JUST) on Wednesday, April 11 Canada’s first interdisciplinary journal of undergraduate scholarship.

Journal of Undergraduate StudiesDeveloped by student co-founders Christopher Allen and Syed Hussan, JUST features the best undergraduate research papers from Trent students in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. The journal is expected to release its first issue later this month.

"The journal is an attempt to recognize the value and quality of undergraduate research at Trent," explained Mr. Syed, who, like Mr. Allen, has fast-tracked his academic career and will be graduating with his honours degree this spring after only three years. "We also wanted to foster greater collaboration among students, because they often don’t get to share their work with others."

The idea for the journal was sparked by a comment Professor Jane Mackie made to Christopher Allen regarding a biology reading course essay he completed last summer. She informed him that his assignment showed the way senior research papers should be done. From there, Mr. Allen began thinking about all of the other students producing excellent work that only the professors get to see, decided that a medium should be created to promote the high quality of undergraduate research at Trent.

"I realized how helpful this would be for students like me wanting to know what’s the best possible paper written for a particular class so I have a benchmark to work towards," explained Mr. Allen.

Mr. Allen and Mr. Syed began laying the foundation for JUST in December 2006. The initial call for submissions generated a tremendous student response, resulting in 90 papers from several different disciplines. Currently 18 of these papers are being edited for publication in the inaugural journal to be released later in April 2007.

Mr. Syed describes JUST as embracing "the spirit of education" and looks forward to it stimulating greater dialogue among Trent students, encouraging them to explore research areas in more depth. "I’m really hopeful that this journal inspires undergraduates at Trent to see how their research can shape academia," explained he said.

More details about JUST are available at www.trentu.ca/just.