Juniors Jamal Saleh and Delila Pouldar took the initiative last semester to start an Undergraduate Science Journal (USJ). Saleh, a Health Promotion Disease Prevention major, and Pouldar, a Biological Sciences major and business minor, started the journal to expose student researchers and showcase their accomplishments.
“After spending two years at USC and interacting with our fellow peers, we realized that so many undergraduates from a variety of fields are heavily involved in hands-on research and are making meaningful contributions to the advancement of science here at the university,” Saleh said.
Under the guidance of Dr. Donal T. Manahan, a professor of Biological Sciences, USJ covers the physical sciences, life sciences, psychology, public health, and current events in science. The physical sciences include chemistry, physics, and engineering while the life sciences include biological sciences, biomedical sciences, and biochemistry.
USJ is open to including the work of graduate students and faculty members under the Current Events and Faculty Profile section.
The goal of USJ is to present undergraduate research in an approachable way to the greater USC community, science and non-science majors alike. The language of the journal is meant to be reader friendly. Though some of the research may seem complicated, the writers of the journal attempt to explain clearly the background information, methods, and importance of the research in order to engage readers not scare them.
Rather than focusing on research in general, the journal emphasizes the goals and advancements of undergraduates, most of which are facilitated by research mentors and principal investigators. The research conducted by students may or may not be published work.
“Undergraduate students at USC partake in some groundbreaking research, but many times it goes unnoticed by their peers and the larger USC community. USJ will give these students the chance to be recognized for their contributions and hopefully motivate students and spark their interest in the sciences,” Pouldar said.
This past fall, the Undergraduate Science Journal formed their executive board. The board members come from a variety of majors throughout the sciences and engineering. The writers were given full discretion to write about research projects that interested them and what they thought their peers would be interested in.
“I first heard about USJ in one of my classes and it immediately caught my attention because it’s a great way to learn about new and upcoming research at USC. Also, it gives me the opportunity to expand my writing skills while also meeting other undergraduates and faculty,” said freshman Public Relations Chair Daniella Newman.
There will be approximately four publications published over the next year. The first publication is currently being compiled and will be available online in mid-March. However, as USJ expands and gains support from the USC community, they hope to have a printed and online publication.
Keep an eye out for USJ’s first online publication, which will be available on http://uscusj.weebly.com/index.html.