FSU Undergraduate Research Journal Releases Special Issue on Everyday Life in a Pandemic
by Trystan Loustau
On December 16, 2020, students, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the most recent publication of Florida State University’s undergraduate research journal, The Owl. The fall 2020 special issue, entitled “Everyday Life in a Pandemic” is Vol. 11 No. 1. It is The Owl’s twelfth issue since the journal’s founding in the 2009-2010 academic year. Trystan Loustau, The Owl’s Editor-in-Chief, hosted the event, which took place on Zoom. First, Dr. Craig Filar, a founding faculty member of The Owl, shared his stories about The Owl’s origin. He described how SCURC, the Student Council for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, a student-led initiative sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement (CRE), was developed with the main goal of creating Florida State’s first undergraduate research journal.Since then, SCURC has grown to support additional programs, including Undergraduate Research Ambassadors (URAs) and conference presentation and travel grants. The Owl too has grown since its initial founding in 2009, reaching new professional milestones. For instance, in the summer of 2020, The Owl was issued an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) by the Library of Congress.
The Owl’s fall 2020 special issue was the product of a cross-departmental collaboration between The Owl and the Honors Department. The students featured in this issue all participated in an Honors Experience Program (HEP) course taught by Honors Professor Dr. Azat Gundogan on everyday life. This course, taught last Spring, overlapped with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
As Dr. Gundogan described at the virtual issue release party, the changes brought about by the pandemic both challenged and intrigued his students, inspiring them to investigate how individuals’ daily rhythms, interactions and spaces are evolving in the present circumstances. Over the summer, Dr. Gundogan hosted a virtual workshop in which his students refined their works for submission to The Owl. The students participated in writing seminars led by Dr. Gundogan, attended lectures from guest speakers on research writing in the social sciences, and peer-reviewed each other’s work.
Next, Trystan detailed the process their papers went through after they were submitted to The Owl, which uses a double-blind peer review system. After identifying information was removed, each article was distributed to three of twelve Associate Editors to review based on the article’s subject material and the editor’s areas of expertise. Trystan and her team of Associate Editors spent two weeks closely reviewing the papers for a number of criteria including the validity of the author’s claims, methods, and analyses, the significance of the author’s contribution to his or her field, originality, format, and writing quality.
Authors who opted-in to The Owl’s newly launched mentorship program were paired with an Associate Editor for advice and guidance on how to apply the editor’s feedback and prepare their work for final submission. This mentorship program furthers The Owl’s mission to equip students with valuable skills for future research and academic endeavors. Five accepted articles were compiled into the journal.
To round out the event, two of the five featured students delivered oral presentations based on their work. Andrew Brasington presented his project “Social Media Influences our Organic Rhythms in the Context of Neoliberal Capitalism: an Exploration Into Performative Consumption Through TikTok” and Christelle Bucag presented her project “Exemplifying the Panopticon: a Case Study on Modern Hospital Architecture”. Each presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session in which audience members relayed their questions to the presenters.
The Owl’s fall 2020 issue will be published online in the coming weeks. When available, you will be able to view it on the journal website here. Physical copies will be available in the Honors, Scholars, and Fellows House at the beginning of the spring semester.
A recording of the 2020 virtual release event can be viewed here.
Articles Featured in Vol. 11 No. 1 of The Owl:
- “Social Media Influences our Organic Rhythms in the Context of Neoliberal Capitalism: an Exploration Into Performative Consumption Through TikTok” by Andrew Brasington
- “How COVID-19 Has Altered the American College Student’s Everyday Life” by Alyssa Ackbar
- “The Masters of Spatial Manipulation: A Study on How Spatial Compression from COVID-19 Affects Bodybuilders’ Daily Rhythms” by Andrew Merchan Revilla
- “The Everydayness of Late-Night Media Use: A Quantitative Study” by Karly Keysor
- “Exemplifying the Panopticon: a Case Study on Modern Hospital Architecture” by Christelle Bucag
The issue also features introductory pieces written by Dr. Azat Gundogan, the Honors professor who mentored the featured students, and Dr. Annette Schwabe, the Director of the Honors Program.