College publishes undergrad research journal


AACC is one of only two Maryland community colleges to publish an academic journal of their students’ work. Shown, the inaugural edition of the Journal of Emerging Scholarship.

Sam Gauntt, Reporter

AACC on April 29 published the first edition of a journal for students to showcase their research.

The inaugural issue of the Journal of Emerging Scholarship contains seven articles from students studying math, psychology, education and environmental science. One article deals with research using drones. 

“It’s such an opportunity,” Lance Bowen, dean of the School of Science, Technology and Education, said. “I know when I went through my undergraduate I’d never had the opportunity to publish. … And I regret it because I did a lot of really good work that I was very proud of, and it just wasn’t an option. And here we have this great option to publish your work.” 

Biology professor Mickey Dehn, a member of the journal’s editorial board, said the idea for the journal came from Bowen.

“He realized that there’s a lot of actual research going on at the community college already,  which doesn’t always happen at community colleges,” Dehn said. “But there’s a fair number of faculty doing research with students.” 

Only one other community college in Maryland–Howard Community College–has a scholarly journal, according to Bowen. 

Students who would like to publish articles in an upcoming edition of the annual journal need to find a faculty mentor to begin the research process. 

Each article in the journal was peer reviewed by subject matter experts, including AACC faculty members. 

“The research doesn’t have to be all big and fancy,” graduating student Jeremy Snyder, who already has degrees in physics and computer science, said. “It’s not a big thing [that] you have got to have years of experience to do. I’m not taking a college-level biology class.” 

Snyder, whose article reports on research he conducted with testing the amount of microorganisms in water, said his experience with the journal has been “super exciting.” The research project was led by Biology professor Tammy Domanski. 

“I think it’s awesome,” AACC graduate Jason Burkholder said. “Yeah. I mean, again, it was a little bit of a pain, because I don’t really enjoy the writing, but it was well worth it.” 

Burkholder, who also worked with professor Domanski’s research project, said the journal “could add a lot of interesting stuff to AACC, as far as like, giving students even another outlet for learning.”

Bowen, who said he started working on the journal three years ago, called it a “fantastic experience.”

Dehn agreed. 

“Hopefully that will inspire other community colleges in the state and elsewhere,” Dehn said.  “And then perhaps we could kind of combine our efforts into, who knows, one day …[a] super journal or something.” 

Bowen said future editions of the journal could possibly include students as members of the editorial board, or have student-led research projects. 

The journal is available in print, and can be accessed online.