On behalf of the 2016-2017 Editorial Board, I am proud to present this year’s edition of The University of Texas at Austin’s Undergraduate Research Journal (URJ).
This publication owes its success to the dedication of our editors and directors, the generous support of our sponsors, and the undergraduates conducting world-class research here at UT Austin. Inside this issue you will find some of the best research representing the rich diversity and depth of thought our university has to offer. These scholarly works span multiple disciplines: an economic analysis of the board game Monopoly shares space with a comparison of 13th-17th century herbs and spices commonly used for medicinal purposes. They explore topics small in scope but large in implication such as a powerful address made by Lyndon Banes Johnson or a play about Galileo. Some are technical in nature, comparing mathematical constructs, and others delve into everyday objects, discussing the historical importance of meatloaf. All are representative of the dedication to excellence embodied by both this journal’s staff and the inspiring young researchers we had the pleasure of working with.
Along with our publication, this year the URJ has striven to advocate for undergraduate researchers. We continued hosting our annual business, humanities, and science panels aimed at exposing undergraduates to potential mentors and research topics as well as our writing workshop in the spring. Our blog highlighting research with a focus on undergraduate experiences is flourishing. The Journal also initiated partnerships with other organizations to host academic quiz-bowls and support undergraduate research in under-represented fields. Due to our expanded activities and missions, the URJ moved to the Undergraduate Writing Center which will enable our organization to continue growing and meeting the needs of our university’s student population.
I would like to give a special thank-you to the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of Student Affairs, and the University Co-Op for their generous support of our mission throughout the Journal’s continued operation. We are also very excited to announce new partnerships with the College of Liberal Arts, the Cockrell School of Engineering, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Communications, the Jackson School of Geosciences, and the Waggoner Center. We look forward to serving the undergraduate community together.
It has been a great privilege to work with this publication and its supporters for the past four years. I hope you enjoy reading through this issue as much as we enjoyed producing it, and I encourage you to explore our past publications as well as our research blogs online at texasurj.com.
With sincere appreciation,
Bronwyn Scott, Editor-in-Chief
Texas Undergraduate Research Journal (2016-2017)