Volume 9 (2021)


We are eager for you to dig into the articles that make-up volume 9 of the Virginia Engage Journal of Student Scholarship. What makes these articles extraordinary is not only the authors’ hard work to get these across the publishing “finishing line,” but the important notions in which the authors grapple. Overcoming any obstacle in the midst of the pandemic is worth celebrating and these authors faced additional hurdles from navigating group authorship (seemingly flawlessly, it appeared), to conducting original research, to seeing a manuscript through to completion despite using a less common writing approach. We are thankful to the authors for challenging us by raising important questions about how we get clarity about our motivations to engage in the community, the effects of that engagement, and about what is truly going on around us—the true effects of the pandemic—when we struggle to locate reliable sources.

One of the goals of the journal is to as much as possible support the genuine voice of the authors and hold fast to the standards and visibility of a scholarly journal. On occasion tension can arise and Emily Kohl and I puzzled over the larger questions this raises about respecting indigenous knowledge and how the journal can be a platform for introducing new ways of thinking and communicating. This dilemma is at the heart of the challenges facing the academy and we welcome the questions it generates. Our roles in community engagement work are to create environments where translation can occur. We don’t have to serve as the translators, per se, but we are responsible for creating environments that increase empathy, understanding, and knowledge across differences. The journal plays a role in that endeavor.

Emily Kohl has served as the co-editor of the journal for the last three years and I am especially thankful for Emily’s wisdom, compassion, and vision. Emily has taught me a great deal both about the process of serving in this role (e.g. communication with the authors, processes for reviewing manuscripts, etc.) and what kind of “product” we are trying to deliver (i.e. reflective and engaged student scholarship). Emily is stepping into new work and new roles in the community and stepping away from the journal. While you will be missed Emily, please know that I will continue to integrate the lessons you have humbly shared.

The editorial board is preparing to dig into fascinating submissions for volume 10 of the VA Engage Journal of Student Scholarship and we will be back in touch about that. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts and reactions to Volume 9.

Best wishes,

Steve Grande, James Madison University
Editor, VA Engage Journal of Student Scholarship

Critical Reflection on Engagement

Research Study

Profiles of Practice