The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) journal was launched in 2001, publishing student abstracts every year. Bound publications may be found archived in the J. Willard Marriott digital library and hard copies of bound books sit archived in the Sill Center OUR offices. In 2015, the journal went one hundred percent on-line on the OUR website. Central to the University of Utah mission statement is generating and sharing new knowledge, discoveries, and innovations to engage local and global communities to promote education, health, and quality of life. Collaborations with and the support of undergraduate research is central to these endeavors. Therefore, with a will to create greater access in student and faculty collaborative publications, the Office of Undergraduate Research decided for 2022, we would answer: Should we find a new home for the journal articles published with the journal? If we did, what platform would be both accessible online, archivable, searchable, and indexed? After meeting with Anne Morrow at the Marriott Library, I am pleased to announce that OUR is launching the undergraduate research journal on a new platform: the Utah Education Network with Pressbooks. The platform makes the journal searchable, easier to navigate, and accessible on an online platform. The platform represents the role of the universities in making available the public cutting-edge research.
The changes are multiple, where OUR is also thrilled to share with our readers and contributors that to signal the new location of the journal with Press Books the journal is premiering with a new name to celebrate this transformation, Range: Undergraduate Research Journal.
There is much significance in a new name. To arrive at a new name, students were surveyed, ideas gathered from student-peer discussions led by Eliana Massey with the staff of the Office of Undergraduate Research (Eli Covarrubias, Cindy Greaves, Shelly Parker, Jude Ruelas, and Megan Shannahan and myself). After deep thought and reflection on suggested titles from our student leaders, we collectively arrived at the name “Range.” When considering the diversity of contributions representing 18 colleges at the University of Utah, the term “range” surely is suitable to describe what is found in this undergraduate research journal. Range represents the breadth of contributions found in the issues submitted and published every year. The depth in scope of scholarly contributions that are found in the journal represent the multitude of points of views, methodologies, life experiences, positionalities, disciplines, and research contributions published every year with OUR. Here Eliana, undergraduate research leader who has had a significant leadership role in the new publication as the launch issue student editor, provides her own perspective on the concept of range as playing on an intellectual contribution in addition to pointing to the geographical location of University of Utah:
“Likely as a result of tectonic extension that began around 17 million years ago, much of the inland Western United States and northwestern Mexico is characterized by abrupt alternation between mountain chains and arid valleys. This physiographic region is referred to as the Basin and Range Province. Within the Basin and Range Province, Salt Lake City, the home of the University of Utah, lies next to the Wasatch Range which stretches approximately 160 miles. Undergraduate students at the University of Utah, like the region in which they live and study, extend far and wide–in terms of their interest and impact. We chose the name for this journal as a way to honor the bioregion we live in as well as the diversity of research that our students engage in.”
Range invites readers to remember the importance of context and place for research. Recognizing that the University of Utah land, which is named for the Ute Tribe, is the traditional and ancestral homeland of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Tribes the journal also affirms that the University of Utah recognizes and respects the enduring relationship that exists between many Indigenous Peoples and their traditional homelands. We respect the sovereign relationship between tribes, states, and the federal government, and we affirm the University of Utah’s commitment to a partnership with Native Nations and Urban Indian communities through research, education, and community outreach activities. To nourish our communities, is to feed the mind. We hope that this journal in its new publication form, newly named as Range: Undergraduate Research Journal, may serve as a new intellectual home for undergraduate researchers whose curiosities take them into research across the disciplines, traversing the steeps in intellectual thought in their own fields, as they are connected to other fields of inquiry.
Readers of Range: Undergraduate Research Journal will find abstracts, full length articles, creative contributions, and undergraduate student reflections about the research process in this issue. As our readers peruse the new features of the journal, we hope that readers will also appreciate a new component in the journal: reflections on undergraduate research experiences. In addition to research publications and abstracts, contributors provide brief reflections on their research experiences. Reflecting on research is a vital part of research practice. Through the diversity of contributions and reflections about research, the Office hopes that students, faculty, and staff alike, may find connection, community, and an intellectual home in the journal that welcomes student research publications as part of a central aspect of an R1 institution commitment.
It is with this I close with a deep appreciation to our contributors, mentors, Eliana Massey (Student Editor), Eli Covarrubias (Managing Editor), Cindy Greaves (Managing Editor), OUR leaders, and the OUR team (Jude Ruelas, Shelly Parker, and Megan Shannahan) who have provided important support to launch the the 2022 Range: Undergraduate Research Journal, Volume 23, Issue 2 (2022), formerly known as the Undergraduate Research Journal.
Annie Isabel Fukushima
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Director, Office of Undergraduate Research
University of Utah