The University Scholar, the semiannual academic journal of the University of Dallas that publishes poetry, prose, essays, short stories and visual artwork, is gearing up to launch on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 4:30 p.m.
Co-editor-in-chief Emily Strom, senior English major, spoke of the journal’s content and its importance to UD culture.
“It has a pretty general focus,” Strom said. “We want to publish excellent quality undergraduate work that falls into the category of scholarly essays, like class papers, or creative work, which can be both short stories and poetry and then visual arts. That can include ceramics, drawings, paintings. We do photography even – a wide variety of things.”
The Scholar seeks to support undergraduates’ creative endeavors and provide them with an outlet to publish their work.
“I would say part of it is to give undergraduates an opportunity to be published,” Strom said. “Undergraduates don’t usually get published in those kinds of journals.”
Dr. Andrew Osborn, professor of English and faculty advisor of The Scholar, argued that with the range of The Scholar’s work, the journal could expand its audience and give visiting students a taste of the best of UD’s many programs.
“Some part of the university that is associated with recruiting new students should be funding the journal and then giving issues to students and their parents who come to visit campus,” Osborn said. “The articles, stories and poems are extremely well-written and edited. Several of the essays published each year – the DiLorenzo and Sorensen Award – have been selected by English faculty to represent the best of the best.”
The road forward for The Scholar has not always been smooth, and this extra funding would help it continue. During the pandemic, the journal’s editorial team struggled to procure the necessary funds to publish but continued their work and published online issues.
“We’re ostensibly sponsored by the English Department and Phi Theta Kappa. Neither organization has a lot of disposable income,” Osborn said. “There were some semesters that did not create issues, and there were also some semesters over the last three years […] when we’ve had an issue which we had to post merely online because we didn’t have the funds for print.”
Nevertheless, The Scholar has recovered and entered a new era in its development. Osborn credited the two co-editors-in-chief of the journal, Emily Strom and Kate Rodda, for their transformational work in reorganizing and spearheading The Scholar’s efforts.
“They just seized the bull by the horns,” said Osborn. “They quickly assembled three editorial bodies of about six or seven students apiece, started holding regular meetings, and figured out how to fund it. They basically turned the journal into something that I’ve always wanted it to be, which is entirely student-run.”
Strom emphasized the mission and positive effects of the journal and encouraged people to get involved by submitting their work for publication or by applying for a staff position.
“There’s one main opportunity both semesters for submitting, and then we generally send out editor application requests to the general public. It usually has to be juniors or seniors or people who are going into their junior or senior year,” Strom said. “It’s not by invitation only. We were thinking about maybe having some more editors come on in this spring.”
Both Osborn and Strom encouraged students to reach out to the journal and to not be afraid of resubmitting. The range of the publication allows for a wide collection of content.
“Submit [your] work,” Strom encouraged. “I feel like some people are too scared to submit their work because they’re like, ‘I’m not a genius,’ and that’s okay. Maybe you don’t get great grades in your Lit Trad classes, but maybe you’re a really good painter. Submit your paintings because we’d love to see them!”
While the submission period is currently closed for the semester, there are still avenues for supporting The Scholar this year. Wednesday, Nov. 29 is the date of the Fall 2023 issue launch.