How I Found LOGOS
I first ran into LOGOS: A Journal of Undergraduate Research during an Open House at Missouri State University in the summer of 2017. It was pouring down rain, and there were plenty of puddles for me to jump into (adults can jump in puddles too) on my way to the Plaster Student Union to attend a lecture introducing the MSU Honors College and its resources to potential students. At the time, I was a senior in high school trying to decide where I wanted to attend college and what field I should enter.
The Assistant Director of the Honors College, our very own Scott Handley, was preparing the PowerPoint presentation when I plopped down in a seat toward the back section of the room with my father. The information Scott touched on was information I had already read on the MSU website when considering attending MSU to earn my undergraduate degrees in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. I remember doodling on the papers they gave us as I listened to Scott’s presentation. I was really into drawing trees at that time.
My father elbowed me hard in the ribs once Scott began to talk about the university’s journal, LOGOS. It was the first time I had encountered a student-run publication that published students’ works using a double-blind peer-review process. At the end of the presentation, I immediately grabbed a copy of volume 9 and started flipping through the pages of the journal. I remember stopping at a poetry piece called “Europa, Untethered” and a photography piece called “Permanent Fear,” which was also displayed on the front cover. I thought the poem was beautiful and was amazed that someone from MSU had written it. The photos made me pause and remember those who have marks upon their skin. Reading those published pieces made me want to write, send in my own submissions, and be a part of the team that made it possible for students to publish their work. These students were able to show their work to the world through LOGOS, and I desperately wanted to be a part of that image. Up until I left for college, LOGOS was one of the main things that held my attention as I prepared to leave my hometown of Linn, Missouri.
As an avid reader and writer wanting to get a taste of the publishing world, I found my niche in LOGOS. I became a Peer Reviewer the following fall semester in 2017. Matthew Freese, now Chief Editor for volume 13, was my Associate Editor during my first year with LOGOS. I worked with the other reviewers at a small table in a circle with our laptops in the lobby of Meyer Library with the smell of coffee in the air while Matthew led our discussions about the round of submissions. One piece I remember our group getting excited about was called “Small Black Eyes,” which was published in volume 11. The conversation for this piece lasted for a while. Once we filled out our review forms, we started talking about the symbolism and possible interpretations of the piece. After working with Matthew, meeting other members of the LOGOS team, and being a part of the different conversations about the submissions, I knew I wanted to become more involved with the journal.
In the fall semester of 2018, I became one of the Associate Editors for the journal. However, this position was a learning curve for me. It was the first time I was in a leadership position that required managing a group of people. I had to learn the best ways to schedule meeting times that worked with everyone’s schedule, which meant a lot of trial and error on my part. I also had to figure out what to do if one of my reviewers ran into issues. Throughout all of my more challenging moments in the position, I always had other members of LOGOS at my back, and it made all the difference in the world. Older members of the team gave me advice on the best ways to manage a peer group and helped me when I made a mistake. Because of their help, I am now more prepared for next year and know to ask questions when I need just a little bit of help.
I enjoyed leading the Peer Review groups and starting the discussions about the submissions. It was fascinating to see what other people’s perspectives were on a certain piece. There were times where we would spend almost 30 minutes talking about a certain submission because someone noticed something that no one had caught. The conversations during the peer group meetings were my favorite because of the insight they gave me. I also loved that I had the opportunity to read more of the work that was submitted to LOGOS and be a part of the team when we broke the journal submission record with 109 submitted pieces from MSU students. Now, I am about to start my third year on the LOGOS team as the Copy Editor and Social Marketing Editor for volume 12. As the Social Marketing Editor, I will be running the LOGOS social media accounts, writing blogs, and letting students know what LOGOS is up to. I am also planning to continue as an Associate Editor in the fall semester of 2019 for volume 13. Being part of LOGOS has been one of the best parts of my college experience. It has allowed me the chance to read papers from a large variety of disciplines written by MSU students that have helped me learn more about the world and meet amazing people like Emily Joshu, Shannon Wick, Maria Meluso, and many others. Some of the most memorable pieces I have had the opportunity to work on were “Small Black Eyes” and “Three.” These are two of the pieces I have worked on and still think about from time to time. After sending in my review forms and marginalia comments, I waited to see which submissions I had reviewed would get published. I was so excited to see these two submissions in LOGOS volume 11.
Some Advice to Those Wanting to Join or Submit
Reading these submissions has also encouraged me to submit my own writing. LOGOS focuses on getting student work published and out into the world. (Please send us your work! We want to know what MSU students are doing.) If you’re accepted, you get published. If not, you get comments from reviewers on ways to improve your piece, and you can always send it back to us for the next volume. For those who are considering becoming Peer Reviewers, my advice to you would be to not read the submissions all at once. It will not only leave you worn out after reading all of the submissions, but you will also not be able to enjoy the reviewing process. In other words, take your time reviewing! As a procrastinator, I learned this the hard way, and I missed out on some interesting papers because of it.
Now, for you Associate Editors, here are some words to the wise: when you first meet your peer group, go ahead and choose a meeting time for the rest of the semester. For instance, schedule a time that fits with everyone’s (or, most everyone’s) schedule, and always meet at that time, like Tuesdays at 7:00 P.M. I did not do this my first year and spent the whole semester running around trying to work with everyone’s schedule. So, in short, schedule it once, and always meet at the same time and the same place. It will save your sanity and keep confusion out of the mix when talking with your peer group.
There is never a dull moment when it comes to LOGOS, and I love the work I am doing. I am so excited to be the new Copy Editor and Social Marketing Editor. I love having the opportunity to see what other MSU students are doing in their own fields of study and helping those students become published authors. Although I know these positions will come with their challenges, such as coming up with witty lines in social media posts, I am more than ready to dive in. With these two new roles, I am hoping to expand the awareness of the journal, be more active with MSU students, bring in more submissions for next year, and make sure volume 12 is just as phenomenal as the previous volumes.