Anderson University’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, Alpha Rho Epsilon, produces Res Historica, a journal of undergraduate research by students in the College of Arts and Sciences. The second issue, produced in Spring 2023, was awarded second place in Phi Alpha Theta’s national journal competition. For a journal in its second year, this is a huge accomplishment.
The editors of the winning issue were senior Johnathan Sorce and 2023 graduate Helen Smith, with the assistance of faculty editor Dr. Lynneth Miller Renberg.
“Both the editors and the authors included in this volume should be incredibly proud of their achievements. The journal competition is judged based on quality of production and on quality of scholarship, which means that this award validates not only the work of the editors in producing a high-quality journal, but the work of the student authors in producing exceptional scholarship,” said Dr. Renberg.
Sorce feels the work he and his classmates have produced is a valuable first step into the world of publishing and scholarly historical conversation. It also lets them advance further in their research and writing while becoming more familiar with the academic community.
“It’s truly been a wonderful privilege for me to work on this journal both in writing articles and helping to edit and organize other compositions as head editor,” Sorce said. “This experience is especially valuable to me as I’d like to work in the fields of editing and publishing in the future, and being able to point to a successful—and now award-winning—undergraduate academic journal that I have been involved in will certainly be helpful in this. Winning second place in the national Phi Alpha Theta journal competition is a huge encouragement and affirmation to each of the authors in it, allowing them to know the true quality of their work, to take pride in it, and to continue to pursue loftier goals in the future. It also is hugely significant in helping Res Historica to continue and expand in the coming years as an established and valued part of AU’s undergraduate opportunities and accomplishments.”
“Res Historica provides us with a voice to promote our research,” said Sullivan Black, a senior majoring in History and minoring in Art History and Communications. “Our professors have encouraged us and have pursued each student with excitement and pushed us to draft papers and research projects we can be proud of. The journal’s recognition is evidence of Anderson University’s history department’s excellence.”
Alexandra Oliver, whose historical research was included in the second edition, was excited to see her work in print for the first time.
“Being published in Res Historica has provided me with a unique outlet to improve my writing, research and editing skills,” said Oliver, who is a senior majoring in Political Science and History. “This experience has aided my goal of pursuing a graduate degree in history. I was very excited to hear that Res Historica was awarded second place in the national Phi Alpha Theta competition, which highlights the quality of the scholarship of my fellow historians and the rigorous editing process conducted by students.”
For Black and his student colleagues, national recognition is a big deal.
“In my four years here at Anderson University I have had the privilege of learning from our outstanding faculty in the history department. They have highlighted the importance of studying history and have urged us to be active participants in the field. Our professors have encouraged us to pursue in-depth research as they guide us along in our studies,” Black said. “Res Historica’s recognition is a proud moment for me, and I believe it says a lot about Anderson, its faculty, and the students.”