Editor's Note

his year Explorations moved to a new model and for the first time used an entirely student-run editorial board. This new model provides not only the opportunity for student researchers to work with faculty advisors to create and publish their own work, but also establishes a foundation for peer review and evaluation. As a teaching assistant, and as a student myself, I have come to believe that a deeper level of learning occurs when we move beyond passive absorbance of information and begin to produce, explain, and reason through novel concepts. When we engage our peers by asking for feedback, or by developing problem solving approaches as a team, we begin to create communities of higher learning. Being a member of this kind of community requires a willingness to accept a certain degree of vulnerability. It can be a struggle to express ideas in a comprehensive manner, to explain a logical framework for approaching a problem, and to know how to ask for help from our peers. Through Explorations I have had the honor of working with our student editorial board and authors, who were all ambitious and brave enough to accept the vulnerability necessary to create a new outlet for enhanced peer learning within our university.

I am grateful to the Explorations Editorial Board: Abbie Popa, Brandon Tautges, Edith Karuna, Haley Cynar, Jordyn May, Kenneth Chang, and Nick Smith, for being such a wonderful team to work with; to the student authors and their mentors for their hard work and creativity; to Joanne Engebrecht for her beautiful preface; and to the Undergraduate Research Center team: Angelique Louie, Tammy Hoyer, and Michelle Vyvlecka for their ongoing support.

Lindzi Wessel, Editor-in-Chief

URC Conference Poster

Artist's Statement

Cover Photo: Melissa Stratton, "Doors to the Past"