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In the third volume of Scientia et Humanitas, I am excited to report a boom in author submissions.  As we receive more and more papers from a more diverse group of students, the journal is increasingly able to represent the university and its contributions to various areas of research more faithfully.  This edition of Scientia et Humanitas offers a diverse array of topics and several award-winning articles as well.

Four award winning essays open this volume.  Clint Bryan, a PhD candidate in English and winner of the 2012-13 William R. Wolfe Graduate Writing Award, and recipient of the Deans’ Distinguished Essay Award, applies elements of social literacy theory to Tobias Smollett’s Humphry Clinker to examine Smollett’s commentary on eighteenth-century society.  Following Bryan’s piece, Katie Stringer, also receives the Dean’s Distinguished Essay Award for her examination of the history of the relationship between museums, sideshows, and people with disabilities and will graduate with a PhD in public history in this year’s Spring commencement.  Representing the natural sciences, Anna Love, who earned her B.A. in English (2010) and is now seeking a B.S. in science (chemistry/pre-medical), in collaboration with Dr. Ngee Sing Chong of the chemistry department is awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Essay Award for her analysis of the products of the gas phase reaction between chlorine dioxide and malodorous compounds produced during putrefaction.  Kayla McNabb’s essay examining the relationship between Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Philosophy of Composition” and Process Theory won second place among the college of liberal arts graduate students at this year’s Scholars’ Week poster session.  McNabb is currently pursuing an M.A. in English.

The Humanities are represented more strongly in this year’s issue than in any previous with seven articles.  In addition to Bryan’s, Stringer’s and McNabb’s projects, Jonathan Bradley, a late stage English PhD candidate, offers an existential reading of Southern women’s writing.  Sarah Gray-Panesi, another English PhD candidate, examines Anne Rice’s Southern Gothic to illustrate the writer’s connections with the Southern literary tradition. Two more English PhD candidates, Margaret Johnson and Fadia Mereani, round out the Humanities.  Johnson examines the possibilities of Milton’s Satan as allegory in Paradise Lost while Mereani considers Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry as an influence on that of Wallace Stevens.

The Social Sciences are represented by six projects in this issue.  Jamie Sutton, a graduate in philosophy (2012), offers a brief explanation of Islamic limitations on violence and how extremists sometimes circumvent them.  Philip Routon, a PhD candidate in economics, examines “fly-by-night” firms and the methods they use to decide whether to follow or ignore certain governmental regulations.  In one of two collaborative efforts in this year’s issue, Rachael Smith, an undergraduate in anthropology and art history, and Crystal VanDalsem, an undergraduate in anthropology and philosophy analyze the accumulation of tobacco waste around Peck Hall following MTSU’s smoking ban.  Pursuing a Master’s in social work, Hyeryon Kim evaluates Asian American parents’ perceptions of their children’s educational experience.  Rita Jones, an undergraduate in communication studies, evaluates the communication experiences of international students on American college campuses, while Michael DeHoff, an undergraduate in organizational communication, provides an examination of the interpersonal relations in the People’s Republic of China.

In my first year with the journal, I have been repeatedly impressed not only with the level of scholarship presented by students at MTSU for publication but also with the amount of work my editorial team has put into making sure the journal continues to be a worthy vessel for MTSU students’ work.  Many thanks are due to my fellow editors, reviewers, proofreaders, and advisors, and especially to the Honors College for sponsoring this publication.  To the students of MTSU, thank you for your contributions, and I hope you enjoy the third issue of Scientia et Humanitas.

Sarah Gray-Panesi, Editor in Chief

Published: 2015-10-21

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