July 27, 2018
Biology major Meghan Sadler took a big leap out of her comfort zone this summer when she flew out west to the majestic Bryce Canyon in Utah to perfect her skills as an editor of the student-led national journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (UReCA).
It was a long stride for the rising junior, but one that taught her that ventures into unfamiliar territory really can pay off while boosting her confidence in succeeding outside her area of expertise.
Meghan Sadler (left) works on editing skills at UReCA journal’s Bryce Canyon workshop.
Sadler, an Honors student from Blandon, Pa., was selected to spend three days with 17 other student editors camping, hiking and fine-tuning UReCA, a completely student-run — from submissions to Web publishing — journal sponsored by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). With three faculty advisors, the editors from colleges all across the country discussed what they wanted to change, what they wanted to keep and what new ideas they wanted to integrate into the three-year-old journal.
“We’re hoping to make waves with our content since we’re one of the only undergraduate journals that accepts submissions from a very diverse range of subjects,” Sadler says, explaining that the Utah trip is the only time the editors see each other in person before the publication is finished and goes live Nov. 1. “We went through the process of editing together and had reflection times by the canyon rim at the end of the day in order to create a more unified team.”
More at home in the biology lab, Sadler became fully immersed in all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a publication. The workshop helped her see how nitty gritty the publication process is and how to appreciate it all.
“I also learned a lot from my fellow editors. Not only did I connect with those who had similar majors to myself, but I also got to bond with others who had completely different majors and understand how their college experiences differed from my own,” says Sadler, who plans on going to medical school after McDaniel. “The reflection times helped to show me that even the shared experience of the Utah trip was being experienced in various ways by each individual.”
They built the groundwork — assigning responsibilities and establishing an understanding of how to keep up their roles even while scattered across the country. The group will meet again at the NCHC national conference in Boston Nov. 7–11, this time to celebrate the new issue and help solicit submissions as well as recruit next year’s UReCA editors.
But chances are, even the Boston celebration won’t compare to the Bryce Canyon, where in one of life’s fortuitous coincidences Sadler met another hiker wearing a McDaniel T-shirt.
Student editors of UReCA national journal gather at Bryce Canyon for camping, hiking and perfecting their editing skills.
“The scenery was absolutely stunning! The rock formations were unlike anything I've ever seen and looking at the canyon from above and hiking through it provided such different perspectives,” says Sadler. “It was crazy looking at the sky at night and seeing it completely covered with stars and even seeing the Milky Way very faintly.
“I am really grateful that I got to share this amazing experience in a beautiful setting with such a great group of people.”
To view UReCA journal, visit www.nchcureca.com.