As we say good-bye to 2016 and we welcome the start of 2017, the word change echoes in my mind and reverberates in my soul. Our lives are full of turning and decision points—unique moments of change. For some, change can be a hard, gut-wrenching experience; and for others, change is a moment filled with opportunity and excitement.
The manuscripts in this journal celebrate change. This celebration can be felt on the pages and in between the lines. In this spirit of change, it is my pleasure to introduce Volume 5 of Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research.
Volume 5 received 28 submissions from students in higher education institutions around the world. Of these, 16 essays were published. All of the authors revised their original submissions (excluding research done in partnership with community organizations, which is published in its original form). The articles published in this volume represent research and reflections by a very gifted group of undergraduates.
For example, Brytelle Walton reflects upon the importance of artivists; Aoife Mitchell’s community-based research project involves studying a blight-resistance potato based food product in Ireland; and Chris Harlow grapples with tough questions about the kind of change his work in Uganda is generating.
All of the authors who submitted a piece to Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research worked closely with a faculty mentor on revising and editing their work. More than 20 faculty mentors worked with at least one submission and student author(s). This mentor-student relationship spanned time zones, institutional settings, and disciplinary boundaries. Faculty mentors dedicated countless hours to students they have never personally met. The faculty mentors’ work demonstrates their devotion to community engagement and student learning. This devotion is one that is unmatched and unwavering, and I thank all of the faculty mentors.
In addition, I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who helped to produce and support Volume 5 of Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research:
All of the students who submitted their writing to the journal;
All of the published writers who accepted feedback and worked diligently and professionally on their revisions;
The Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research editorial board and faculty mentors;
Editorial assistant Alexandria Yeager;
Faculty who encouraged their students to submit their work;
Jacqueline Cozma, webmaster at Pennsylvania State University, Berks;
Laurie Grobman, founding editor of Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research;
R. Keith Hillkirk, Chancellor, Penn State University, Berks; Paul Esqueda, Sr. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Penn State University, Berks; and Belen Rodriguez-Mourelo, Head of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Penn State University, Berks, for the financial support and enthusiasm you give to the journal.
As the editor of Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research, I would like to dedicate this volume to the students who are the next generation of change-makers. From the work you have already done, to the work that you have yet to do, I believe you truly understand the great responsibilities that rest on your shoulders. For remember,
“We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams,
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.”
~ Arthur O’Shaughnessy, Ode
Jill K. Burk
Pennsylvania State University, Berks