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Nathaniel's Beloit

Nathaniel OmansHometown: La Crosse, Wis.

Major: Ecology, evolution, and behavioral biology 

Nathaniel Omans’14 recently started the Beloit Undergraduate Research Journal, and spent the fall of 2013 selecting the editorial board and gaining recognition on campus. In the spring of 2014, he and his team will edit and compile the submissions in preparation for the release of the first issue in April.

How the idea for an undergraduate journal came about: Many students at Beloit do research, but not very much of it is communicated to a wider audience. We have two symposium days a year (Student Symposium Day and International Symposium), but as those come and go there is no permanent record of student scholarship. I thought that having an in-house research journal would be a great way for the college to highlight the excellent scholarship of Beloit students. So I started the Beloit Undergraduate Research Journal.

On his inspiration behind starting this project: Spreading knowledge and recognizing good scholarship. I strongly believe that knowledge has little purpose unless it is disseminated. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is our duty as educated citizens to spread our knowledge. Having a research journal would do just that. In addition, I think that by recognizing the best research at Beloit, it would inspire other students to take action and start their own research!

On how the journal works: Beloit Undergraduate Research Journal will accept primary and secondary research from any discipline. Students who want to submit should keep their eyes open for the call for papers in December. So far, we have received some help from CELEB (Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education in Beloit), but right now we are working on securing more funding.

On his goals for the journal: I have been working on the Beloit Undergraduate Research Journal with an emphasis on longevity. I hope that the journal will become a part of Beloit’s student culture, along with the student symposiums, Pocket Lint (the student-run literary journal), and the Round Table (the student newspaper).

What the liberal arts in practice means to him: It means deciding my own future. At Beloit I am given so many resources to do impactful projects like the Beloit Undergraduate Research Journal. The concept of the liberal arts in practice means that I am not just taking classes and studying. I am using my eclectic background to make my own experience and decide my own future.

How he would do things differently if he was a first-year again: When I was a freshman I wasn’t really aware of the resources Beloit offered me. If I could go back, I would make more of an effort to use all of the resources of Beloit: grants, internships, clubs, etc.