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When the idea for an undergraduate research journal first hit Laurence, he knew it was a perfect fit for JMU. "Undergraduates conducting research spend so many hours during nights and weekends on research projects. At the end of all their effort they may type a report for their adviser that will just sit in a file cabinet. Why not showcase the product of all this focus and development?" Fellow physics major and friend Casey Boutwell ('08) agreed, and both young men dedicated themselves to getting the idea off the ground. They found an enthusiastic supporter and editor-in-chief in Kurt Schick, associate professor of writing and rhetoric studies. "These two undergraduate intellectual entrepreneurs … are enacting our university's mission to create educated and enlightened citizens," says Schick. The resulting JMU Research Journal, or JMURJ, invites students of all disciplines to submit their research for publication. The first edition is scheduled for publication in spring 2009. Although Laurence and Casey have graduated, they'll be watching the future development of their brainchild and hope to publish an article about the creation of the journal. They left a unique legacy to JMU, one that's sure to foster undergraduate research, collaboration and intellectual endeavor.
"Undergraduates deserve to have their work seen by the entire community."