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Home > George Wythe Review Hitting Stride as Scholarly Journal

George Wythe Review Hitting Stride as Scholarly Journal

February 29th, 2012

By Sarah Pride.

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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APP majors on retreat in 2010

When senior Amanda Brock thinks back on her years at Patrick Henry College, she beams at an idea she helped dream up in the spring of 2010, during a retreat for Government: American Politics & Policy majors. She and the other APP majors had convened at Bear’s Den, a popular hiking spot west of campus, when then-senior Jordan Spencer ('10) suggested the idea of a top-flight academic journal for undergraduates, complete with a full peer review process. The journal would publish papers relevant to American politics. While Spencer graduated before he could implement the idea, he passed it on to Brock, Elisé Kraft (now attending Yale University), and Zachary Henry (’11), who have since brought the George Wythe Review to life.

More than a year into the project, having published two journals and with a third in production, the editorial team has shifted to include seniors Matthew Maule and Gregory Escobar, with other students-in-training poised to serve once the seniors graduate.

“We have definitely grown by taking an idea and making it reality,” says Brock. “That’s something we APP majors purpose to do.”

APP majors on retreat in 2010. From L to R: Zachary Henry (sitting), Matthew Maule, Dr. Michael Haynes

Dr. Michael Haynes, assistant professor of government at the College, also serves as a mentor to APP students. After arriving at PHC in 2008, having served as a Baker Scholar and staff editor at the Journal of Applied Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, he helped students initiate a special retreat just for APP majors. It acted as an idea incubator, and in the intervening years many notions hatched there have come to fruition, particularly the George Wythe Review.

“I can’t compliment the students enough,” smiles Dr. Haynes. “I wanted the idea to be theirs. It has been birthed and is now a small child—each issue is a little better. We have good people now, and good ones coming.”

While many graduate schools publish journals about American public policy, the George Wythe Review is one of only a handful of similar journals by and for undergraduates. One of the current editors, Matthew Maule, emphasizes that point of distinction, describing the “rigorous editing and fact-checking process” each Journal undergoes.

The theme of the Spring 2012 issue, due out in April, focuses on education, and most of the content was written by current APP students for upper-level course credit. Alumna Raija Churchill, currently studying law at Pepperdine University, has also submitted a paper she wrote that appeared in the Pepperdine Law Review.

Original George Wythe Review editorial board: Zachary Henry ('11), Amanda Brock, Elisé Kraft ('11)

“Each issue handles a single theme, everything from an analysis of presidential rhetoric to papers describing court cases,” explains Brock.

As the editor responsible for the presentation and layout of the George Wythe Review, Brock enjoys the creative aspects of planning each issue. When creating the first, she visited the PHC library to scan other policy journals for ideas. In most cases, she confides, her reaction to the scholarly creeds is “Blah!”

“I wanted ours to have an aesthetic appeal too,” she says. “It’s been kind of a fun challenge.”

Having hit their stride with the successful publication of two prior journals, the team’s goal for this semester’s edition is to circulate the Review beyond PHC, to other schools that may find it of value.