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Writers and Photographers of Vandals in Focus

U of I Students Produce Magazine Highlighting Undergraduate Research

Entering its third year, Vandals in Focus is an annual display of the undergraduate research at the University of Idaho. Alongside the cast of student researchers featured in the publication, another group of undergraduates works behind the scenes at the magazine. Undergraduate students contribute the vast majority of the content and photographs that grace the magazine’s pages.

“Vandals in Focus offers undergraduate writers and photographers a chance to publish their work in a professional magazine,” said David Pfeiffer, the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. “In addition, many of the students on the Vandals in Focus project team have not written articles about research or shot photos in a research setting. Participating in Vandals in Focus offers them a chance to expand their portfolios.”

The research topics in this edition of Vandals in Focus range from ecological water hazards to the economics of Eastern Europe. Given this wide range of subject matter, writers and photographers needed to research their subject, as well as adapt their writing and photography styles.

“As a journalism major, I need to be able to write about any topic under the sun,” said Tess Fox, a senior journalism major from East Wenatchee, Washington. “Participating in Vandals in Focus gave me a chance to practice complex science writing under the tutelage of professional science writers.”

Other Vandals in Focus writers and photographers joined the team for more exposure to U of I’s community of undergraduate researchers.

“I was inspired by my friend Carly Scott. In her research, she builds mathematical models of how glaciers off the coast of Iceland affect ocean currents,” said Danny Bugingo, who is a junior from Portland, Oregon. “Carly’s excitement toward her research is contagious so I was happy when an opportunity to talk to other people about their research came up.”

Bugingo, a writer on the team, said that another reason for joining the Vandals in Focus staff was the chance to figuratively put pen to paper.

“Most of my classes are math or computer science courses,” said Bugingo, a math and French double major. “I don’t get the chance to express myself with words very often.”

Article by Corinna Carney, a senior from Parker, Colorado, majoring in international studies.

Published in July 2018.


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