The Looking Glass: Gaining Perspective and Skillsets Through Service-Learning
The University Honors Program produces the academic and creative publication The Looking Glass as part of its commitment to service-learning, research and creative activity. The magazine’s editorial staff consists entirely of Honors Program students. The magazine features submissions by honors students in the genres of original research, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories, essays, photography and art. The Looking Glass, while unique to the University of Idaho, is also a shared experience of honors students and their programs across the country that produce similar publications. The process, including soliciting submissions, typesetting, editing, designing pages and print proofing offers the student-editors a unique laboratory experience that earns them honors credit and gains them valuable educational skills. For the honors students whose work is accepted for publication in the magazine, it offers an opportunity to have their research writing, and/or creative work published and circulated.
Having a school-sponsored creative outlet as honors students is an incredible opportunity.
This year’s editorial team was comprised of students whose passion for language and art unified them, while each of them brought a unique perspective and skillset to the service-learning project.
The team included Megan Biggs, a sophomore majoring in Art and Design and minoring in Professional Writing, who became the team’s technical specialist with a keen eye for artistic expression. Megan reviewed every piece of art, enhancing the magazines visual content, and ensuring cohesion through a uniform style guide.
Dakota Brown, a first-year student majoring in English with an emphasis in Teaching, contributed wit and enthusiasm to the project, eager to encourage the team to learn something new together. Dakota with her love for short-stories and fiction radiated the bright countenance of the diligent group.
Megan Lolley, a first-year student majoring in English with an emphasis in Secondary Education, brought expertise in traditional art, poetry, and photography. Megan, a published poet, was ever ready to review an article one more time outside of the group’s weekly meetings to safeguard deadlines.
Keera Lydon, a senior majoring in English with an emphasis in Professional Writing, and minoring Spanish, became the team’s lead having the most experience working with the software program Blurb BookWright. Keera volunteered to speak at one of the Honors Program co-curricular Fireside Chats, in honors classes and to host creative Prompt-a-Thon events to encourage students to have their works published.
The Looking Glass supports the creative and intellectual endeavors of all honors students, regardless of if they have submitted to our magazine. It encourages continued creative and intellectual activity and helps the Honors Program thrive.
Alexis Van Horn
Alex Paul, a senior majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Spanish, was ever vigilant to ensure his fellow student’s voices were unabated and heard equally. Always a positive influence, Alex brought camaraderie to the team and the analytical skills of an aspiring lawyer.
Haadiya Tariq, a first-year student majoring in Journalism and writer for The Argonaut, approached the project with unabashed professionalism, ever attentive to punctuation and stylistic choice to give the contributors the extra panache needed to have their work published.
Alexis Van Horn, a sophomore majoring in Journalism and minoring in both Creative Writing and German, brought an abundance of skills to the group as social media and web manager for The Argonaut. Alexis prepared the magazine’s template style, trained new editors and was ever-ready with options for how to approach an editorial or technical choice.
As a dedicated group, the student-editors gave voice to their peers, worked tirelessly week after week under the guidance of an Honors Program staff member producing the typeset for a print magazine, which offers an academic forum for over 600 honors students. The current issue represents a diverse group of voices and perspectives that exemplify the high-quality work of honors students. To disseminate the work, the University Honors Program provides free copies to its students.
Article by Justin M. Smith, University Honors Program Coordinator