September 12, 2019

VSU’s James LaPlant Reappointed as Editor-in-Chief of Undergraduate Research Journal

Dr. James LaPlant

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Dr. James LaPlant was recently appointed to an extended term as editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed scholarly journal “Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research,” published by the Council on Undergraduate Research.

LaPlant, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of political science at VSU, has been involved with the journal as either a division editor or issue editor since 2004. He became editor-in-chief in 2014 and was reappointed to a second term in 2017. This latest reappointment will extend his term through June 2021.

“Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research” publishes scholarly work that explores effective practices, novel approaches, pedagogical models, and assessment results of undergraduate research. The journal provides useful and inspiring information that increases understanding of undergraduate student-faculty engagement in research, scholarship, and creative work in all disciplines and at all types of higher education institutions in the United States and abroad.

“Undergraduate research is one of the most powerful tools in higher education for promoting student success, retention, and ultimately graduation,” LaPlant said. “The impact of undergraduate research on student success is particularly powerful for first-generation college students.

“In the next few years as editor-in-chief, I hope to expand the scope and reach of the journal through inclusion in various databases and indexes. I also hope to continue to grow our International Perspectives section of the journal, which highlights undergraduate research at colleges and universities across the globe.” 

Elizabeth L. Ambos, who was executive officer for the Council on Undergraduate Research until retiring in August, said LaPlant has done an “outstanding job” as editor-in-chief. 

“Both the executive board and the Council on Undergraduate Research National Office staff are very pleased that he will be able to continue his leadership …,” she said. 

Ambos also voiced her appreciation for VSU’s “commitment to undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry.”

VSU has long sought to cultivate valuable experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students through rigorous research experiences with faculty. This wide range of academic inquiry and discovery is showcased each year at the university’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, which marked its 25th anniversary in April.

The Council on Undergraduate Research is a membership organization whose mission is to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. It believes that faculty members enhance their teaching and contribution to society by remaining active in research and by involving undergraduates in research, and that students engaged in undergraduate research succeed in their studies and professional advancement.

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