The cover of last year's Dialogues@RU Journal displayed a yellow telephone depicting the essential dialogue of the research and learning process. This year the towering pile of books, some old and well-thumbed, and some glossy and recent, also conveys the love of learning that the students whose work is published here clearly displays. These students immersed themselves in their research, climbed to great heights of discovery, and wrote about their findings in elegant, eloquent and highly informative ways. The amazing topics that they explored, the sophistication of their research, and the rewarding discoveries that they reached, were purely outstanding.

I wrote last year in my Introduction to the Dialogues@RU Journal that it was my hope that for many of these gifted students, their research in the 201 Research Writing course was just the beginning, and would be a catalyst for some of them to inquire even more deeply into their field of study and possibly publish in a scholarly journal specific to their discipline. This in fact was accomplished by last year's winner in the Dialogues@RU Journal; Alissa Aboff, a former student of John Abrams, who had written "Protecting the Rights of the Intersex Newborn," and who now has worked further and has been accepted for publication in The Penn Bioethics Journal. Congratulations to Alissa and to John!

This year the Associate Editors Brad, Elizabeth and Letizia decided, together with me, that two students deserved to win the award for best paper; Erica Nadera, student of Brad Farberman, for her paper, "Effective Manipulation through Music," and my student, Christina Kim for her paper, "Taboo the Taboos: The Ethics of Food Waste."
Just as with last year, the criteria for selecting these papers for publication in the Dialogues@RU Journal include the following:

  • Could serve as a strong research paper model for future 201 students
  • Had convincing content and general intelligence
  • Demonstrated a depth of research, having used multiple scholarly sources in meaningful and connective ways
  • Was not biased, but had counter-arguments and complexity so that real analysis and interpretation, based on textual evidence, was apparent.

The papers, though from a range of 201 courses, are arranged here under distinct subject areas including Food Studies; Music, Photography and Creative Writing; The Human and Physical Environment; Historical Studies; Time and Humor. We hope you enjoy reading this scholarly journal, and are as impressed as we continue to be, with the profound work of our students.

Tisha Bender
201 and Hybrid Coordinator, and Editor of the Dialogues@RU Journal