To the readers of the Washington College Review:
After three years of working on this journal—two of them at its helm—my time with the Washington College Review has come to an end. I joined the staff as a freshman, working as Associate Editor for Media and Design under Caroline Harvey ’17, who spearheaded the revival of the journal only a year prior. I very much felt that I was in over my head, but the things I learned about research and editing in that first semester have informed every turn of my college career. I’ve now held every position a student is able to hold with the publication—one of which didn’t even exist at the time of my original hiring. As I’ve grown, so too has WCR. Or, as WCR has grown, so too have I. It hasn’t always been clear to me whether I or it takes the lead.
As I look back on my tenure, I’m amazed at what our small editorial staff has accomplished. Caroline and I began with an overhaul of the journal’s website before we decided it was best to move to the site we live on now, built from the ground up. We reimagined logos, posters, headers, and everything else that could be considered part of our image. Having laid that groundwork, WCR has gone on to have six issues of absolutely incredible Senior Capstone Experiences, seminar papers, and artworks. In any given classroom, it’s almost guaranteed that at least one student will have heard of us. Chances are high, too, that they or one of their friends will have been published on our site. It may not sound like much, but it’s come years ahead of what I dreamed for the journal when I joined.
In just three years we’ve published work from every academic division, and nearly every major. If any single aspect of Washington College were to stand for interdisciplinarity or the liberal arts, the Review would be the clear choice time and time again.
This current issue is no exception. The SCE issue of Volume XXVII contains fifteen compelling theses focused on an array of topics more diverse than ever. These projects range from an analysis of Appalachian economic recovery to a review of studies on photon minibeam used in the treatment of medulloblastomas, from a study of restored mangrove forests to a close reading of garden structures in Milton’s Paradise Lost as indicators of predestination. I’ve never been one to play favorites with the work we publish, but I can’t help thinking that there couldn’t possibly be a better issue to end on—especially given the extraordinary circumstances these theses were completed under. As I navigate the early throes of my own SCE, I can only hope it will live up to the standard set here.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the people who have facilitated this progression. First, as always, to Caroline Harvey, for being a mentor, friend, and the person who set me on this path. To Kylie Hargrave, whom I have never met, but who I understand was instrumental in getting the journal up on its second set of legs. To Lindsay Lusby and Julie Armstrong, for all the emails sent, posters printed, questions answered, and the best of office banter. To MacKenzie Brady (with a capital K), who has been my indispensable copilot for the majority of this ride. To Dr. James Allen Hall, for telling me that yes, it was okay to let go of something I love. To Dr. Sean Meehan, for being the first person to give me purpose and direction in my college life, and whose insight has been invaluable along the way. And, lastly, to Erica Quinones, who, with the publication of this issue, will be stepping into my role as Editor in Chief. I cannot imagine WCR being left in more capable hands, even if she does prefer that her title be hyphenated.
Yours in inquiry,
Justin T. Nash ’21
Former Editor in Chief, Washington College Review