COD honors student lands editing position for national research journal

A passion for reading and writing has led College of DuPage Honors student Kimberly Wilson into a student editor position for a national research journal.

Wilson of Naperville was selected to be a student editor for UReCA, the undergraduate research and creative journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC).

Wilson will join a national team to review and edit journal submissions for the 2018-2019 publication.

UReCA's mission is to foster the exchange of intellectual and creative work between undergraduate students, providing a platform where students can engage with and contribute to the advancement of their individual field.

Wilson, working towards her Associate in Arts Degree, says her passion for writing stemmed from her love of reading and storytelling.

"I've always loved to read and immerse myself in different stories," she said. "One of my favorite things about writing is that it allows me to clearly express my feelings and opinions, as well as tell stories."

The selection of editors for UReCA is a competitive process, and Wilson almost didn't apply. A push from COD English Professor Steve Accardi to "shoot her shot" led her to take a chance.

"Kimberly stayed after class to tell me that she was interested in applying for the position, but she was hesitant," Accardi said. "She had the writing experience, as a contributor to COD's newspaper, The Courier, but she didn't think she had enough editing experience. The conversation was about having her see her experience differently, reframing her experience, not what she was lacking but rather what she was capable of. Once she saw that-that writers are always already editing-and that she could see her experience as worth and potential, her hesitation cooled into confidence."

Wilson is looking forward to expanding her editing skills, which will not only help her with her work on The Courier, but will provide her the skills she needs when she pursues a journalism major after she graduates from COD.

"Editing has always been a field I've been interested in and, even though I've dabbled in it a little, I thought that being an editor on the UReCA journal would be a great way to gain more hands-on editing experience," she said.

In order to learn the selection standards and set up the next issue of UReCa, Wilson attended a three-day boot camp in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah this past June with the other student editors. The team camped, hiked and spent long hours reviewing and fine tuning the research journal to maintain momentum and improve systems such as marketing, website design, selection rubrics and the editorial process.

"I'm not sure I'm a much of a camper but it was definitely an experience," Wilson said. "It was also my first time at a national park, so I'm very appreciative of that experience, as well as all the new people I met. After we hiked, we would plan out the logistics of what each of our roles as associate editors were going to be moving forward and discussed the steps we need to take to get the journal published."

The student editors will convene again at NCHC's national conference in Boston, Nov. 7 to 11, to celebrate the new issue of UReCA, which will go live Nov. 1. Wilson will travel to Boston with Lisa Higgins, COD's Honors Program Director.

"To have Kimberly representing COD at such a prestigious nationally-recognized conference helps demonstrate the caliber of our Honors students and our Honors program," Higgins said.

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