CLEMSON — Clemson University has launched a new magazine, Decipher, to highlight research done by students in Creative Inquiry, a program that provides opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in research to tackle real-world problems.
Decipher isn’t just a way to tell interesting stories about research. The magazine is a Creative Inquiry project itself, with the majority of the writing and design done by a team of students. The project allows students to hone their skills writing about research and science in a way that others can easily understand.
“I began thinking about this more than a year ago when I recognized that we needed a venue to display Creative Inquiry accomplishments to a wide audience,” said Barbara Speziale, associate dean of undergraduate studies. “Because Creative Inquiry is special, I didn’t want to create a typical undergraduate research magazine with individual students writing up their research results. Instead I wanted a publication that would entice readers.”
The first issue contains stories from a variety of departments and disciplines, such as studying lobsters in the Florida Keys, engineering a new water system for Haiti and designing a marketing plan for Chevrolet.
Decipher is written, designed and edited by a team of students under the guidance of Speziale and staff adviser Anne Jenkins, who works in the university’s Marketing Services office.
“The students gained skills in writing, interviewing, collaboration and teamwork. They learned to accept responsibility and to work on deadlines,” said Speziale. “They came to understand some of the nuances of preparing text for wide public viewing. Decipher is a product that they can show to future employers and graduate schools, as evidence of their communication skills.”
“Participating in the creation of the Decipher magazine was undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences of my undergraduate career,” said Rachel Wasylyk, student editor of the issue. “With my already inquisitive nature, this magazine became a unique platform for me to share the stories that fascinated me.
“The articles that fill these pages are recounts of excitement and dedication and, most of all, student-driven passion for discovery.”
The Decipher student editorial and design team consisted of Wasylyk of Charlotte, N.C., a May 2012 graduate with degrees in biological sciences and communication studies; writer Briana Kloc of Newton Falls, Ohio, a May 2012 graduate with a degree in biological sciences; writer Thomas Larrew of Goose Creek, a May 2012 graduate with a degree in biochemistry; writer Danielle Tom of Idaho Falls, Idaho, a May 2012 graduate with a degree in genetics; designer Juan Villamizar of Charleston, a senior graphic communications major; designer Alexis Peterson of Fairfax, Va., an August 2012 graduate with a degree in graphic communications; and writer Suzannah “Zan” Isgett of Mount Pleasant, a May 2012 graduate with a degree in genetics.
Speziale plans to publish an issue of Decipher with a new group of students every year.
Print copies of the magazine are available on campus at Martin Hall room E201.
Creative Inquiry is a unique program that gives Clemson University undergraduate students the opportunity to work on research projects that span disciplines and multiple semesters. Students work in teams with faculty mentors, take ownership of their projects and take the risks necessary to solve problems and get answers. Creative Inquiry participants develop critical thinking skills, learn to solve problems and hone their communication and presentation skills. For more information, go to www.clemson.edu/ci.