Preface to The Eagle Feather 2009


It is with great pride that we present the sixth issue of The Eagle Feather: A Publication for Undergraduate Scholars (TEF). This issue is very special for several reasons. First, it is the largest issue ever, with 25 undergraduate scholars publishing the results of their original research with their faculty mentors. Additionally, with this issue, the number of undergraduate authors that have published in TEF to date tops the century mark at 108 articles. Finally, for the third year running, the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Texas has selected TEF as the outlet for the proceedings of its Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). With the renewal this year of the Department’s NSF REU grant under the direction of Professors Doug Henry and Beverly Davenport, we look forward to continued collaboration with the faculty and the talented undergraduates in that program. We have come a long way from TEF’s humble origins in 2004 with just six student-authored articles.

The 2009 issue of The Eagle Feather

One of the traditions of The Eagle Feather is that the first article in each issue is the keynote address from the year’s University Scholars Day luncheon. In 2009, we were honored to have Dr. Wendy K. Wilkins, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, as the main speaker at that event. We are proud to publish her address, which was both enlightening and moving.

As in previous years, the student-authored articles in this edition are broadly representative of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences in the schools and colleges at the University of North Texas. UNT’s young scholars continue to do an excellent job of addressing major issues confronting our society in these troubled times. Ahmed Siddiqi (Political Science and Economics), UNT’s institutional nominee for both the Rhodes and the Marshall scholarships this year, discusses the source of state legitimacy. Kory Redding (Political Science) examines the legal and philosophical foundations for the continued use of the death penalty in the United States. Coleman Wagner (Political Science) ponders the negative effect of U.S. treatment of prisoners of war on international public opinion toward the United States. Finally in this first section, Ian Moore (Foreign Languages and Literatures, Philosophy and Religion Studies) reminds the reader that politicians have struggled with moral issues since the origin of human government.

TEF scholars also addressed issues of health and healthcare. Articles dealing with health issues ranged from basic bench research that could save the lives of victims of heart attack, stroke, and cancer, conducted by Mark Pavlyukovskyy (Biological Sciences and TAMS), to Jennifer Stewart’s (Pyschology) discussion of positive psychological growth that can come from the experience of trauma. In an innovative collaboration between engineering and music, Cameron McCord and Amir Brgulja (Engineering Technology) evaluate a system for measuring harmful sound levels in music classes in order to minimize hearing loss in UNT’s next generation of musicians.

UNT’s prolific program in medical geography contributed two articles to this issue, including Arianna Jerazi’s (Anthropology) interesting analysis of the geographic distribution of HIV in Houston, Texas, and Jessica McCallister’s (Biological Sciences) innovative analysis of the origins of tuberculosis in the Asian population in Tarrant County, Texas. Jason Kirk (Biological Sciences) reports his findings on the use of information on genotypes to aid in dosing cardiac or surgery patients with Wafarin. Jason’s research is the result of his internship in medical technology at the Molecular Pathology Laboratory at Scott and White Memorial Hospital. Finally, Scott Grant (Biological Sciences) returns to TEF to continue his academic crusade to improve access to healthcare for America’s children ─ an appropriate goal for a member of the newest entering class at Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso, Texas.

Two students undertook research in education on issues that affect the abilities of students to acquire the skills they need to conduct research. Ariel Reno (English) conducted a survey of all known electronic undergraduate research journals in the United States and Canada. She argues that these journals provide undergraduates with an opportunity to learn and practice skills that will help them be successful in graduate school and beyond. Tonya March (Mathematics) evaluated the effect of teaching remedial math at UNT on student success in later math courses.

The Department of Art Education and Art History returns to TEF in this issue with another strong and informative special section. This section also contains another first for TEF, a student guest discussant as well as author ─ a trend we plan to encourage in the future. Lauren Hirsch (Art Education and Art History) has done an excellent job of critically reviewing these articles in her editorial so we will not repeat her work here. The scope of the research is truly global, ranging from Renaissance Spain, to colonial and post-colonial India, to the American Civil War era, to surreal African themes in early twentieth century France ─ a dizzying and breath-taking international tour of trends in art!

Finally, we conclude, as we began, with this year’s special section on the Anthropology NSF REU program. The eight articles presented in this section are reviewed in the preface by the guest editors for that section. These articles cover issues important to urban anthropology including hip-hop music; unemployment, homelessness, and street vendors; survivalist movements; the effects of language and culture adjustment of Latina/os in the workplace; and the effects of natural disasters.

In addition to our students who publish in The Eagle Feather, we also owe much thanks to our students who toil in the trenches as student associate editors. That we were able to complete the editing for such a large volume of papers more or less on time is due in no small part to their daily diligence and good-humored patience. Much thanks to Candace Breiten. (English and German), Varya Ignatchenko (Studio Art), Kaylee Holt (Biological Sciences), Farah Mamoud (Biological Sciences), and Sarah Valliere (Biological Sciences). As always, Kristen Boyett and her team in the Multimedia Development Laboratory have taken our messy Word drafts and transformed them the beautiful issue you see before you, much as Cinderella’s fairy godmothers transformed her from a cinder wench to a princess! Thanks to our own fairy godmothers, Neena Weng, Laboratory Manager; Kristin Boyett, Project Coordinator; William Hicks, Technology Coordinator; and Dianne Jansing, Project Assistant, for making us look so good!