William & Mary

VA Engage Journal

VA Engage Journal

The VA Engage Journal promotes engaged scholarship by undergraduate, professional, and graduate students. The journal provides a forum for students to publish community-based research, case studies, action research, reflection essays, and book reviews, with guidance and mentorship from faculty. Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled full- or part-time at a two- or four-year college or university in Virginia is eligible to submit an article. Submissions with multiple authors are welcome.

The VA Engage Journal was founded in spring 2011 and is published once annually. The journal was on hiatus for the 2012-13 year and is currently expanding its slate of peer reviewers. If you are interested in serving as a peer reviewer, please contact Dr. Sylvia Gale at sgale@richmond.edu. The journal's areas of emphasis are described below. Submission guidelines and a description of the review process are also available. The submission deadline for the summer/fall 2014 issue is June 15, 2014.

Areas of Emphasis

Submissions are accepted in the following areas. In addition to textual submissions, multi-media and artistic products that emerge from or reflect on engagement are encouraged; this might include photos, video, digital stories, etc. For guidance about multimedia submission requirements, please contact Dr. Sylvia Gale. If you are considering submitting something that you think fits the journal but does not seem to match a specific category, please contact Dr. Gale or another member of the editorial board.

  • Critical reflections on engagement, including reflections on students' own engagement practices - We welcome reflections that prompt new and challenging conversations about the practices of engagement through systematic and critical analysis of specific programs or personal experiences. Reflections on specific programs/projects should include details of the programmatic goals (learning outcomes, community impact, etc.), basic structure, lessons learned, and suggestions for improvement. Inclusion of relevant assessment metrics in programmatic reflections is helpful but not explicitly required. Reflections on a personal community engagement experience should include enough relevant details to help orient the reader along with particular attention to what was learned--about oneself, another individual, a community, the field of engagement, an academic discipline, etc. In both cases, the word "critical" implies thorough attention to considering multiple lenses and perspectives, often including potential power dynamics associated with engagement, the role of personal identities/roles in shaping one's reflections, etc.
  • Reviews of Literature - We welcome reviews of singular or multiple books or other media relevant to civic or community engagement. The review should evaluate the literature's insight (or lack thereof) into best practices in the field and offer a critical view of the work in relationship to a larger body of literature or a student's own engagement experiences, or in the context of additional research about a related social issue or topic. Reviews do not have to cover new work to be considered for publication.
  • Quantitative and qualitative (and mixed methods) research studies - Submissions that present results from research inquiry are welcome. Data can be qualitative and/or quantitative in nature. Papers presenting the results from pilot studies or small-scale research or evaluation projects are also welcome. All research papers should ensure that the research adhered to APA ethical standards, indicate that participants consented to participate via an informed consent process, if relevant, and that the research was approved (or exempted) by human subjects protection committee (e.g., IRB). Per APA style, the paper should be organized into the following sections as follows: literature review, method, results, discussion, references, and tables/figures (if applicable).

The Va Engage Journal is administered by the staff in the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Richmond.