Post-baccalaureate. and Managing Editor Alex White ‘16 felt the need to hire a STEM editor (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) when they received several submissions from the STEM field. With most of the staff being involved in the humanities, they felt that they did not have the background to properly evaluate the submissions.
“I think that the humanities and the STEM disciplines need to be talking to each other,” they said. “And since we were already getting these submissions, I thought it wouldn’t be fair for people who submit to be evaluated by someone who’s not in their discipline.”
White also mentioned that, while there are several outlets for writers and artists involved in humanities, those involved in the STEM field don’t have the same opportunity to publish their work. They hope that the addition of STEM editors will encourage more students to submit their work and take the opportunity to have their work published.
Co-Editor of the STEM section senior Devyani Gore feels that the STEM section itself is so broad and diverse, making it difficult to put all of the submissions under one section. She said that a challenge in the editing process has been trying to decide between taking the widest variety of submissions possible and taking the highest quality work possible.
“We tried to do our best to balance the two together, but I think it’s really important to have a mix of physical sciences and balance that with more social sciences,” Gore said.
She noted that the section has received a variety of submissions, including works from the environmental science and biology fields and sex research coming from the psychology field.
The section’s other Co-Editor, senior Morgan Madderom considers the process of editing for the STEM section to be different in the sense that the submissions are longer, and acceptance is based on several aspects other than the quality of writing.
“We look for good writing and interesting subject matter. But we also look to see if the paper is a literary analysis or if it’s an actual experiment where they’re trying to prove a point,” Madderom said. “We also look for whether or not there are significant results from the experiment.”
Madderom noted that another challenge with the editing process is deciding which excerpts to pull from the lengthy submissions.
“It’s hard because I want to excerpt some of these really long papers but it’s hard to know what to cut out,” she said. “In a fiction piece you can take part of the story but, in an essay, it all kind of fits together.”
Gore considers Catch to be an accurate reflection of one aspect of the Knox community, but is hoping that the addition of the STEM section will provide a more comprehensive perspective of the Knox community. She considers an integral aspect of the community to be the intermingling of different interests and fields of study.
“I think it reflects the essence of Knox. We’re such a small campus, with everyone being friends with everyone, we’re gonna end up in groups of friends where we have theatre majors and science majors and everything. And I think that the step that Catch is taking is going to do a better job at reflecting the essence of the entire Knox experience,” Gore said.
She also noted that Catch previously provided an opportunity for STEM students to hear about what went on in the humanities at Knox, and that the new section will offer that same opportunity for STEM students to share what they’ve been doing.
“It’s a chance for people to get to know what people in other disciplines are doing. You don’t necessarily have to take a class in, say, Old Main or GDH to know some of the work that has been done there, and some of the best work that has been done there,” Gore said.
The staff members of Catch are pleased with the current outcome of the new section in the magazine, and hope to continue expansion. In the future, they hope to reach out to more classes in SMC and receive submissions from Computer Science, Physics and Astronomy majors/ minors.
“I hope the STEM section brings another dimension to Catch, and that we start to have more editors who are in the sciences,” Madderom said.