Meet the author: Angela Myers
Angela Myers is the author of “Creating Impact through User-Centered Research,” a methodological reflection published in the latest volume of Young Scholars in Writing. Myers is currently a senior Professional Writing and Rhetoric major at Elon University. After college, she hopes to teach English in Spain, but her long term goal is to earn a PhD in rhetoric or communications.
Myers’ YSW study grew from a gap she saw in the research on the rhetoric of sexual violence programs on college campuses. “There’s a lot of research on psychology and public health,” she said, “and that’s kind of how I came to the topic of researching the rhetoric of sexual violence prevention courses on college campuses.” Myers got the idea of a user-centered study from her faculty mentor, Dr. Jessie Moore (Elon University), who was a proponent of this approach to research. Myers explains the value of user-centered research: “I think especially for an issue that is so sensitive and is kind of related to social justice and society as a whole, it’s really important to be user-centered because you have to take into consideration what the user’s needs are when it comes to issues like this.”
Prior to her YSW article, Myers was already a published author, having published research on rhetoric in Spanish while studying abroad in Argentina. She first heard about Young Scholars in Writing when she attended the 2019 Naylor Workshop for Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies.
“With Young Scholars in Writing, I really liked how structured [the publication process] was,” Myers said. “I felt like I got a lot of mentorship from the editors.” In particular, Myers enjoyed working with her YSW Faculty Advisory Editor, Dr. Kim Fahle Peck, who directs the Writing Center at York College of Pennsylvania. Working with Dr. Peck “was a really great experience,” according to Myers. “We zoomed a couple of times about the research, and she gave a lot of really great feedback…. I liked how she not only told me what revisions to make, but also taught me how to go about making those revisions in the future, or why those revisions would be appropriate for the academic journal genre.”
The best thing Myers learned through the publication process was, in her opinion, how to revise a paper for an academic journal. “It’s one thing to read [an academic journal] and another thing to try and go through the process yourself,” she said. “So being able to go through that process and have [guidance] was really invaluable to my academic career.”
At the end of the interview, when asked what advice she would provide to others undergraduate researchers interested in publishing their research, Myers said that she would tell others to “just go for it.” “I think it’s really important to have some feedback from a faculty member at your university beforehand, to help get some feedback before you submit, especially on the abstract and things like that,” she said. “But I also think that a lot of times as undergraduates we feel like our research isn’t worth publishing, or that we’re not experienced enough to do that, so I think undergraduate research journals provide really great opportunities and I think students should really take that opportunity to realize that they do have the expertise to be published in these types of publications.”
Author of blog post: Sarah Smith, junior majoring in Professional Writing at York College of Pennsylvania.
Edited by: Beck Liberatore, YSW Intern and senior at York College of PA, expected to graduate in May 2021. Liberatore has a major in Professional Writing and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies.