Meet Lexi Stewart, Author of “Retrospective Interview with YSW's Past and Present Editors”
Lexi Stewart is a York College of Pennsylvania senior majoring in Professional Writing with a minor in Creative Writing. She is the author of “Retrospective Interview with YSW's Past and Present Editors” in Vol. 20.
The idea for Lexi’s article was introduced during a weekly staff meeting during her internship with YSW. She was excited about the opportunity to write in a new genre and meet previous editors. In addition, she hopes the article “reflect[s] back on YSW’s history and growth and give[s] readers a bit of insight in what running an undergraduate research journal like YSW looks like.”
Lexi worked alongside Travis Kurowski, a faculty mentor and Young Scholars in Writing co-editor throughout the writing process. Lexi thought there were many layers to the writing process. Even before creating questions, she and Travis generated topics of interest to maintain a specific focus. “We wanted to make sure the questions were ones that all of the editors could respond to (for the most part) rather than having questions geared towards only one editor/editorial team.” She wanted to keep the readers in mind when organizing the questions as well as her intentions to focus on the history of YSW, “such as when editors changed, when new genres were added, when the role of FAEs came into place, and so on,” and what it is like to manage.
After conducting the interview, Lexi spent most of her time editing the auto-generated transcript for accuracy. “I think I spent a few weeks going over the transcript alone before I could get into any serious writing, which was essentially going through the conversation and deciding what information to keep, and what to cut out to reach my final draft of the paper (this took me a few weeks as well).” Finally, with the draft completed, she was able to edit and revise it alongside Travis.
There are a lot of benefits to working with a faculty mentor, according to Lexi’s positive experience. As the genre was new to her, she felt lost and unsure in the beginning, but “being able to talk to Travis gave [her] a lot of much needed guidance” as he “was much more familiar with the genre.” She was also glad for the easy and frequent communication between them, with in-person discussions in Travis’s office and Zoom meetings after the semester ended, and found it beneficial to the process. “We met to create the original questions, then we met again after the interview to discuss what the writing process would look like. Then, we kept in contact through email and met again on Zoom afterwards to look at the finished draft together.”
She is grateful for the opportunity and for having a great mentor like Travis. “His experience with this genre was incredibly helpful, and without his experience I would’ve had a much more difficult time with this project.” For those struggling to work with faculty mentors, Lexi thinks that communication is key. “Don’t be afraid to admit you need help, or that you’re having a hard time with something. Your mentor can likely help you with whatever you’re having troubles with, but they won’t know to help you on that unless you take the first step to bring it up to them!”
This post was written by Alex Merritt.