As it strives to inspire interdisciplinary studies and a sense of wonder about how the world works across the Golden State, the “Boom California” team said it set its sights on expanding journalistic excellence in 2017 with its new online open-access journal format.
The peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal held a panel Tuesday night in the Pollak Library to discuss social and cultural issues in California.
Jason Sexton, “Boom” editor and lecturer in the CSUF Honors Program, hosted the happy hour event with food and refreshments for everyone in attendance.
Sexton said he views “Boom” as a combustion engine, constantly compiling the wonder and inspiration that creates studies within the state of California.
“We’re trying to illustrate peer-review essays and peer-review academic work that is vetted by scholars from various disciplines,” Sexton said.
Interim university librarian Scott Hewitt made Sexton a library faculty fellow last summer when “Boom”was brought to CSUF.
“He was interested in taking a regular journal and converting it into an open-access journal, and open access is very important to libraries because the cost of journals is going up so dramatically,” Hewitt said.
Tuesday’s panel featured three CSUF faculty participants, including the chair of department of biological science Sean Walker, associate professor in the department of health sciences Michele Mouttapa, assistant professor in the division of anthropology Sarah Grant and communications honor student and Daily Titan news editor Jason Rochlin.
Walker said he has noticed news coverage of education slipping in math and science as of late and how the role of the online journal has become that much more important going forward.
“You see students who aren’t excited about that sense of wonder and seeing the world in a different way, understanding how organisms interact, understanding that the great diversity of life is woven together,” Walker said. “I think that now we have an immense challenge, and the state of California is a wonderful place for this.”
Natalie Monterrey, a freshman honors business student at CSUF, was one of just a few students in attendance at “Boom California” Happy Hour.
Monterrey said the panel gave her insight to the interplay between the multiple cultures in California.
“My favorite part (of the workshop) was how we were comparing what we’ve noticed lately (in California),” Monterrey said.
Monterrey immediately caught onto what “Boom” wants to do going forward concerning academia in California, as she also said the increase of interdisciplinary studies is something to get excited about.
Mouttapa and Grant, who are professors of health science and anthropology, respectively, also expressed their ideas of interdisciplinary studies in California that should be included in future “Boom” articles.
In working over the years with the St. Jude Hospital Healthy Communities Initiative, which serves to decrease childhood obesity rates in lower-income communities, Mouttapa said these articles will give issues within public health and humanities a more colorful and individualized approach.
Rochlin, who was the only student to speak as a member of the four-person panel, has worked as a student journalist for the past six years. He said he continues to learn new ways of becoming more knowledgeable in different subjects and getting a new perspective on life through journalism.
“I’d argue that journalism is probably one of the the best ways to get a better grasp on how to see a place like California. Because if you ask me, the best way to be able to see a place is to gather as many perspectives on that place as you can and weave it together,” Rochlin said.
Rochlin also put a lot of emphasis on what he defines as “good journalism,” stating the importance of having the media and society being able to understand each other to the fullest extent.
“In an era where news media seems to be under attack increasingly every day, we should remember, especially now, the importance of having a media in our society in order to do things like this. To build a stronger democracy by informing the public so that they know what they’re doing and by gathering these stories to carry on for posterity,” Rochlin said.
Disclaimer: Jason Rochlin is a News Editor at the Daily Titan