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From the Editor


As the showcase for student scholarship at Coastal Carolina University,  Bridges:  A  Student  Research Journal has had an impressive year. The Editorial Review Board guided the first publication of an issue— Issue 6 from Spring 2012—to print. This feat was made possible by the support of Dr. Robert Sheehan, Provost and Senior Vice President. The print publication demanded additional  work  from  the  student authors as well as the managing editor, Dr. Keira Williams, and me. We partnered with Sheriar Press for the printing and could not be more pleased with the results. It was well worth our efforts, for it has increased the presence of the journal both on and off campus.


At a time when a college education is often judged by its return on investment, Bridges offers  a tremendous payoff for student authors in terms of personal growth,  professional  development,  and societal contribution. The articles in Issue 6 and the articles featured for the first time in Issue 7 (Spring 2013) represent students eagerly tackling complex research questions and creatively solving  inevitable research problems under the tutelage of experienced and dedicated faculty researchers. The journal emblazons the growing trend towards undergraduate research and experiential learning in higher education. This learning-by-doing, which is made possible only via intense faculty-student collaboration, results in highly relevant original research and creative production.


I am very pleased to introduce Issue 7 of Spring 2013 in which CCU undergraduate students share new knowledge about the world. To these authors, we have emphasized not only the importance of research but also the completion of research. Our student authors engage in  every  step  of  the  research  cycle: writing, reviewing, revising, editing, and publishing, all while meeting firm deadlines and rigorous standards. While they represent a wide range of fields across business, humanities, and science, they were all committed to revising what had been honors theses and independent studies for publication in Bridges.


Jacob Beaver’s “The Influence of Ubiquitin-related Modifier Protein URM1 on Prion Formation” discusses his work with prions, infectious proteins that are associated with  such  neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. His  research  suggests  potential  links  between  manipulating these prions to produce less stable versions that may then be cured.


Caitlin Carroll combines her passion for cheerleading with research on balance  in  “Assessment  of Balance in Collegiate Cheerleaders: Is Implementing a  Balance  Training  Program  a  Good  Idea?”  She seeks to analyze fall risk as it pertains to balance ability in the sport and concludes that balance training programs would be helpful.


Dominique de Wit’s “UN-REDD and the Yasuní-ITT Initiative as Global Environmental Governance Mechanisms” provides an assessment of global environmental governance at  work  in  the  Ecuadorian Yasuní National Park in the Amazon. She contends with climate change and numerous local and global actors to tease out the strengths and weaknesses of two different initiatives.


Dylan Houston in “Investigating Volatility Trends of Silver through an Analysis of Stock Options Prices” examines the fluctuation in prices, or volatility, for silver electronically traded fund (ETF) options. His presented information is critical for individuals who participate in investment markets, especially at times when precious metals are safe bets for investors.


Mitchell Locklear’s “Word, Spirit, and Power: Women and Prophetic Authority  in  the  Early  Church” focuses on female prophets in the second-century Christian Church. He argues that as such women gained authority in a popular movement in Asia Minor, Church leaders sought to undermine prophecy itself to erode their control. His article illuminates well this early struggle for power.


Hannah Widdifield innovates a scholarly critique that blends academic, cultural, and social analyses with personal testimonies in her article “Who’s Allowed to Ride the Short Bus? Un-Defining Disability.” She examines the field of disability studies, and both suggests and demonstrates a way for this field to move forward in a productive manner.


Issue 7 is first and foremost a testament to the work produced by the best students at Coastal Carolina University. It is also a team effort, and I wish to express my deep appreciation for the many dedicated people who guided, produced, and vetted this issue. The managing editor, Keira Williams, was a bastion of energy and reason, and the associate editor, Lori Sircable, who, as a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Writing program housed in the Department of English, made copyediting magic.


—Amanda Brian, Ph.D., Editor (2012-)