Undergraduate research journal hosts annual symposium

The undergraduate research journal publishes UMKC student research annually. (Lucerna)

Cassandra Ludwig

After months of research and preparation, four of the 12 UMKC students published in the new edition of Lucerna will present their research at the Lucerna Symposium in mid-March. The presenters include undergraduates Karah Chappel, Anuhya Dayal, Kai Milanovich and Lauren Textor.

Lucerna is the UMKC undergraduate research journal that the Honors Program publishes annually. It accepts submissions from students across campus, regardless of participation in the Honors Program, and allows them to share their scholarship.

Chappel, a senior music therapy student, did research on the referral process of social work and music’s place within the policing structure.

“[My] study is the first look at interactions between music therapy and the police, as far as I know,” Chappel said. “While it is an extremely early view, I believe it holds merit to continue exploration, and being published will help push me in that direction.”

Lucerna also accepts work from any field of study. In this new volume, students address topics ranging from art programming in prisons to athletic injury analysis.

Textor, a junior English major, said her research on art programs in prisons was inspired by her love of creative writing and imagining what her life would be like without its influence.

“My research is about how art programming helps incarcerated individuals to develop interpersonal and behavioral skills,” Textor said. “It discusses how art programming is only one step in restructuring the justice system to prioritize rehabilitation instead of punishment.”

The Lucerna staff, composed of Honors Program students, stages the symposium annually, allowing students to share their scholarship with larger audiences.

“I am hopeful that the symposium will encourage other students to pursue research in whichever field interests them,” Dayal, a second-year student, said. “Research isn’t just pipettes and lab coats, but it can be any analysis on any topic, and I hope my work, along with my peers’ work in Lucerna, conveys that message.”

Students interested in submitting work for a future volume of Lucerna can contact Lee Francis, the editor-in-chief, by emailing [email protected] or [email protected] The priority deadline for submissions is March 18, and the final deadline is May 13.

This year’s symposium will take place on March 17 from 5-6:30 p.m. on Zoom. Students interested in attending virtually can click this link to register.

[email protected]