News | October 04, 2016

Student Success

Journal by and for students

Twice-yearly Aquila provides forum for young researchers

Many universities publish research journals, but few are devoted solely to student work and fewer still are produced by students.

Aquila – Latin for eagle – is the FGCU student-run journal and, says adviser Peter Reuter, assistant professor of rehabilitation science, “we are the only Florida state university to have a student research journal to be published in print and online.”

The spring edition contains papers on topics such as “Dropping Acid: Global Warming’s Equally Evil Twin, Ocean Acidification in Estero Bay;” “Biases trump evidence in beliefs about animal welfare;” and “Assassins do not wear battle bikinis: The case against gender inequality and female specific hypersexualization in video games.”

One goal is to show high-achieving students that they can do challenging work here.

“We want them to see they have can do research and get published, that they have the chance to go to medical school from here,” says Reuter.

There’s an editorial board – made up of half faculty and half students – who provide peer review of papers submitted for publication, and a team that edits and designs the publication.

Not only does the journal benefit those whose papers are published, Reuter says, “There are students who want to be editors and here they learn it from scratch. If they do it for three years and have it on their C.V.s (resumes), it’s great for them. We are creating opportunities.”

He says that the entries are growing as more people learn of the journal and it’s becoming more competitive.

Initial funding came from support by deans from all five colleges but the journal is now looking to outside sources to help with continuing printing costs as well as funds for research and travel funds so that students can present their work at conferences around the country. They also hope to find someone to sponsor awards on Research Day, which is held each April.

The journal isn’t selling ads but has pledged to highlight firms that support them in upcoming issues.

View it online at