Vikrant Thapa Gautam

Head Editor, Interdisciplinary Studies (Major)

“It takes a village . . .”

At the end of Merge’s first release party, there was talk of finding a new editor, and having just come from releasing another university magazine in which I was a co-editor, I was looking forward to trying my hand at Merge. In all the excitement of publishing another magazine, I imagined all the fun parts and forgot the difficulties that lay in the way. I was woefully unprepared for the hectic schedule of a final year and in the process almost gave up countless times. But thankfully, the community around me was incredibly supportive and they helped guide this lost editor.

There are countless people without whose help I could not have done it, but in the interest of keeping this brief, I would like to give special thanks to the following three people: 1) Dr. Kim Whitehead, Director of Honors, who takes on so many tasks and yet somehow manages to do all of them while at the same time guiding her students as well; 2) Rich Sobolewski, Web Communications Director @ the W, for being patient and understanding through all the deadlines; and 3) Bailee Morgan, for going above and beyond in her support and being relentless in her pursuit of completion. (Fun fact: Bailee found the cover art for this edition!)

I would also like to thank all the students who contributed their papers, the individual student editors who took responsibility for submissions, and the faculty reviewers who worked with the student editors. This publication is a collective effort from all of us. Merge has certainly grown after the first year, and it is my hope that it will continue to grow in future editions. The presence of a peer-reviewed journal opens up new avenues for W students and I’m certain they will take full advantage of this opportunity.

Bailee Morgan

Editor, English-Creative Writing (Major)

Lauren Harmon


Salin Shakya

Editor, English-Creative Writing (Major)

Salina Rai

Editor, Women’s Studies (Major)

Umisha K.C.

Editor, Communication (Major)


Faculty Reviewers

Dr. Lisa Bailey, Department of Baccalaureate Nursing

Dr. Nora Corrigan, Department of Languages, Literature, & Philosophy (English)

Mr. Michael Dodson, Department of Sciences & Mathematics (Biology)

Dr. Amber Handy, Department of History, Political Science, & Geography (History)

Dr. Chanley Rainey, Department of History, Political Science, & Geography (Political Science)

Dr. Barry Smith, Department of Communication

Dr. Ashley White, Department of Health & Kinesiology (Health Education)

Dr. Kim Whitehead, (Merge Advisor), Department of Languages, Literature, & Philosophy (English and Religious Studies), Director of Gordy Honors College