Sponsored and staffed by the University Fellows Program at Samford University, the Samford Undergraduate Research Journal (SURJ) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal open to submissions from all Samford undergraduates. SURJ is looking for the best research in any discipline offered at Samford University.

Submission Guidelines

Authors must be currently enrolled Samford students or recently graduated Samford students. Recent graduates may submit research done at Samford no more than a year after graduation.

Submissions are now open for the fall. Please submit your paper to surj@samford.edu. Submissions must be research-based, between 3,000 and 10,000 words, and accompanied by a 150-200 word abstract. All submissions must use the documentation style appropriate to the author’s discipline. Submissions without appropriate documentation will be returned to the author.  

Creative work (poetry, fiction, drama, personal essays, etc.) will not be considered.


Dr. Bryan Johnson, Advisor

In addition to serving as director of University Fellows, Bryan Johnson is a professor of English at Samford University, where he has taught since 1995. While Johnson is a specialist in creative writing (poetry) and literary theory, he has also taught courses in 20th-century poetry, film, comparative literature and the philosophy and literature of science. Johnson is an active scholar-poet, and his work has appeared in the Paris Review, the Denver Quarterly, the Western Humanities Review, American Letters and Commentary, Free Verse, Thicket, and New American Writing. He was a semi-finalist for the Walt Whitman Award for his collection of poems entitled See, and in 2008 he was invited to attend the prestigious Sewanee Writers Conference. His scholarship on teaching creative writing was awarded the James Woodall Award for Pedagogical Scholarship from the Association of College Teachers of English in Alabama. Since collaborating with faculty at the University of Maastricht on a Problem-Based Learning Transatlantic Cooperation Grant, Johnson has lectured on the craft of teaching poetry in Denmark, at the National Endowment for the Humanities and throughout the U.S. He has served twice as professor-in-residence at Samford’s Daniel House in London, and he was a visiting professor at China’s Anhui Normal University. As one of Samford’s Latin American Studies Fellows, Johnson traveled to Ecuador to learn Spanish, and he has continued studying Spanish alongside students in Samford’s classrooms.

Julianne Jorgensen (English and Classics '20) General Editor

Julianne Jorgensen is studying English and Classics, and she has continued to pursue her love of literature and history by working on the Samford Undergraduate Research Journal. As a member of this team, Julianne acted as the Web Editor for the past two years and is now the General Editor. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, and she has completed both communications and research internships. In her junior year at Samford, Julianne serves as the student president for the Howard College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors, the General Editor of SURJ, and a tutor at Samford's CRC/Writing Center.

Leslie Golden (Economics and Finance '20) Business Editor

Leslie Golden is pursuing a double major in Economics and Finance with a concentration in data analytics and a minor in environmental studies. She plans to attend graduate school next year to study Business Analytics with hopes to work in sustainable development at a major utility company.  At Samford, Leslie is a member of the Women's Basketball team, a tutor at the Communication Resource Center, and is currently serving on the Brock School of Business Dean’s Student Advisory Council. She received the Southern Conference Commissioner's Academic Medal in spring of 2018 and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Gamma Theta Upsilon Geography Honor Society.

Ethan Byrd (Classics major '21) Humanities Editor

Ethan Byrd is a Junior University Fellow, a writing tutor in Samford's Communication Resource Center, and a pathologic language nerd.  Ethan has loved philology, philosophy, history, mythology, and music for as long as he can remember. He is an avid student of Latin, Greek, Spanish, and German, and upon graduation from Samford he intends to pursue an M.A. or P.H.D. in Classics. If all goes according to plan, he will someday wind up teaching languages and literature. Praestantia in omnia Christo, et soli Deo gloria. 

Lauren Laughlin (French and Classics ’22) Humanities Editor

Lauren Laughlin is studying both French and Classics, through which she hopes to pursue a career in language education or archaeology. At Samford, she currently serves on the University Fellows’ Hospitality Committee and Alpha Omicron Pi’s Encouragement Committee. Within her community, she spends much of her time volunteering at the Birmingham Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and Aaron’s Staff, a respite care program. Through her work on the Undergraduate Research Journal, she hopes to increase scholarship and awareness for the Humanities. 

Lauren Gattie (Biochemistry '21) Sciences Editor

Lauren Gattie is a junior Biochemistry major with a minor in Bioinformatics. While at Samford, Lauren has become a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Gamma Alpha Sigma Honor Society. In addition to being a University Fellow, she is also a Clark Scholar for Computational Biology and a Howard Scholar for the School of the Arts and Sciences. Lauren is also involved in Undergraduate research in Samford’s Chemistry Department. After graduation, she plans to continue her education by going to medical school or graduate school in order to pursue a career in a specialized field of biomedical science.

Hannah Thompson (Biology '21) Sciences Editor

While at Samford, Hannah Thompson is pursuing degrees in Biology and Mathematics. Although in her younger years, Hannah had plans of becoming a cranberry farmer (standing in a pool of cranberries simply looked like too much fun to pass up), she first entered college resolved to join the medical world as a therapist. Nevertheless, her curiosity for natural wonders, care for the land and the people who live on it, and keen fondness for all things plant-related, redirected her path towards the botanical field. Currently, Hannah studies plants as an intern for the Samford Conservatory, works as a writing tutor, and holds the office of VP of Finance for the Samford Crew team. She has interned with both the Cahaba River Society and Jones Valley Teaching Farm, pursing her love of plants by coordinating and assisting with tasks from streambank restoration to sweet pepper harvest. Hannah intends to cultivate both plants and community throughout her time at Samford University and beyond.

Mia Banuelos (Sociology '22) Social Sciences Editor

Mia Banuelos is a sophomore from Enterprise, AL. She is an English major who plans to study linguistics and literacy after college. Her passion lies in tutoring others and helping them feel confident about their writing. She is delighted to be able to serve on the SURJ team!

Shae Corey (History and Secondary Education '20) Social Sciences Editor

Shae Corey is in her final year at Samford studying History and Secondary Education. As a researcher, she is interested primarily in community history, national collective memory and the effects of segregation on American neighborhoods. She plans on pursuing a career in public history that focuses on museum's educational programming and community outreach events. At Samford, Shae serves as a Jefferson County Memorial Project Fellow, a Howard Scholar Peer Mentor and Vice President of the Phi Alpha Theta Historical Honors Society.

Payton Rackley (Psychology '22) Social Sciences Editor

Payton Rackley is a native Texan studying Psychology and Spanish in pursuit of a master's degree in Clinical Counseling. She is also a children's ministry intern with Dawson Memorial Baptist Church and a proud member of both Phi Mu and the Writer's League of Texas. Payton hopes to someday change the world with words as a bilingual counselor and a best-selling author.