The Journal of Student Leadership: A Publication that puts Theory into Practice

Reading Time: 2 minutes

For many universities around the world, scholarly journals act as a testament of academic prowess and success. UVU is home to a dozen student-run scholarly and creative publications that cover a wide array of topics such as: astronomy, philosophy, constitutional studies and creative writing.

Some of these journals are almost decades old and others are still in their infancy. Founded in 2016, one of UVU’s rising publications is The Journal of Student Leadership (referred to from hereon as the JSL), a journal that’s gained a lot of recent attention because of its unique approach to scholarly publication.

The JSL’s website describes the publication as follows: “…a double-blind, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, academic journal that addresses ideas, theories, and issues of leadership. The journal’s two purposes are 1) to contribute to the scholarship and discussion on leadership and 2) to providean engaging outlet for research, writing, editing, and publishing.”

When asked to explain what sets the JSL apart from other scholarly publications, Dr. Ben Johnson, a professor in the Department of Student Leadership and Success Studies and the JSL’s faculty chair stated, “We’re a hybrid journal and we use a bifurcated approach. We’re a student journal but we’re also a faculty level journal; we blend it all into one.”

Dr. Johnson continued by explaining that this hybrid model enables UVU students to read faculty perspectives and also gives working professionals around the world a glimpse of the great work that UVU students are writing.

Both Dr. Johnson and JSL editor-in-chief, Makk Bernardo, specifically addressed the possible misconception that thejournal is intended specifically for students in formal leadership positions. “Self leadership, personal leadership is just as important. You don’t need to have a formal leadership position to be a leader,”Johnson stated.

Bernardo expounded on this idea by mentioning that the JSL staff is made up of 25 students from a variety of academic backgrounds. Last year’s editor-in-chief was an aviation major while Bernardo is in the school of health.

Leadership is a topic that transcends specific field ofstudy; it is a life skill that can be incorporated into any occupation or area of expertise. Previous issues of the JSL have addressed topics such as, leadership in prison, the ethics leadership and lying, and introvert versus extrovert leadership qualities.

Dr. Johnson expressed that journal is not only intended to discuss leadership theory, but the actual act of curating, editing and publishing an academic journal is a task that puts leadership
skills into practice. As the JSL staff creates a new issue of the publication every semester, they are becoming better leaders in the process.

“I just think it’s such a great opportunity,”stated Bernardo, “I’ve already learned so much from the journal and I wish the student body would seek out this greatopportunity to have their work published, or join the staff.”

“Having a published article can help [students] with applying to graduate programs,”Dr. Johnson expressed, “you can put it on your CV; it’s a way to demonstrate to working professionals thatyour work is appreciated by others.”

The JSL is currently accepting submissions of leadership related essays, art pieces and poems until Dec. 14 for the spring 2019 issue. Students, community members, faculty and professionals alike are invited to submit their work for the publication. Details regarding the submission process and applications to join the JSL staff can be found on their website at (

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.