Few universities have their own in-house publishing arm, and even fewer showcase student writing, research, and creative endeavors as a regular feature of the press’ production. But highlighting undergraduate student work is exactly what Mimbres Press of WNMU does through its journal, The Maverick.
The Maverick was first conceived as an online journal by now-editor-in-chief Yen Chu. Chu began her service to Mimbres Press in 2021 as a student member of the press’ advisory board. Nominated for the board seat by her English professor, Dr. Kate Oubre, and ultimately chosen for the position, Chu realized that the press offered an opportunity for greater student involvement. “After a lot of research and deliberation,” said Chu, “I decided the best course of action would be to start an annual journal of undergraduate student work: The Maverick.”
Since that time, Chu has worked with the journal’s faculty liaison, Professor of English Composition Heather Frankland, and with fellow students such as current editors Erin Campbell, Daniel Mahl and Anais Orantez to publish an inaugural issue, which was released online in May 2022. This first issue spanned a wide selection of student work, including academic essays, fine art, research reports and creative writing.
Chu hopes that the next issue, due to come out in late April, will be equally wide-ranging, representing anything that students feel proud of, whether produced for a class or as an extracurricular project.
“I want The Maverick to show the diversity and individuality of the community here, including the unique work that comes out of our programs here at WNMU,” said Chu. “Written work, photos of long-term projects, research papers and posters are all examples of things that I would be happy to receive and publish in The Maverick. Even if a work does not seem conducive to being published in print, I enjoy finding new and different ways to represent the student body and would like to see that work as well.”
With its most recent call for entries, the editors of The Maverick have opened submissions to undergraduates at any college or university in New Mexico to engage as many students as possible. By doing so, Chu said, the journal works toward its goal of being “an outlet for creativity and innovation for students statewide.”
When asked what makes her proudest about her time with The Maverick, Chu said, “In all honesty, I’m surprised and very happy just to have seen The Maverick grow as quickly as it has. I’ve received a lot of help from my editors and a lot of advice from my professors and could not have come this far without their help.” She said that a few months ago she learned from the Publishing Director of Mimbres Press, Marvel Harrison, that in addition to the online journal, The Maverick would be issued in print. Said Chu, “I actually just heard a couple of days ago that it is ready for distribution!”
Information about submitting a piece for consideration in the next issue of The Maverick can be found here. An online version of the journal’s first issue can be found at this address, and the print version can be ordered here.