Campus News

Students revive STEM magazine

Isaac Rezey and Matthew Weinberg, president and vice president, respectively, of EMERGE, pictured together with a laptop computer in a classroom setting.

Isaac Rezey (seated) and Matthew Weinberg, president and vice president, respectively, of EMERGE, plan to publish a third issue of the magazine in May. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

By JORDON KRIVONOS

Published April 12, 2018

Every research-based university needs a student-run science-and-technology magazine dedicated to showing students real aspects of the scientific world.

Thanks to a group of dedicated students — including Isaac Rezey and Matthew Weinberg —UB’s STEM community now has one.

Rezey and Weinberg, president and vice president, respectively, of EMERGE, have been the guiding forces behind reviving, updating and improving the publication that offers articles on topics ranging from minorities in the STEM field to video game addiction revolving around the cellular app Pokémon GO.

“EMERGE is a science-orientated magazine, similar to Popular Science,” Rezey explains. “It’s there to make scientific discoveries and general STEM activities more accessible to the standard individual.”

EMERGE was founded in 2016 by engineering graduate student Joe DeGolia, who thought fellow students would appreciate a magazine devoted to STEM topics. But after publishing one issue about “human environmental impact,” EMERGE faced an uncertain future when its staff graduated without any clear successors.

Rezey, a chemical and biological engineering major, and Weinberg, a mathematical physics major, helped changed that. Both spent countless hours campaigning to continue publication of EMERGE. And their efforts have produced results. They say EMERGE has doubled its listserv subscribers, and they plan another issue — the magazine’s third, but the first since they took charge — in May.

Weinberg reached out to potential EMERGE readers through tabling — he set up a small station in the Student Union to distribute information to passersby, which he still does from time to time. And the process itself helped establish relationships that continue, he says.  

“EMERGE is a great opportunity to meet a bunch of really well-rounded and unique individuals,” he says. “It’s like a tight-knit family.”

Rezey and Weinberg say some of the most rewarding experiences of their college days have involved working on EMERGE. They’ve made friends through the magazine, and getting what Weinberg calls “passive feedback” — little ways people express their approval — has made his work worthwhile.  

“We’re actually growing,” Weinberg says of the magazine, “and we can see that daily.”

“Just seeing everything growing is very rewarding,” adds Rezey. But the real payoff will be when the first issue comes out. “That’s when it’s going feels the most satisfying. But as of right now, it’s a slew of small victories,” he says.

Weinberg has some recommendations for future readers.

“If you want to get something that’s representative of EMERGE’s potential, I like the Pokémon GO article,” he suggests. “It really stems with pop culture and grabs people immediately.”

He says this article is more relatable than a scientific paper. “This is a conveyer of anything vaguely STEM-related,” he say.

Rezey is more direct.  “Just dive into it,” he advises.

EMERGE is looking for staff members in a variety of positions — from writers to illustrators to photographers — to join its team. No prior magazine experience is required, and students from all majors can apply.

Those interested can contact Rezey and Weinberg at ubemerge@gmail.com

“We make it as a platform to learn and develop your skills,” Rezey says of the magazine, “and then be able to use those skills and apply them in a manner that lets you get your own work out there to show your own talent.”