Lucerna Spotlight: Joseph Allen

Honors College junior, Joseph Allen, is the Editor-in-Chief of Lucerna, an undergraduate research journal published by the Honors College.  If you would like to get involved, contact Joseph at for more information.

  1. In your own words, how would you describe Lucerna as an organization, and what is its primary mission within the Honors College? 

“UMKC is home to hundreds of students who are doing research, getting involved, and making an impact on the world around them. Lucerna is UMKC’s only interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal. It gives students the incredible opportunity to have their research published, and to share the ideas and knowledge they’ve worked so hard to acquire. Our mission is to encourage and empower students as they advance in their educational and professional endeavors.”


  1. What is your role in Lucerna, and how long have you been a part of the organization? 

“I am the Editor-in-Chief, and I’ve been a part of Lucerna for two and a half years now. My main role is to edit and finalize the publication, help organize the symposium,  and train our staff members to review and edit submissions.”


  1. What is an exciting project that the organization currently has in place? 

“The Lucerna Symposium is our big annual event, and that’ll be on February 15. We are excited because everything is coming together well – so far, we have student speakers, lots of faculty attending, and most importantly food. It’s going to be a great event! All students are welcome and encouraged to come.”


  1. Why did you decide to be involved and run for leadership in this organization? What is advantageous about taking part in the group? 

“I really saw it as a great opportunity to not only see what students are researching across different fields, but to help those students out by encouraging them to have an undergraduate publication. It’s not as intangible or unreachable as a lot of people might imagine. I wanted to be more involved in the Honors College, and after I went to the first couple of meetings, I liked it. Long-story-short, here I am.”


  1. How does Lucerna contribute to your personal development and further your aspirations for the future?

“In the leadership sense, it’s a bit more focused with a more specific role of publishing the journal. Most, if not all, of the process was something I had never done before, so I’ve learned a lot. The other side of it is being able to look at some of these papers from a new standpoint. It’s helped me to understand and judge both the content and editing side. Being exposed to some of that helps you to look at papers in a different way, and it teaches you a lot. I suppose in a lot of ways everything can be a learning experience. So, why not make the most of it”


  1. Outside of Lucerna, what are some hobbies or activities you enjoy engaging in?

“I love reading, cooking, painting, music… and, I’ve kind of gotten into plants over the summer. Honestly, there’s not many things I don’t enjoy delving into.”