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Library Research Awards 2012

AU Library is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 University Library Prizes for Outstanding Undergraduate and College Writing Research Papers and Projects. A $1000 prize was awarded in each of two categories: Best Undergraduate Research Paper or Project and Best College Writing Research Paper or Project. The purpose of the prizes are to recognize and award American University undergraduate students who make extensive use of the University Library’s collections and show evidence of critical analysis in their research skills, including locating, selecting, evaluating and synthesizing information.

This year’s winner of the University Library Prize for Best College Writing Research Paper or Project is Sarah Palazzolo who was recognized for her paper, “Girl Power: Searching for Female Identity in South African Popular Music.” Honorable Mention in this category went to Mana Aliabadi for her paper, “Consumption, Production, and Resistance: Power Dynamics and the Hunger Strike in the Modern Prison System.” Professor Lacey Wootton was the College Writing instructor who sponsored both papers.

The winner of the University Library Prize for Best Undergraduate Research Paper or Project was Miranda Schaeffer who wrote a paper, “Coman Todos Juntos: A School-based Nutrition Intervention for the Latino Community of Columbia Heights, DC” for Professor Maria DeJesus’s SIS 419 course titled Health Communication Across Borders, Immigrants, and Refugees. Honorable Mentions in this category went to Alyssa Callan for her research paper, “Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Feminism,” sponsored by Professor Marianne Noble in her Lit 315 course, Melville and Hawthorne, and to Jonelle Walker, whose paper, “As Flies to Wanton Boys: How Reading King Lear Helps Understand Pip in Moby Dick,” was researched for Professor Noble.

Nearly thirty students received recommendations from their faculty sponsors and submitted essays about their research process as well as their papers/projects. A team of librarians and faculty reviewed the papers, assessing them against the following criteria:

  • Substantial use of library resources and collections in any format, including but not limited to printed resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media;
  • Ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources and to use them in the creation of a project that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research in the future;
  • Evidence of significant personal learning and the development of a habit of research and inquiry that shows the likelihood of persisting in the future; and
  • Originality of thought, mastery of content appropriate to class level, clear writing and a high quality of presentation.

Reviewers agreed that the caliber of the papers was very high and the selection process was a challenging one. Winners were honored at an awards ceremony luncheon in the library on May 1.

Deadlines and other information about the 2012-2013 competition will be announced soon. Watch this space!