Six years ago, the DiMenna-Nyselius Library began offering Research Prizes to showcase the work of undergraduates who use library resources and references creatively, taking advantage of the help of reference librarians, multiple technologies, interlibrary loans, and multiple source materials. Three years ago graduate students were invited to participate.
This year’s undergraduate winner: Elizabeth Holman’12 for her research essay on her paper Conceptions of Wendy: Barrie’s Depiction of the Adult Wendy-Lady and Hogan’s Portrayal of the Wendy-Child. Holman was a student in Dr. Robert Epstein’s Fairy Tales course.
GSEAP student Tara Shay’13 won the graduate prize for her research essay A Pilot Experimental Study Examining the Effect of Resiliency Training on Short-term Future Outlook in Urban Adolescents for Dr. Barbara Welles-Nystrom’s Educational Research course.
“One of the best aspects of this assignment was that it allowed me to use a variety of resources,” said Holman in her essay. “Not only was the film itself [P.J. Hogan's Peter Pan, 2001] one of my primary sources, but I was also able to utilize film reviews.” She reflected on the authority of film reviews, “I was not sure as to how to determine the authenticity of these reviews or whether or not certain ones would be appropriate. I then met with Reference Librarian Philip Bahr, and he helped me find and determine the relevancy of some reviews.” She noted that she also used a variety of sources, including articles from databases (LION and ProQuest), books, e-books, film reviews, and the film itself.
Shay got started in her research with the help of Curtis Ferree, reference and electronic resources librarian. “I began the research process by searching key words related to my topic, such as future outlook, views of the future, and optimism. Within the articles I found I was able to identify more key words, including possible selves, future orientation, and future time perspective, and use the reference list at the end of articles to find additional journal articles and authors,” Shay noted. “I kept a research journal as an organizational aid to keep track of interesting findings and key ideas from articles using the authors’ last name and the year of publication. This process made it easier to go back and cite properly when it was time to begin writing.”
Awards are not based on the paper itself, but on the author’s ability to locate, evaluate, and effectively integrate a multitude of resources creatively. “We have had winners from varying disciplines: nursing, English, biology, modern languages, and American Studies, to name a few,” said Jackie Kremer, senior reference librarian. “All share the common attribute of excellence in student research.” Each winner was awarded $250.
Drs.Yohuru Williams, Anna Lawrence, Ania Aksan, University Librarian Joan Overfield, and Senior Reference Librarian Jessica McCullough served on the review committee.
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