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    Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize Winners

    From left: David Dzurec, Associate Professor of History; Brian Conniff, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Maura C. Burns, Research Prize Winner; Charles Kratz, Dean of the Library; and Donna Witek, Information Literacy Coordinator
    May 15, 2018

    Charles E. Kratz, dean of the library and information fluency at The University of Scranton, awarded the 2018 Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize in the Undergraduate Upper-level category to Maura C. Burns, a senior History major with minors in Biology and Biochemistry from Jessup, Pennsylvania; the 2018 Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize in the Undergraduate Foundational category to first-year Accounting major Nicole Cavanaugh from Dallas, Pennsylvania; and the 2018 Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize in the Graduate category to Occupational Therapy student Emily Dineen from Bethel, Connecticut. 

    The Weinberg Memorial Library at The University of Scranton inaugurated the prize in 2011 to recognize excellence in research projects that show evidence of significant knowledge of the methods of research and the information gathering process, and use of library resources, tools, and services. In 2017, the prize was named for Professor Emerita Bonnie W. Oldham, who founded the prize at the University in 2011.

     Burns, winner in the Undergraduate Upper-level category for the winning project completed in a 200- to 400-level course, submitted to the competition her paper “Medicine in the American Revolution,” completed in the course HIST 490: Senior Seminar on the American Revolution, taught by Dr. David Dzurec. Researching and writing on a topic that combined her love for medicine and her passion for history, Burns utilized many of the Library’s resources and services to complete the research for this project, including the databases, the Library catalog and print collection, the eBook collection, EBSCOhost’s digital archives, the online research guide for History, the Circulation Services desk, and the printing and scanning stations throughout the Library. Through the websites curated on the Library’s History research guide, she discovered digital archival resources relevant to her inquiry that are housed outside of the University; in her description of research she explains, “I learned that the University of Scranton website connects to a network of libraries and resources that helped me form the backbone of my paper.” Burns goes on to rightly note that “just like history, research is unpredictable,” and that “research is a learning experience in and of itself,” things she learned through conducting the research for this project.

    Honorable Mention awards in the Undergraduate Upper-level category were presented to Catherine McManus, a junior Biology major with a minor in Political Science from Brookfield, Connecticut, who submitted her paper “Exploring the Interaction of Climate Change and Rapid Evolution Through the Expansion of Invasive Weed Ranges,” completed in the course BIOL 375: Evolution; and to group partners Luis Melgar, a senior Exercise Science major with minors in Spanish and Theology from Simpson, Pennsylvania, and Julianne Burrill, a junior Exercise Science major from New City, New York, for their project “The Effects of Dynamic and Static Stretching on Acute Lower Extremity Flexibility,” completed in the course EXSC 448: Research Methods.

    Dineen, winner in the Graduate category, submitted to the competition her project “Historical Analysis,” completed in the course OT 501: Leadership in Occupational Therapy, taught by Dr. Marlene Joy Morgan. In this project students are asked to research a topic by reading the occupational therapy literature ranging back to 1917 when the field was founded. Dineen researched sensory integration intervention in pediatric occupational therapy, and of her research process for the project she said, “I was able to literally see the progression of the sensory integration approach and of the profession itself,” calling it a “historical immersive experience.” She accessed the occupational therapy literature through use of the Library’s resources including microfilm, indexes, databases, and print journals. Dineen shared in her description of research that her process included both “careful planning” to locate articles relevant to her topic as well as “serendipitous” discovery of articles that contributed to her understanding, and that she “learned not to be afraid to ask for help.”

    Cavanaugh, winner in the Undergraduate Foundational category for projects completed at the 100-level, submitted to the competition her paper “There’s No Gain in the Globalization Game,” completed in Prof. Dawn D’Aries Zera’s WRTG 107: Composition course. To complete her research, Cavanaugh took advantage of the Library’s Research Services, made available to students at the Research Services desk on the second floor of the Library. By visiting the Research Services desk and consulting with the faculty Librarian working there, she learned the vast amount of information available to students through the University’s Library resources. As Cavanaugh puts it in her description of research, “A few clicks from the university homepage and I was connected to thousands of media sources, books, magazines, articles, journals, and more.” She also describes as part of her research process the importance of organizing the information she found into the main points of her paper’s outline through the combined use of a research log, the citation generators in the Library’s databases, and folders on her computer, all of which she used to organize and cite the sources she found.

    Honorable Mention awards in the Undergraduate Foundational category were presented to group partners James P. McKane Jr., a History major from Archbald, Pennsylvania, and Alana Siock, a French major from Jefferson Township, Pennsylvania, for their HIST 190: Digital History project “The Jesuit Takeover of the University of Scranton”; and to Physiology major Sydney Vanvourellis from Hillsborough, New Jersey, for her informative essay “Is Stress just in your Head?” completed in her WRTG 107: Composition course.

    Prize winners were honored at a reception on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in the Heritage Room of the Weinberg Memorial Library.

    For more information about the Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize, contact Donna Witek, information literacy coordinator at The University of Scranton’s Weinberg Memorial Library, at 570-941-4000 or donna.witek@scranton.edu.

    Please consider giving to the Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize Endowment Fund, ensuring that the prize will be awarded in perpetuity. Make your gift directly to the fund here. 

    From left: Donna Witek, Information Literacy Coordinator; Brian Conniff, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Nicole Cavanaugh, Research Prize Winner; and Charles Kratz, Dean of the Library

    From Left: Donna Witek, Information Literacy Coordinator; Emily Dineen, Research Prize Winner; Charles Kratz, Dean of the Library; Marlene Joy Morgan, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy; and Victoria Castellanos, Associate Dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies

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