University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library Announces Research Prize Winners

Charles E. Kratz, dean of the library and information fluency awarded the 2017 Library Research Prize for undergraduate students to two students
University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library Announces Research Prize Winners

Charles E. Kratz, dean of the library and information fluency at The University of Scranton, awarded the 2017 Library Research Prize for undergraduate students to Kathleen Reilly, Wayne, a history and philosophy double major with a women’s studies concentration, and the 2017 Library Research Prize for graduate students to Christina Gavalas, Franklin Square, New York, and Marjorie Toron, Marlboro, New Jersey, who are pursing master’s degrees in occupational therapy.

The University’s Weinberg Memorial Library inaugurated the research prizes 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.

Reilly, a member of the Honors Program and the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, submitted her honors thesis, “Girls at the ‘U’: A History of Coeducation at The University of Scranton.” The idea for this project came from her duties as a work study student in the Library’s Digital Services Department, where she spent time scanning old newspaper clippings about the University. To complete her thesis, she spent “countless hours” researching primary documents in the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections and University Archives, as well as on the computer gathering information from publications available via the Library’s Digital Collections website. In her application essay, she stated, “Because of the abundance of resources offered by the Weinberg Memorial Library and the support of the librarians, I was able to turn my idea sophomore year into a detailed, comprehensive history of an important part of the University’s past.”

Honorable Mention awards in the undergraduate category were presented to nursing major Mariah Ruther, Tinton Falls, New Jersey, who submitted her nursing honors thesis, “Metabolic Syndrome in Women Who Take Second-Generation Antipsychotic Medications;” occupational therapy major Kerry Ann Randall, Unionville, Connecticut, who submitted a literature review on “Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy;” and exercise science major Michael Ramsthaler, Florham Park, New Jersey, who submitted an informative essay titled, “Hazing: Breaking Laws and Breaking Teams.”

Gavalas and Toron submitted an “Historical Analysis of Low Vision in Occupational Therapy,” which they completed for the Leadership in Occupational Therapy course (OT 501). The assignment required them to find primary sources beginning with the founding of their profession in 1917. Their research gathering included locating items on microfilm and on databases far removed from occupational therapy. In their application essay, they said, “We can truly attest to the ‘golden gem’ of a library that we have access to, both on campus and online.” Coincidentally, the two also won the Library Research Prize in the undergraduate category last year. Gavalas serves as the graduate assistant for the University’s Leahy Community Health and Family Center. Toron, serves as the head resident assistant for the sophomore and junior region at the University.

An Honorable Mention in the graduate category was given to Katelyn Moyer, Allentown, Daniel Dolphin, Scranton, Robert Roncek, Barnsville, and Steven Roughton, Blandon, who are graduate students in the University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Their submission was a systematic review on “The Effect of Depression on Functional Mobility in Older Adults Following Hip Fracture Surgery,” which they presented as a poster at the Combined Sections Meeting for the American Physical Therapy Association in San Antonio, Texas in February.

For more information about the Library Research Prize, contact Bonnie Oldham, information literacy coordinator at The University of Scranton’s Weinberg Memorial Library, at 570-941-4000 or

From left: Brian Conniff, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Kathleen Reilly, recipient of the 2017 Library Research Prize in the undergraduate student category; and Susan Poulson, Ph.D., professor of history

From left: Carol Coté, Ph.D., associate professor of occupational therapy; recipients of the 2017 Library Research Prize in the graduate student category Marjorie Toron and Christina Gavalas; and Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies.

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