Students Win Winesett Awards for Library Research
Writing a paper proved to be a profitable endeavor for eight Radford University students honored Friday, April 27, as winners of the 2012 Winesett Awards for Library Research.
Funded by the Hazel Grove Winesett Endowment and administered by the Radford University Foundation, the annual contest recognizes the most creative and original library research by undergraduate students. This year's contest drew a record 58 entries.
"We're very excited that each and every year, we get more students to apply," said Candice Benjes-Small, chair of the Winesett Awards for Library Research Committee, at the awards ceremony in the McConnell Library.
The submitted papers covered a wide array of topics. "We're extremely impressed by the quality of our students' work," Benjes-Small said.
First-place awards of $750 in the upper division (juniors and seniors) went to:
- Carolyn Tucker for her Nursing 451 paper, "Protecting those who protect us: Taking steps to reduce sudden cardiac deaths among firefighters in the New River Valley." Her entry was sponsored by part-time Instructor Maggie Bassett.
- Kelsey Townsend for her Biology 232 paper, "Ribbon Seal," sponsored by Associate Professor Christine Small.
First-place awards of $750 in the lower division (freshmen and sophomores) went to:
- Katherine Okie for her History 295 paper, "The other Virginia story: The Upper Valley of Virginia, 1750-1780," sponsored by Associate Professor Kurt Gingrich.
- Wendy Burcham for her Core 201 paper, "Giving: A for-profit business strategy," sponsored by Instructor Erin Berman.
In addition, four finalists received awards of $100 each: Madalyn Dunn, Jessica Frazelle, Dylan McDaniel and Carrie St. Clair.
Provost Sam Minner, who spoke at the ceremony, asked the audience why they go to the library. The answers came back quickly: It is a place for learning, inspiration, research, books, studying, music and reflection, and it is a sanctuary.
Minner said a library is all of this and more. "What's a university? It's a library surrounded by other buildings," he said. "Libraries have been and continue to be places where people come together to search for truth, to reflect on important ideas and to examine their lives in connection with other human beings."
On a personal note, Minner said his grandparents first met at a library. "It seems fitting to me that libraries have been the context for so many love stories," he said.
The annual student research awards honor alumna Hazel Winesett '38, a lifelong educator from Pulaski. On her death in 2002, Winesett bequeathed the McConnell Library her extensive collection of books and letters, as well as an $820,000 gift now known as the Hazel Grove Winesett Endowment.
Steven Helm, dean of the library, said Winesett's gift is "the largest endowment the library has seen to date," supporting several ongoing events, programs and initiatives as well as upgrades to furnishings and equipment. "We are very, very grateful to Hazel Winesett and what she left for the library," he said.
Copies of the 2012 prize-winning papers will be permanently housed in the McConnell Library University Archives and can be accessed online.