Library recognizes top undergraduate research papers

In a celebration of the research resources at Radford University and the knowledge they impart, McConnell Library on Friday, May 3, presented the 2013 Winesett Awards for Library Research.

Funded by the Hazel Grove Winesett Endowment and administered by the Radford University Foundation, the awards are made annually at the end of the spring semester to recognize the academic year’s most creative and original library research by undergraduate students.

"As we are every year, we were impressed by the quality of our students work," said Associate Professor Candice Benjes-Small, chair of the Winesett Awards for Library Research Committee, noting the wide range of research topics, including red-tailed squirrels, infantile pertussis and the propaganda techniques in George Orwell's classic work "1984."

2013 Winesett winners

Dean of the Library Steven Helm with Winesett winners Emily Redd (left), Caitlyn Parker, Debra Lustig and Lauren Young

The top prizes—four awards of $750 each—were granted to students whose papers or projects best illustrate the exemplary use of McConnell Library’s tools, resources and development of information-gathering tools.

Winners in the upper division (seniors and juniors) were:

  • Senior Caitlyn Parker for "Are You Behind the Wall of Silence? A Look at Student Protests on the Campus of Radford College, 1960-1972," sponsored by Professor Matthew Oyos.
  • Senior Emily Redd for "'Ulysses and the Law: The Effect of U.S. v. One Book Called 'Ulysses' on Obscenity and Censorship Law," sponsored by Associate Professor Renee Dickinson.

Winners in the lower division (freshmen and sophomores) were:

  • Sophomore Debra Lustig for "Death in Children's Literature: Vital to Development," sponsored by Instructor James Minick.
  • Freshman Lauren Young for "The Social Influence of the Jonestown Cult Massacre and Its Psychological Relevance to Infectious Conformity," sponsored by Professor Zachary Carroll.

In addition, five student finalists each received $100 awards:

  • Freshman Kevin Ivey.
  • Freshman Nicole Johnston.
  • Senior Cassidy Lawson.
  • Senior Anita Puerto.
  • Junior Cali Vasaturo.

This year, the library received more than 40 completed applications for the Winesett awards.

Keynote speaker for the ceremony was Associate Professor Erin Webster Garrett, who shared her love for library learning and invited the assembled students to join a thriving academic research community.

"As researchers and students, your journey has just begun," Webster Garrett said. "We are thrilled to welcome you to our ranks."

The annual library research contest was named in honor of 1938 alumna Hazel Winesett, a lifelong educator from Pulaski who was remembered as a woman with a warm and modest heart who loved to travel. On her death in 2002, Winesett left the McConnell Library an $820,000 endowment, the largest such gift that the library had received.

Her gift allowed the library to implement many projects, including the Winesett awards. In addition to the annual library research award contest, the Winesett endowment has been used to help fund numerous initiatives, such as expanding resources, upgrading furnishings and equipment, and establishing the McConnell Library Archives and Special Collections' annual Winesett Book Collecting Contest.

Copies of this year's prize-winning papers will be permanently housed in the McConnell Library University Archives and can be digitally accessed online from the Winesett Awards for Library Research Collection.

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May 6, 2013
Dan Waidelich
(540) 831-7749