Guerrieri Academic Commons arial view from front entrance.

Library Prizes Awarded

Undergraduate Research Prizes

Noelle Rash (left) & Crystal Ogbuachi (right)Each spring, the SU Libraries sponsors a contest to award prizes for the best undergraduate research projects/papers using library resources for classes during the previous calendar year. There are two prizes, each $250: one for the best junior-senior project/paper and one for the best freshman-sophomore project/paper. Librarians serve as judges. In addition to submitting their projects or papers, students also have to submit a brief reflective essay articulating their research process and demonstrating their engagement with the SU Libraries resources (collections, services, staff) that supported and enhanced the process.

The winners of the 2023 prizes were:

Freshman-Sophomore: Noelle Rash for her paper, “Distance and An Idea of England: A Comparison of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Kazuo Ishiguro’s A Pale View of Hills,” ENGL 357, faculty: Stephanie Bernhard

Junior-Senior: Crystal Ogbuachi for her poster, “Breathe In, Breathe Out,” NURS 361, faculty: William Campbell, Anastacia Keenan, and Brooke Mills

Rash’s paper compares two very different novels that nonetheless share some characteristics, with both “using a frame narrative with the main characters. . . telling their stories using stand-ins” and both “stories are told from Great Britain.” Rash’s reflective essay drew praise from the judges, who noted that it “insightfully outlined the student’s library journey not only at Salisbury but compared it to their prior experience at a community college.” One judge observed: “The student found research that contradicted their original thesis, leading the student to change the trajectory of their topic. I LOVED THIS! This happens a lot when researching, and I am so happy to see the metacognition the student displays here.”

Ogbuachi, a nursing student, designed an asthma brochure for middle school students as part of her pediatric clinical rotation. The judges found the brochure “valuable and highly useful in a practical way,” with one commenting the style was “very applicable for the way this student will need to present research in the future to make it accessible to patients.”

Distance Library Essay Prizes

The Libraries inaugurated a new student prize this year for distance library students who submit essays on the topic, “How have SU Libraries’ services and/or resources helped you in your academic journey?” We awarded two prizes of $100 gift cards, one for an undergraduate and one for a graduate student. Janine Puma-Martinez won the undergraduate prize. A returning student, Puma-Martinez praised the library for helping her adapt “to the new learning environment, tools and platforms required to be successful,” serving “as a key source of support.” Faith Sears won the graduate prize. Struggling with a literature review, she reached out to her liaison librarian, who met with her individually. The librarian, commented Sears, “helped me problem-solve my dilemma, showing me how to maximize my use of Boolean terms and even helped expand the terms I was searching to generate better results! Further, she showed me a new database that I would not have initially considered. . . . She approached my topic with personal interest, making me feel a sense of community within the library.” Sears also credits the ease and access of searching databases and the speed with which the interlibrary loan department provides articles and books. The library, she concludes, “has become a beacon of support, a place I can ‘go to’ even from afar when I am struggling with my work.”