2021 Library Research Award Winners

Now in their fifteenth year, the Library Research Awards recognize and reward Loyola Marymount University students whose research makes expert and creative use of the services, resources, and collections of the William H. Hannon Library to produce a scholarly or creative work. Each entry includes the research project or paper, an essay explaining how the student conducted their research and used library resources, a bibliography, and a letter of nomination from the faculty member who assigned the initial paper or project. The Library Research Awards are generously supported by Thomas Peter Campora, ’66.

Undergraduate Library Research Awards

For the 2021 Undergraduate Library Research Award, a grand prize of $1,000 was awarded to Julia Horton for her paper, entitled, “Investigating Language Variation and Change in Appalachian Dialects: The Case of the Perfective Done.” She was nominated by Anna Muraco. According to the selection committee, Horton demonstrated expert facility at navigating library resources– from interlibrary loan to Zotero– not only to research a specific dialectic feature, but to teach herself foundations of the discipline of linguistics. One member of the committee commented that Horton’s work is of “graduate level” quality. Horton is a senior Spanish major who produced this work as a thesis for HNRS 4100.

In the group award category, Tomasz (Tomi) Kufel, Federico Zampedri, Kara Reiss, Mason Friesch won for their work, entitled “Mars: A Second Home -Full Space Program Proposal & Mars Colonization Research Report,” which envisioned a comprehensive space program to establish settlement in Mars. The group produced the work in a spring 2020 First-Year Seminar course, and they were nominated by Claire Leon and Michael Noltemeyer. The group reflective essay eloquently illustrated their research journey as a team on an ambitious project. Their extensive bibliography draws together a wide range of research sources incorporating scientific studies, current space technologies, 3D rendering, and digital artwork. Kufel is a film & TV production major, Zampedri is a film & TV production major with a minor in business administration, Reiss is a studio arts major with a minor in art history, and Friesch is a biology major. It is particularly impressive that all the members were first-year students when they created the work.

Two honorable mentions were awarded to Nicole Keegan and Ray Shen.

Nicole Keegan, a junior history and communication studies major, was awarded $450 and honorable mention for her paper “Men and Matelotage: Sexuality and Same-Sex Relationships within Homosocial Structures in the Golden Age of Piracy, 1640-1720.” This paper was produced for HIST 4010 and nominated by Kevin McDonald. Keegan used a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, including a Ph.D. dissertation, in writing a detailed and interesting paper.

Fay Shen, a senior psychology major, won honorable mention and was awarded $450 for her work “Finding Psychology in Ballet: Anthony Tudor’s Not-So-Psychological Ballets.” She was nominated by Jill Nunes Jensen for her DANC 281 class. In her reflective essay, Shen detailed how she used interdisciplinary resources from a variety of sources when conducting her research to create a paper that approached dance criticism from a unique perspective. In her work, Shen set up a model of looking at ballet through the lens of psychology.

Graduate Library Research Awards

For the 2021 Graduate Library Research Award, a grand prize of $1,000 was awarded to Armando Carvalho for his paper, entitled “The Local-executive Governance Model in Catholic Parochial Elementary Schools: Understanding Pastors’ Perspectives.” He was nominated by Lauren Casella. Carvalho produced the work for EDLA 7953. The selection committee highlighted his in-depth synthesis and contribution to the field of Catholic education. Additionally, the faculty letter of support said of Carvalho’s work that it contains “rich data from multiple sources, and his analysis is significant, comprehensive, and exhibits mature and individual thinking.”

In the group award category, Mellisa Magdalena Alvarez and Sabrina Cordero won for their work, “Deconstructing the Narratives of Latina STEM Educators,” which was produced for EDUR 5020 and nominated by Maryann Krikorian. According to the selection committee, “their compelling research paper required deep exploration and analysis of Latinx narratives in STEM education.” Furthermore, the strong letter of recommendation from Krikorian highlighted the students’ use of platicas, as the published research is data-heavy and lacking elements of storytelling and narrative-building for Latina STEM educators. Krikorian states, “I was impressed with their knowledge, understanding the holes in the current theoretical and research base, grasp of methodical components, and unwavering dedication to social justice.”

Two honorable mentions were awarded to Theresia J. Portoghese (individual) and Brendan Henrique and Daisy Altamirano (group).

Theresia J. Portoghese won honorable mention for her paper, “An Eight-Week Yoga Program to Support Undergraduate Academic Aptitude,” an “engaging and well-informed research project” on yoga traditions that help lower undergraduate anxiety, depression, and stress. Portoghese’s well-written reflective essay demonstrated the use of interdisciplinary methods and contributions to the burgeoning yoga studies field. This paper was nominated by Lori Rubenstein Fazzio and produced for YGST 6060. (Note: This project has an embargo until April 2022 and, thus, is currently inaccessible as of the writing of this post. However, the reflective essay and abstract are available for others to read.)

Brendan Henrique and Daisy Altamirano also won honorable mention, in the group category, for their paper, entitled “The Effect of Labor Differences in Charter and Traditional Public Schools on Teacher Attitudes and Beliefs.” This practical and engaging research paper brings together various lenses (education, labor, economics, and human resources). Additionally, the reflective essay demonstrates an interdisciplinary approach and expert use of library resources. The strong letter of recommendation from Maryann Krikorian highlighted the students’ creative thought and intention: “they took the time to thoughtfully conceive a new and unique research project, engaging in discernment and research to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.” This work was produced for EDUR 5018.

Apply for Next Year’s Awards

Congratulations to our 2021 winners! The awards committees chose these entries because they demonstrated advanced information literacy practices, creative use of library collections and services, and clear evidence of significant learning. These works will be available in our Digital Commons. Remember, Lions: any work completed in Spring 2021 is eligible for the 2022 award. So mark your calendars for next year.