Winners of the 2022 Library Research Awards

Now in their sixteenth 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.

Library Research Awards are given to both undergraduate and graduate students, in both individual and group categories. Read more about this year’s winners below!

Undergraduate Library Research Awards

Grand Prize

For the 2022 Undergraduate Library Research award, a grand prize of $1,000 was awarded to Kaylee Tokumi for her project, “Tonbo: A Story About Obon Odori and Grief.” Tokumi is a senior double major in psychology and English, who produced this work for professor Aimee Ross-Kilroy’s ENGL 3346 “Children’s Literature” class. This beautifully illustrated children’s book, including back matter and glossary for readers, demonstrates Tokumi’s inventive, creative use of a variety of library resources, such as JSTOR, the Curriculum Materials Collection, interviews with librarians, archives and special collections, and the use of Calisphere for digitized historical photographs. Library programming also contributed to her evaluation of source material. At the library’s digital citizenship workshop, she learned to evaluate the quality and reliability of sources, and the “80 Years Later: Remembering the Japanese American Incarceration” event changed her viewpoint and shaped the final project. This project shows keen insight and sensitivity to historical and cultural perspectives, making original contribution to the field of children’s literature on death and grief as well as Japanese and Japanese-American culture.

Honorable Mentions

Victor Hernandez, a senior double major in philosophy and psychology, won honorable mention and was awarded $450 for his work which demonstrated original research through incorporating Frantz Fanon to Martin Heidegger’s concept of collective authenticity. In “Feasibility, Necessity, and Rebellion of Collective Authenticity as Understood Through Heidegger,” Hernandez impressed the committee by the specificity of the project and by his initiative in researching and expanding on an important topic in professor Ian Moore’s PHIL 4756 Heidegger class. Using both primary and secondary source material, this student showed intense engagement of the topic in a very well-written paper that contributes to scholarship in the field.

Kelly Jehle, a senior in health and human sciences, won honorable mention and was awarded $450 for her paper, “Can Green Tea Extract Promote Weight Loss?” This straight-forward, well-written scientific review paper included a strong bibliography using various sources to analyze benefits and detriments of green tea extract in a wellness regiment. The reflection essay outlines the methodology well, including using search terms to locate reliable resources and ensuring validity in sources. This paper was nominated by professor Hawley Almstedt, in her HHSC 430 course, “Advanced Nutrition.”

Nicole Keegan, a senior double major in history and communication studies, was awarded $450 and honorable mention for her paper, “Mending the Clay Pot: Katsi Cook’s use of Indigenous Midwifery as an Act of Sovereignty in the United States and Canada, 1970-2020.” This historiography contextualizes the biography of indigenous midwife and activist Katsi Cook within the late 20th century American Indian civil rights movement, with a focus on Cook’s activism for cultural and political sovereignty as well as environmental and reproductive justice. It was produced for HIST 5400 and nominated by professor Nicolas Rosenthal. Keegan’s reflective essay demonstrated her skillful way of broadening scope to find more sources and letting the research lead the project. In telling Cook’s story, Keegan showed creativity in finding and incorporating a variety of source materials, such as, the PubMed database, the American Indian Histories and Cultures database, a Native American newspaper, an oral history project, and statistical data.

Lauren Rechner, a senior art history major, was awarded honorable mention and awarded $450 for her paper entitled, “Redefining Naum Gabo: A Critical Consideration of Vasily Kandinsky’s Theories.” This paper included an impressive bibliography showing comprehensive use of library resources, such as museum catalogs, dissertations, Illiad, LINK+, LibGuides, and archives and special sollections touching on Russian art, German expressionism, and Bauhaus. Her reflective essay illustrated the multi-semester, well-researched project that reexamines Gabo’s sculptures through Kandinsky’s theoretical lens. The committee was impressed with the initiative of the student who contacted and engaged with an art historian, which is a hallmark of good researcher and bold for undergraduate-level research. This paper was nominated by professors Amanda Herring and Damon Willick for an ARHS 4800 seminar course.

Graduate Library Research Awards

Grand Prize

For the 2022 Graduate Library Research Award, a grand prize of $1,000 was awarded to Passion Lord for her paper, entitled “Peer Mentoring: Adapting Retention Practices to Support and Retain Black Students from High School to University.” She was nominated by Elizabeth Stoddard. Lord produced the work for EDLA 6995. The selection committee felt that this thoughtful project contributed significant research on understanding and implementing successful retention practices to support Black students’ post-secondary experience. Using search tools such as ERIC and PsychINFO, as well as consultations with a librarian, Lord’s reflective essay demonstrated skillful use of advanced search techniques. Additionally, the faculty letter of support said of Lord’s work that it “adds to the field’s understanding of beneficial support interventions for Black students, building a solid foundation for her intervention plan.”

Honorable Mention (Individual)

Katherine Howard won honorable mention and was awarded $450 for her paper, “Humor as non-Reactive: Analysis of Indigenous Myth and Louise Erdrich’s ‘Love Medicine,'” a well-written conference paper centering research on Indigenous-authored scholarship as an anti-colonial critical lens to discuss humor within Louise Erdrich’s novel, “Love Medicine.” Howard’s strong faculty letter of recommendation provided insightful contextualization of her research, noting that the critical methodology utilized “is necessary and reparative in nature.” The faculty letter lauds Howard’s decision to re-center analysis founded upon scholarship by “Indigenous critics […] who insist that we read Indigenous humor as potentially independent of a colonialist past. She understands the responsibility that non-native readers have to listen to Indigenous stories and calculate their meanings through an Indigenous-centric lens rather than a Euroamerican lens.” Howard was nominated by Robin Miskolcze and produced this work for ENGL 6600, “Critical Methodology.”

Best Group Project

Emily M. Bishop and Enrique Magdeleno won in the category of “Best Group Project” and were awarded $1,500 for their paper, “We’re Queer, but is our Safety Here? Examining the Conditions Necessary to Preserve the Safety of Queer Educators.” Produced for EDUR 5018, “Research in Urban Education,” and nominated by Joy Ee, this work was engaging and well-written, addressing a critical gap in scholarship to identify problems and propose solutions related to safety and empowerment for LGBTQ+ educators. The selection committee was especially impressed with Bishop and Magdeleno’s advanced execution of its project design with compelling and thoughtfully constructed interviews grounded in appropriate interdisciplinary theory. The faculty letter of support called it “remarkably comprehensive,” citing the topic as one of critical significance to the field. Their work “[contributes to] the emancipatory process to make marginalized educators’ voices heard and their presence visible.” Furthermore. “this research confronted [an] adverse school climate and opened a space where queer educators could share their voices and empower themselves through participation.”

Honorable Mention (Group)

Ariana Calderon, Kenny Kang, and Evan Vercellini won honorable mention and were awarded $1,200 for their group project, “When Should Schools Close? Questioning Criteria and Analyzing Stakeholder Perspectives.” This work was nominated by Maryann Krikorian and produced for EDUR 5020, “Research Project in Urban Education.” The selection committee found their work “amplifies stakeholder experiences via case studies alongside research on school administration decision-making in order to bridge scholarship gaps.” Their reflective essay demonstrated appropriate use of databases based on information need as well as expert quantitative and qualitative evaluation of sources. The faculty letter of support notes that “this research places a significant emphasis on acknowledging complex cultural and power relations, the researchers thought to collaborate with marginalized groups and communities, producing a more genuine context that can be used to work towards a more equitable reality.” The letter further states that the students demonstrated a “unique ability to acquire complex skills in a very short period of time.”

Apply for Next Year’s Awards

Congratulations to our 2022 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 2022 is eligible for the 2023 award. So mark your calendars for next year.