Winners of the 2024 Library Research Awards

Now in their eighteenth 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 professors Loretta and Richard Morris. Awards are given to 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 2024 Undergraduate Library Research award, a grand prize of $1,000 was awarded to Jocelyn Ann Thew for her project, “Speaking Into the Wind: The Impacts of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.” Thew is a senior psychology major who produced this work for a Ellen C. Barreto Fellowship for Health and Society under the direction of Amanda Apgar. The selection committee was deeply impressed by Thew’s balance between qualitative research, informational narrative, and personal insight in the context of an under-researched medical condition with devastating consequences. The strong recommendation letter from Apgar noted the project’s level of  excellence in an area with limited existing research, and in the important category of invisible disabilities. Thew was especially commended for the design of her survey instrument, which was pointedly created to provide accommodations based on the needs and challenges of the survey population.

Honorable Mentions

Mary O’Callaghan, a senior history major, won honorable mention and was awarded $450 for her work, “From Marginalization to National Sensation: The Phenomenon of Disability in Victorian Popular Culture.” It was produced for Elizabeth Drummond’s HIST 3210 “Other Europes” course. O’Callaghan’s  reflective essay impressed the selection committee with its clear differentiation between types of sources, the use of librarian assistance, the use of multiple primary source and secondary source databases, and development of appropriate search strategies. Moreover, it demonstrated growth in information literacy skills, good judgment, and problem solving as a library user. Drummond’s letter of recommendation made a special note of O’Callaghan’s ability to “situate the analysis of those primary sources in multiple historical literatures” and commended the sophistication of said analysis, finding it “very rare” in undergraduate work.

Andrea Marie Kawehi’lani Morland-Tellez, a senior psychology major, won honorable mention and was awarded $450 for her work, “The Traumatic Consequences in Native Hawaiians After Colonization.” Also nominated by Elizabeth Drummond, this work was produced for HNRS 5000 “Honors Thesis.” The selection committee noted how well Morland-Tellez’s reflective essay explained both the research process and her iterative use of special collections and secondary sources, including multiple visits to special collections and research consultations. Morland-Tellez also consulted psychological and medical library databases to seek out resources that provided an interdisciplinary context to her primary source materials.

Graduate Library Research Awards

Grand Prize

For the 2024 Graduate Library Research Award, a grand prize of $1,000 was awarded to Sheeba Jacob for her project, entitled “‘Middle Schoolers are Just This Special Kind of Human Being’: Middle School Teacher Perspectives on Creating Hope for their Students and Themselves.” She was nominated by Lauren Casella and produced the work–her dissertation– for EDLA 7952. The selection committee felt that her reflective essay demonstrated a comprehensive approach to gathering relevant literature, reflecting on the research process and acknowledging the support she sought from the library, mentors, and committee members, thus showcasing Jacob’s critical awareness of the resources and guidance necessary for completing a dissertation. The faculty letter of support acknowledged the potential impact of Jacob’s research on the field of education, noting its applicability to real educational settings and classrooms.

Honorable Mention

Juan Carlos Roxas won honorable mention and was awarded $450 for his project “Trends in Eliminating Biases in the Hiring Process within the U.S.” Roxas was nominated by Ingrid Greene and produced the work for MBAA 6010 “Managing People and Organizations.” The selection committee was impressed with this project’s presentation of background information, study methods, and solutions. Roxas’s work, which was intellectually sophisticated and examined research by experts, focused on addressing biases in the hiring process within the United States, particularly from the perspective of an international student from the Philippines who has experienced discrimination during job interviews. The faculty letter of supports acknowledged Roxas’s rigorous approach to research, ability to critically analyze complex information, meticulous attention to detail, and commitment to scholarly inquiry.

Group Grand Prize

Jahnessa Chanontree, Katie Musfelt, Miranda Myers, and Linnea Trujillo won the group award and were awarded $1500 (to be divided among them) for their project “Unmasking Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic – The Social Emotional Learning of Early Elementary Students.” Produced for EDUR 5018 “Research in Urban Education” and nominated by Maryann Krikorian, this work addressed atimely and relevant topic by investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social-emotional learning in early elementary classrooms. The group demonstrated effective use of library resources, including online databases such as ERIC, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar, as well as the consultation services offered by library staff. Additionally, they employed collaborative research strategies by dividing research topics among team members, which allowed for efficient literature review and data collection.

Apply for Next Year’s Awards

Congratulations to our 2024 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 2024 is eligible for the 2025 award. So mark your calendars for next year.