Library Research Prize Winners 2007

First Prize: Sarah Howe, Class of 2007
"Civil Defense and "Nuclear Mortality": The Fallout Shelter Debate During The Berlin Crisis of 1961"
History 356
Advisor: Dr. David McFadden, History Dept.

Here are some excerpts from Sarah Howe's essay about the role the Library played in her research:

Ms. Howe writes about her beginning research steps and then adds, "In spite of this progress, I still did not have an unique angle on bomb shelters in America. I had narrowed down my time period to the 1961 Crisis, but I did not know what else to say about the subject. In an act of desperation, I used the library website's MultiSearch feature to search across a range of databases at once. By typing in some word combinations I had not thought of before I found an article by Walter Karp in a 1980 issue of American Heritage entitled "When Bunkers in the Backyard Bloom'd." Besides being a Whitman fan, I was suddenly hopeful. I discovered that we still had this magazine in print in the magazine stacks, so I quickly located the journal and started reading. This is what I had been looking for."

She continues later, "My journey of research was surprising for a few reasons. For one thing, I was surprised at how much finesse and guesswork there was in finding these sources. It was more of an art than a science, with a bit of luck thrown in too. The information I needed was out there waiting, and I just needed the patience and determination to find it."

Note: Ms. Howe's bibliography was exemplary using primary sources from the time period including a White House Radio-television address from 1962, a transcript from the JFK Presidential Library & Museum website and outstanding scholarly journals and books.

Click here to see pictures of the award ceremony held on May 3, 2007 and to leave a message of congratulations for Sarah Howe

Honorable Mention: Jennifer Miller, Class of 2007
"Visual Rhetoric: Document Design and the Web"
Honor's Thesis, English (EPWR)
Advisor: Dr. David Sapp, English Dept.


Here are some excerpts from Jennifer Miller's essay about the role the Library played in her research:

"During fall 2006, I began my review of literature for the research project itself. I made several appointments with the librarians at the reference desk who were helpful in my search for peer-reviewed academic journals on this topic. One challenge I faced is the fact that the study of visual rhetoric is somewhat recent in its development because the Internet was not designed until 1973. However after several appointments with the librarians and several trips to the library, I was able to find a variety of useful sources and satisfy the demands of my research advisor." Note: Ms. Miller had 35 high quality sources in her Works Cited list.

"The most rewarding part of this research project was learning how to conduct research on defined topic. As a result, I am more comfortable with the research process and the various resources at the library, which will aid my chosen career and, eventually, my graduate studies."

Click here to see pictures of the award ceremony held on May 3, 2007 and to leave a message of congratulations for Jennifer Miller

The DiMenna-Nyselius Library Prize attracts the very best undergraduate research projects from courses taught in departments across the campus. It recognizes excellence in undergraduate research projects that show evidence of:


  • Extensive use of library services, resources and collections, and
  • Significant knowledge in the methods of research and the information-gathering process