Winners honored at the 10th annual Library Research Prize reception

On Wednesday May 1st 2019, Sydney Williams and Elisabeth Muller were awarded the 2019 Library Research Prizes of $1,000 and were honored at a reception in the Library. The committee also presented two honorable mentions undergraduate students, Lauren Hart and Dominic Joseph Mazza. Plans are in the works to honor all Undergraduate and Graduate winners of the Library Research Prize, since 2009, on a plaque in the Library.

For more information about the Prize criteria visit

President Mark Nemec, Dominic Joseph Mazza, Elisabeth Muller, Sydney Williams, Lauren Hart, & Dean of Libraries, Dr. Brent Mai

Undergraduate Winner

Sydney Williams earned the undergraduate Library Research Prize for her research process for her International Studies Capstone paper entitled " The Second Wave of Neocolonialism: China's Growing Presence in the Sub-Saharan Africa." This paper was written for Dr. Terry-Ann Jone's course, IL 300 Capstone.

The judging committee was very impressed with the wide ranging sources, representing a variety of disciplinary perspectives. In addition to the well-researched theoretical foundation of the paper, drawing from World-Systems analysis and Dependency Theory, she presented an overview of African colonialism to make the case that contemporary foreign investment is reminiscent of colonialism.

Dr. Jones' support statement for Sydney's application stated that she "approached her research with an admirable level of enthusiasm. She was eager to learn more about the subject she was researching and although the minimum number of sources required for the International Studies Capstone is 30, she went well beyond that requirement, building a bibliography of more than double what was required. She not only developed research skills with the help of library tutorials, but also sought out additional guidance from reference librarians as she continued her project."

Sydney Williams is an International Studies and Politics double major with minors in Black Studies, Philosophy, and Peace & Justice Studies. She will be graduating this month.

Graduate Winner

Elisabeth Muller was awarded the Graduate Library Research Prize for her research process working on her rigorous Practicum for Literacy Teacher Consultants, taught by Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall. Her research study, "
Reflective Practice: Continued Improvement of Writing Instruction in the Social Studies Classroom to Promote Historical Understanding. "

Dr. Crandall spoke highly of Elisabeth's work: "Her study, action research at
its core, with a formative experiment design that allowed her to make changes as data was collected, has grown from an original curiosity for improving student writing in a history class to use of multimedia work to promote an empathetic understanding of history while writing. With implementation of a National Writing Project workshop approach, she promoted more reflective writing, research, and document analysis. Additionally, she experimented with historical fiction to complement the argumentative objectives she wanted to reach. As she analyzed student work that initiated the study, her study proactively created a plan to improve their compositional practices."

Elisabeth Muller is a graduate student in GSEAP's Teaching and Foundations, an advanced professional degree for experienced educational professionals and community educators who wish to deepen and expand their knowledge of teaching and learning in a socio-cultural context.

Honorable Mentions

The undergraduate category included a number of excellent submissions, therefore the committee decided to award two Honorable Mentions.

Lauren Hart, a senior Psychology major with minors in Educational Studies, Teacher Prep and Mathematics, won a $250 prize for her paper, "Attention in College Students." The Independent Research course was taught by Dr. Margaret McClure.

Dominic Joseph Mazza was also awarded $250 for his research process for "Corporations' Role in the Holocaust", a paper written for Dr. Gavriel Rosenfeld's course, HI 304: The Holocaust in History & Memory. Dominic is majoring in History with a Philosophy minor.

Thank you to the Library Research Prize sponsors: Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business, College of Arts & Sciences, Graduate School of Education & Allied Professions, Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies, and the School of Engineering for their financial support of the prizes, in addition to the Library's financial commitment.

Winners pictured with the LRP judges: Dr. Adam Rugg, Lisa Thornell, Dr. Piere Orelus, Barbara Ghilardi, Dr. Joan Weiss, Curtis Ferree, and Dr. Beth Boquet