Hard work usually pays off. And for the four winners of the 2017 Bankier Library Research Awards, it has paid off big.
The students, each of whom entered this year’s contest by submitting research papers written for their English 122 courses, were presented with cash prizes totaling $600 and immortalized on permanent plaques in the library during an official awards ceremony on April 12.
Bradley John received $50 and honorable mention for his essay “Knowledge for a Healthier World”; John Patti earned $100 and third place honors for “Global Warming: A Global Warning”; second place and $150 went to Elysia Jankowski for her paper “Charter Schools: Playing Both Sides of the Educational Fence”; and second-year psychology major Christina Pitio took home first place and $300 for her essay “Lives of the Vikings.”
“It’s very surprising,” said Pitio, after receiving her prize in front of a crowd of friends, family, classmates and college officials in the library lounge. “When I heard I placed, I assumed I would be like third or something. I didn’t think I would be winning first prize, so I’m rather pleased. I just wanted to know more about vikings, to be honest.”
The awards, which have been presented annually at Brookdale since 2008, shine a spotlight on noteworthy research conducted by students for any class held during the previous calendar year. They also encourage students to hone valuable skills and make use of all available library resources in their pursuit of academic success, said associate library professor and contest director Amy Clark.
“It’s one of my favorite things to do here,” said Clark. “The most exciting outcome is that we get to celebrate our students at the end, but along the way the contest fosters collaboration between students, faculty and librarians. It also highlights the role of the those relationships, and the important of the academic library, in students’ achievement and success in college.
“We are so proud to be able to recognize these students,” added Clark, “who took time and really put in the effort to do careful, thoughtful, creative, library-based research.”
To enter the contest, students work with a faculty member to select and submit a qualifying research paper written for one of their courses. Entrants must also submit a “process paper” detailing their research methods and approach to the essay.
Submissions this year were evaluated by a selection committee featuring English faculty members Cameron Mount and Ashley Zampogna-Krug along with librarians Judith Ungar and Valerie Bonilla, and Amy Clark.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Brookdale president Dr. Maureen Murphy, vice president for learning Dr. Matthew Reed, vice president for student success Dr. David Stout, online learning and learning resources Dean William Burns, Teaching and Learning Center director Norah Kerr-McCurry, and English professors Brandon Gramer and Joseph King, who advised this year’s award-winning researchers.
The winning papers are now on display in the library lounge, and plaque bearing the names of all four winners will be hung permanently in the Bankier library. Winners also received a bound copy of this year’s winning essays, an official certificate of recognition, and a lasting sense of pride in their academic research skills.
“I feel more confident now, especially since in my psychology class we are doing research papers right now,” said Pitio. “It’s kind of a daunting task because we do have to read scholarly articles and high-level research papers… This tells me that my process is a good one, and that I should trust myself and have more confidence when I’m doing other research papers in the future. There are quick ways to research, and then there are good ways to do research. And I feel that I have found a good way for me to do that.”
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Check out more photos from the 10th annual Bankier Library Research Awards Ceremony here.