The Weinberg Memorial Library To Reward Student Scholars

By Phil Rauch | Editor in Chief

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library will be presenting awards to student scholars who submit research projects to their database.

The intention of the award is to highlight student scholarly excellence in research using the library in particular. The awards are formally called The Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize. Bonnie W. Oldham was a former employee of the University’s library.

The research prizes were awarded to students for the first time in 2011. Originally, the prize was only given to the undergraduate level research. However, throughout the following years of the awards, they’ve been expanded into three categories: undergraduate foundational level award (level 100 courses), the undergraduate upper level award (level 200-400 courses), and the graduate award.

The prize itself is a $500.00 VISA gift card to the winner of the prize at each level.

In order to be considered for an award, students must submit a formal application to the library staff, corresponding with their level of research, share their research project with the staff, and be judged by a panel of faculty members.

The award ceremony is always hosted on the Thursday of dead week. This year, the award ceremony will be held on Thurs. May. 12 in The Weinberg Memorial Library’s fifth floor Heritage Room at 2:30pm. The deadline for students to submit research projects completed in Intersession or Spring 2022 is Mon. May 2. at 4:00pm.

Due to the pandemic, this the first time the ceremony for these awards will be held in-person since the spring semester of 2019.

According to Donna Witek, the administrator of these awards and a librarian here at the University, there are on average about eight applications per research level for this year’s awards.

“Currently[as of early April], if I was going to give you an average, we have about eight per research category. We have seven in the graduate category, nine in the upper level undergraduate category, and nine in the undergraduate foundational category, which is a lot.”

Any major, school, or course that does research projects is eligible for the library prizes. We asked Donna Witek what majors and courses this year did the research projects primarily come from.

“That’s gonna always vary year to year. This year, and this is just a snapshot, at the graduate level a lot comes in from the Occupational Therapy program. In the upper level undergraduate, again, the Occupational Therapy majors have a few research intensive courses in their curriculum, but we also get from History. This year, we have a Psychology course and one from Counseling and Human Services. And, we have one from a Communications course, and this is the first year that’s happened so that’s very cool.”