San Marcos,
12:57 PM

New Award Highlights Excellence in Library Research

By Whitney Frasier

The CSUSM University Library is central to working with students to help them become not only critical consumers of information but also creators of information. Now, a new award aims to highlight extraordinary research projects by undergraduate students.

The Library Award for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity will annually recognize students who demonstrate sophistication and originality in research projects and creative works, and reflection upon the research and creation process.

“It’s important to recognize student-scholars who demonstrate excellence not only in their research projects but also an in-depth critical reflection on their research process,” said Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Librarian Talitha Matlin.

Students may submit their research project along with an essay describing and reflecting upon their research process and use of resources. Up to six cash prizes are awarded in three categories: creative works, empirical research and interpretive analysis.

“In the essay we are looking for students to show that they thought critically about the kind of information they needed for their project, their strategies for finding and selecting that information, whether they recognized gaps and different perspectives in the current scholarly literature, and how they as a student-scholar can create new information,” said Matlin.

Eighteen projects were submitted for the inaugural 2016 awards. The winners are:

Wesley Howlett; Creative Works

“So Long: A Reflection on the Reality and Illusion of change”

Howlett’s poem So Long explores the altered relationship between man and nature and showcases the vulnerability of the natural world. The references to the nearby Santa Rosa Plateau and Cleveland National Forest, contrasted with the adjacent towns of Murrieta and Temecula, elicit the author’s personal understanding of the importance of nature in the raw.

Jake Thum; Empirical Research

“Greater enjoyment in two modes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) compared to continuous exercise training (CEX) in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI)”

Thum’s study examines the differences in enjoyment between High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Continuous Exercise (CE) in people with spinal cord injuries (SCI). His study aimed to fill a gap in the current research, which has focused so far on HIIT in able-bodied populations. The author found that persons with SCI can undertake HIIT, which can potentially be more enjoyable than CEX and can also help to improve the cardiorespiratory fitness and overall health status of participating individuals.

Petrona Gregorio-Pascual, Carlos Rosas, Alyssa Martinez, Stephanie Price, Redd Driver and Cristal Lopez; Empirical Research

”The effects of social norms and self-affirmation on changes in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption”

This group designed and executed an experiment to examine the relative and combined efficacy of a personalized normative feedback intervention and a self-affirmation manipulation for motivating decreases in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among young adults. Their novel study has the potential to make important scientific contributions to the health promotion literature.

For more information on the award, visit the library website.