home Events and Exhibits Congratulations to the 2022 Undergraduate Research Contest Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2022 Undergraduate Research Contest Award Winners

The University Libraries Undergraduate Research Contest seeks to recognize and reward outstanding research conducted by undergraduate students at the University of Missouri.

Kathryn Colvin

This year the winner of the first place prize of a $500 scholarship is Kathryn Colvin, a junior studying English. Her project, “Hamlet and His Solution: ‘How All Occasions’ as Objective Correlative on Page and Screen,” was written for Dr. Kerwin’s Renaissance and 17th Century Literature course. When Dr. Kerwin was notified about Kathryn winning first place they said, “This is great news, and thank you for letting me know! That Kathryn is a very strong student. Normally I wouldn’t be in favor of shipping Missouri money to California, but this is good.”

Zoe Korte

The second place winner and recipient of a $250 scholarship is Zoe Korte, a senior studying English. Her project, “Love Laws: Trauma and Transgression in Morrison and Roy,” was written for Dr. Okonkwo’s Major Authors: Toni Morrison After Jazz course. Dr. Okonkwo said, “What great news! I won’t say that I’m surprised. Zoe is an outstanding student. I’ll be bragging that I know her; that I had the good fortune of having her in my Morrison class. BIG congratulations, Zoe. Well done.”

Kathyn and Zoe’s paper’s will be archived in MOspace, MU’s digital repository. You can see their projects, as well as past winner’s projects, here.

Special thanks to the Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries for their support of this award.


Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is the Public Health and Community Engagement Librarian at the Health Sciences Library at the University of Missouri.

home Cycle of Success, Staff news Undergraduate Research Contest Winners Announced

Undergraduate Research Contest Winners Announced

Every year, undergraduates across all disciplines are encouraged to submit research projects to the University Libraries Undergraduate Research Contest. Their research projects can be traditional research papers, musical compositions, works of art, videos, web pages, or other creative works. The projects are judged by a cross-disciplinary panel of librarians who evaluate the sophistication of their research process and their use of University of Missouri Libraries resources.

One 1st prize $500 scholarship and one 2nd prize $250 scholarship are awarded to an individual or group project. Winners have their projects archived in MOspace, MU’s digital repository.

This year’s winners were recognized at the Friends of the Libraries council meeting on Saturday, April 6. Awards were presented by Rachel Brekhus, Humanities and Social Science Librarian.

1st Prize Winners: Ashley Anstaett, Phong H. Nguyen and Andrew J. Greenwald
Conceptual Design of Microfiber Removal Using Pressure-Swing Filtration

Their engineering paper is so much more than a design blueprint. It is a well-written and well-organized document that includes, not only the physical science involved with an invention, but also practical considerations of how the product could be maintained in real-world environments, how it could be marketed, and why it’s important to have products that remove microfibers from the environment, at the household level.

Their interdisciplinary group project required both library spaces and library resources. They described the Engineering Library’s collaborative space as “preferred” and “work-conducive,” and as providing software necessary for the conceptual design of the invention. The group also described their use of general and specialized online research tools. The process paper was more specific than most in describing how their keyword searching was done, and they identified the specialized e-journal database, Science Direct, which they used, not only for the review of literature, but also during the design process. Their process paper makes clear that in the world of product design, research is iterative and tightly connected with the creative process.

Vice Provost of University Libraries Ann Campion Riley (far left) and Humanities and Social Science Librarian Rachel Brekus (far right) present Ashley Anstaett (middle left) and Phong H. Nguyen (middle right) with their certificates. Brekhus is holding the certificate for Andrew J. Greenwald, who could not attend.

2nd Prize Winner: Erielle Jones
Fly Like an Eagle: The Success of STOP-ERA in the Missouri Senate 1977

In her paper, Jones did an excellent job of linking the rhetoric in Phyllis Schlafley’s Eagle Forum with the rhetoric used in the Missouri State Legislature to argue against passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), including associating passages of the ERA with affirmative action measures, unpopular among Missouri white conservatives.

The process paper detailed, not only Jones’s ultimate choice of primary historical sources, but also her independent exploration of other primary sources in pursuit of an earlier approach to the topic, which did not yield the hoped-for documentation. The paper showed the role of discipline, assistance from library and archives professionals, and serendipity in finding and selecting sources while maintaining focus on a well-defined research question. Sources examined included correspondence, leaflets, newsletters, invitations, and receipts from the personal archives of state representatives, state senate testimony, surveys, news sources, and court transcripts.

Her process showed a commitment to both the importance and the limitations of historical documentation, and understanding of the social and racial context of both the political-opinion media environment, and this media’s impact on the legislative process. Certainly, the practice in popular conservative media of linking proposed legislation not directly related to race, with narratives of governmental interference with default racial distributions of privilege, continues to be relevant today.

Vice Provost of University Libraries Ann Campion Riley (left) and Humanities and Social Science Librarian Rachel Brekhus (right) present Erielle Jones (middle) with her certificate
home Cycle of Success, Events and Exhibits Congratulations to the 2018 Undergraduate Research Project Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the 2018 Undergraduate Research Project Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 University Libraries Undergraduate Research Project Contest!

Beckie Jaeckels won first prize and a $500 scholarship for her paper “Written in Stone: A Critical Look at the Nation’s Dealings with Racial Discussion in 2017.” Her paper is structured around her work with Dr. Berkley Hudson as a Discovery Fellow. Dr. Berkley describes the paper as an exploration of “the twists and turns that have led to today’s debate about the role and the legitimacy of monuments dedicated to the Confederacy and its Lost Cause and those connections with enslavement and with contemporary racial strife and brutality.” Beckie cites a wide variety of 38 primary and secondary sources, from traditional print sources to tweets.

Beckie Jaeckels
Autumn McLain











Autumn McLain won second prize and a $250 scholarship for her research paper “Jonathan Swift, Misanthropy, and ‘The Voyage to The Land of The Houyhnhnms’.” Autumn began her research with primary documents, Swift’s correspondence around the time when he was drafting Gulliver’s Travels, before delving into secondary sources. Her course professor Dr. Stephen Karian says that this strategy “allowed her to foreground her own words and ideas and to prevent them from being subsumed by those of other scholars–something that many undergraduates struggle with when writing research papers.”

The winners’ papers are archived in MOspace, MU’s digital repository, and linked above.

Thanks to the Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries for sponsoring these awards.

home Cycle of Success Everything is a Learning Opportunity

Everything is a Learning Opportunity

For senior journalism student Victor Topouria, shying away from opportunities isn’t an option. When he saw the call for the University Libraries Undergraduate Research Contest, he immediately submitted his research for consideration. His instincts were correct because his paper, The fabric road to power: geography of the textiles trade along the new Silk Road and China’s path to geopolitical dominance through the textiles supply chain, won first place and a $500 scholarship.

His paper was originally written for Dr. Hobb’s geopolitics class, but it ended up more interdisciplinary than he anticipated. This interdisciplinary approach required Topouria to investigate multiple resources for his research; resources with which he was not at all familiar. ” The library is one of the most underappreciated places on campus. Sure, everyone loves it as a study space, but I think if all of us took advantage of its resources just once, we would find it difficult to be satisfied with Google.The librarians I met were perhaps the most helpful people I’ve worked with during my time at Mizzou. I could not have completed my research without them.”

Born in Columbia, Missouri, and spending most of his childhood in Tibilsi, Georgia, Topouria says his degree will give him the versatility to pursue different passions. He wants current and future Tigers to be open to different perspectives. “Be willing to have your mind changed. Mizzou is full of interesting humans with totally different perspectives and worldviews. If your ideas, opinions, and goals remain exactly the same as when you arrived, you’re doing college wrong. Everything is a learning opportunity, and Mizzou is a place that grants you the freedom to learn, in and out of the classroom. You just have to want it!”