Research Practices Award 2015

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Meet Alexandra Himonas and Linnaea M. Arnett, winners of the Collins Memorial Library Research Practices Award! The award recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate exemplary skill and creativity in the application of library and information resources to original research and scholarship.


2015 Winners

Arts, Humanities, and Social SciencesAlexandra Himonas  [Form submission.AlexandraHimonas.pdf]
Project Title:
Mormon Feminism: Not an Oxymormon
Faculty Advisor:
 Greta Austin

According to the judges:
Alexandra’s summer research project, “Mormon Feminism: Not an Oxymormon,” paves new ground  in the study of agency in religious feminism by focusing on Mormon women who self-identify as feminists.  Alexandra conducted a thorough literature review, which included non-traditional sources like unpublished dissertations and LDS primary writings that she needed to request through interlibrary loan.  By doing so, Alexandra uncovered the gaps in scholarly study and was able to craft an interesting, original research question.  She carefully designed a survey, successfully sought IRB approval, and then masterfully handled the overwhelming responses (over a thousand!) that she received.  In short, Alexandra’s work demonstrates superior research skills in multiple disciplinary fields:  religious studies, gender studies, and sociology.  We congratulate Alexandra on her outstanding research!


Science: Linnaea M. Arnett  [Form submission.LinnaeaArnett.pdf]
Examining egg surface morphology and microbial content of Sceloporus virgatus eggshells
Faculty Advisor: 
Stacey Weiss

According to the judges:
Linnaea’s conducted research in ecology this summer, focusing on the microbial bacteria on the eggshells of a particular species of lizard. This research area is still very much under development, and Linnaea’s work is an important step toward deciphering the functions of potentially protective bacteria which exist on the surface of lizard eggs. In describing her research methodology, Linnaea demonstrated a keen understanding of the interconnected nature of scholarly publications, and an attention to detail that allowed her to overcome obstacles to her research project.  Linnaea described how she developed confidence in her research abilities as she learned new skills through library instruction sessions, such as utilizing the advanced search features of various databases. This confidence allowed her to be thorough in her investigation of the lizard species Sceloporus viragtus and the microorganisms on its eggshells. Linnaea noted that her research area was challenging due to the lack of existing literature on the microbiota found on lizard eggshells. She took advantage many resources Collins library has to offer, from our information literacy instruction and librarian research consultations to our Interlibrary Loan service and microfiche collection. Linnea’s perseverance in locating and utilizing relevant literature was critical to her successful project, as she collected data which supports the theory of a protective bacterial coating imparted to eggshells by female lizards as part of the normal egg laying process.