Bellarmine News

History Courses Breed Success in Undergraduate Library Research Award


By Nathaniel Salvini ’21

Beginning in 2007, Loyola Marymount University’s William H. Hannon Library has honored undergraduate research with the Undergraduate Library Research Award. During its decade in existence, eleven students have won for research conducted in history courses, more than double the number of awards in any other department. History’s award-winners include six first prizes (2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016) and five honorable mentions (2009, 2013, two in 2015, and 2016). There have only been three years, 2010, 2014, and 2017, when a research project for a history class has not won first prize or an honorable mention.

It’s not surprising that the History Department has had so many awardees, because history courses require extensive research in a wide variety of sources. The study of history requires students to find sources, to distinguish between primary and secondary sources, and to interpret and analyze those sources. History students then use those sources as evidence to support their own historical arguments. In the process of doing historical research, students are exposed to other points of view and learn about how people in different places, times, and social situations have made sense of their worlds.

The 2018 Undergraduate Library Research Award is just around the corner, with applications due on April 6, 2018. First prize comes with a $1,000 prize, with $450 for each of two honorable mentions. Good luck to those who decide to pursue the opportunity that the Undergraduate Library Research Award provides! And if you want to give yourself a good chance at success, study history!

List of History Winners:

2007 First Prize: Marc Rickenbach, “Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialism and Literature through World War II (Prof. John Grever)

2008 First Prize: Andrea Ryken, “Polio in Twentieth-Century: A ‘Children’s Disease’ in a Child-Centered Culture” (Prof. Carla Bittel)

2009 Honorable Mention: Casey Linsey, “Religion Becoming: Loyola University’s Sacred Heart Chapel and Mary’s Hour” (Prof. Nick Rosenthal)

2011 First Prize: Noelle Toland “Civil War Diary Keeping: Every Man Was His Own Historians” (Prof. Carla Bittel)

2012 First Prize: Steven Solari, “Owens Valley on Tap: Early L.A. and the Quest to Quench Her Thirst” (Profs. Nick Rosenthal and Cara Anzilotti)

2013 Honorable Mention: Matthew Robinson, “Divine, Scientific, and Phrenological: A Study of American Religion and Phrenology in the Nineteenth Century” (Prof. Carla Bittel)

2015 First Prize: Ian Miller, “Delivering Humanity from the Menace of War: Commemorating Weimar” (Prof. Elizabeth Drummond)

2015 Honorable Mention: Dean Messinger, “Nationalism and Nation-building in the Lutheran Reformation” (Prof. Andrew Devereux)

2015 Honorable Mention: Emmett Schlenz, “Diluted Adoration and Concentrated Vitriol: The Development of the Cult of Che” (Prof. Margarita Ochoa)

2016 First Prize: Dominic Budetti, “From Silver to Opium: A Study of the Evolution and Impact of the British-Chinese Trade System from 1780 to 1842” (Prof. Elizabeth Drummond)

2016 Honorable Mention: Mary Densmore, “Power and Gender: British Women’s Role in 19th Century Imperial India” (Prof. Amy Woodson-Boulton)