Congratulations to the 2016 Research Awards Winners!

First Place

first place winner Avenel Rolfsen
First Place: Avenel Rolfsen

Avenel Rolfsen, for her senior thesis, "People on the Periphery: The Situation of Jewish Women During World War II"

Faculty Advisor: Gary Marquardt

I built this paper off a number of published memoirs as well as primary sources and blips in larger books. I have applied themes from African history as well as Middle Eastern to inform my argument. Some African historians claim that during the colonial period women gained autonomy an idea I have applied to my research. Furthermore, I have looked at historical examples of prostitution in the Middle East to inform my understanding of prostitution in North Africa. I have used articles about women and French Colonial troops in West Africa to inform my understanding of the way women interacted with the military. If there is one things that I have learned from this research it is that the information you are looking for is often never where you think it will be, and that one most cast their net broadly to conduct truly effective research.

Avenel Rolfsen, Reflective Essay

"Most impressive in this paper is its analysis and original approach to an under-, and most likely un-researched, topic and region that had been lurking right beneath the historian’s nose. North Africa has taken a prominent place in WWII literature but its social elements are largely unexplored. Rolfson’s piece makes good use of the available literature on the Jewish labor camps in North Africa during WWII, occupied by Jewish males, and turns the coin to ask, what did Jewish women do during this period? The question is simple. To her surprise, Rolfson not only discovered that historians aren’t asking about women, but fail to acknowledge their activist approaches in mitigating their oppressive circumstances throughout this period."

Gary Marquardt, Faculty recommendation

Second Place

second place winner Emma DeLoughery
Second Place: Emma DeLoughery

Emma DeLoughery for her senior thesis project and paper "Simulating Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium and Change in Allele Frequency over time using Python"

Faculty Advisor: Brian Avery

Almost everything we do runs on computer code, yet finding scholarly sources that explicitly address and discuss the uses and capabilities of that code is a little more difficult. For my senior thesis project I built a simulation using the coding language Python to model population genetics according to the Hardy-Weinberg law. In writing my thesis paper based on the simulation, I wanted to find instances of other scientists who had used Python in their work. I used the GriffinSearch function available from the Giovale Library, as well as the PubMed database and Google Scholar to find resources…. I found myself crossing disciplines by finding sources not just in science but also in education, as I ultimately hope my simulation will be used in the classroom.

Emma DeLoughery, Reflective Essay

My initial expectations for this project were that if Emma wrote the code for the most basic population genetics equations and made them somewhat user friendly, that would be great . . . .Emma exceeded all of my expectations, turning this into both a research project for both of us, but also a potential teaching tool for me.

Brian Avery, Faculty recommendation

Emerging Researcher

emerging researcher award winner Amy Richards
Emerging Researcher: Amy Richards

Amy Richards, for her essay, "Societal Roles in the Development and Perpetuation of Eating Disorders"

Faculty Advisor: Matthew Heimburger

. . . sometimes I was unable to find the information no matter how many relatable keywords I tried or how wide the parameters. As a result I would return to a basic web browser such as Google or my library books to try to find other words I had yet to think of. Yet even then I often could not find what I wanted, so soon I began to realize that many of my initial assumptions and arguments might not have been correct or up-to-date. So sure enough in using keywords corresponding with the opposite of what I expected, I found information on each topic I desired to speak to. This was quite startling and eye-opening to me . . . .

Amy Richards, Reflective Essay

Amy’s work on eating disorders is an extraordinary piece of student research for a freshman to conceive and achieve. It is both sweeping in its scope and careful in its detail, and manages to bring new light and context to a topic many of us think we already understand.

Matthew Heimburger, Faculty recommendation