2016 Undergraduate Thesis Award winner, finalists announced

May 09, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State University Libraries recently announced the results of the 2016 Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award. Top winner of the $1,250 award is Elyse Mark, a Schreyer Honors College Scholar and spring 2016 graduate with degrees in English and Asian studies, for her thesis “Framing a Crisis: Xinhua’s Portrayal of the 2009 Urumqi Riots to the International Community.”

Timothy J. Sullivan Jr., a Schreyer Scholar who graduated in fall 2015 with degrees in psychology and French and Francophone studies, was awarded $750 for his thesis “PTSD, Gender and IPV Perpetration: How (Not) Expressing Emotions Matters.” Katrina Eckel, a Schreyer Scholar majoring in history and English, was awarded $500 for her thesis “What the Other Didn’t See: An Intersectional Analysis of the Writings of Two Civilians in World War I German-Occupied Belgium.”

The annual competition, sponsored by the University Libraries in partnership with the Schreyer Honors College, includes a review of the submitted theses by a faculty jury and a public oral presentation by the students chosen as finalists. The event provides an opportunity to fully appreciate the academic quality of Penn State students and the depth of their undergraduate research.

“The University Libraries initiated this award as a way to emphasize the importance of utilizing quality research methods and employing a thorough understanding of the legal and ethical issues related to the use of information — both key components of academic excellence,” Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, said. “Through this award, the University Libraries with the Schreyer Honors College seek to encourage excellence in the research process of locating, evaluating and utilizing appropriate scholarly resources.”

This year’s panel of judges was composed of six Penn State faculty: Julian Avery, senior lecturer and research associate of wildlife ecology and conservation, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, College of Agricultural Sciences; Carter Hunt, assistant professor, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management, College of Health and Human Development; and from the University Libraries, Larry and Ellen Foster Communications Librarian Jeffrey A. Knapp; Eric N. and Bonnie S. Prystowsky Early Career Science Librarian Robert Olendorf, Instruction and Outreach Archivist Julie Porterfield and Louis and Virginia Benzak Business Librarian Diane Zabel, the panel’s chair.

For more about the award and last year’s winners, see http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/admin/thesisaward.html.

For more information about the award, contact Sandy Confer at slb3@psu.edu or 814-863-4723. 

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Last Updated May 31, 2016