Undergraduate Research Awards Announced

April 9, 2014

The undergraduate library research awards were developed to recognize the part of the research process that includes such efforts as seeking primary sources from the State Historical Society or conducting a comprehensive review of secondary literature to inform a research project; something that we often refer to as “library research.”

The Undergraduate Research Awards selection committee selected two students to receive awards this year. The recipients are Natanya Russek for her research on inflammatory cell infiltration following a stroke and Brittany Cobb for her research on the 1914 meeting of the Society of American Indians that took place at UW-Madison.

Natanya Russek worked with faculty mentor Dr. Matthew Jensen, Associate Professor of Neurology in the School of Medicine and Public Health, on a project entitled, “Histological Quantification of Inflammatory Cell Infiltration after Focal Cerebral Infraction: A Systematic Review.” Natanya used several library databases to find studies relevant to her research and developed criteria for inclusion in the review. She then worked with Dr. Jensen to identify the most important methods to highlight for their review. Once her final draft was completed, she submitted the paper to the International Journal of Neuroscience and the final submission was accepted for publication in August of 2013. Dr. Jensen wrote this about Natanya’s research: “Natanya demonstrated her creativity by iteratively crafting a tailored literature search strategy with guidance from research librarians, and she organized and presented her data and conclusions in a clear, informative, and nuanced manner.”

Brittany Cobb received the Research in Progress for her work with faculty mentor Dr. Larry Nesper of the Anthropology Department for her research on the 1914 meeting of the Society of American Indians that took place at UW-Madison. Brittany worked with librarians in the State Historical Society to comb through historic newspapers, ancestry databases, and probate records in order to write biographies about some of the people that attended the meeting. Dr. Nesper wrote that Brittany’s “research skills are growing more acute and her intuitions about the lives of Indian people at the turn of the century more developed.”

Campus librarians on the award committee used the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Information Literacy Standards as the main criteria for assessing the applications for the awards. Now in its seventh year, the Undergraduate Research Awards have become an integral part of and will continue to be offered in conjunction with the Undergraduate Symposium. Kelli Hughes, of College Library, led the review committee, which included: Janice Rice from College Library, Lia Vellardita from Ebling Library, Jessica Newman and Lisa Wettleson from Steenbock Library, and Troy Reeves from the University Archives.

Natanya Russek & Brittany Cobb
Brittany Cobb, 2014 Undergraduate Research-in-Progress Award Recipient
Christopher Olsen, Interim Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
Kelli Hughes, College Library, presenting awards
Natanya Russek with her award-winning poster