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2012 Prize Winner

A paper written by Karen Timmerman, a senior in the department of International Relations, was selected for the 2012 Libraries Student Research Prize. The annual award, sponsored by Library and Technology Services and the Friends of the Libraries, recognizes excellence in undergraduate scholarship and the use of library and research resources. Karen will receive a $1,000 check and an award certificate at an upcoming teaching and learning symposium at Lehigh on April 5. The paper will become part of the Lehigh Libraries digital archive.

Karen's paper, The Strategic Picture of Oil and U.S. Energy Policy Recommendations for the Next Decade, was selected from more than forty-five papers submitted to the competition. The paper was part of a course requirement for IR 344, "The International Politics of Oil," taught by Dr. Henri Barkey. The papers were evaluated by a team of librarians and
four faculty reviewers from different disciplines across the university. As part of the selection process reviewers interviewed student finalists and their faculty references.

"In her interview, Karen told us her paper is the culmination of what she learned in this course," says Stacey Kimmel-Smith, a librarian and member of the reviewing committee. "She writes with clarity and authority that show her potential for future scholarship and research." Karen is from Brookfield, Connecticut, and while her immediate plans are to join the work force, she hopes to eventually return to school and study environmental law.

2011 Prize Winners

Virginia Nyikadzino (Class of 2011, Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Emily Rojer (Class of 2011, International Relations). On April 19, President Alice Gast presented Emily and Virginia with a certificate and $500 check at a luncheon that was part of the The Writing to Improve Learning at Lehigh (WILL) Colloquium, held at the University Center.

Virginia Nyikadzino image
Virginia Nyikadzino, Senior in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Virginia’s winning research paper, Electrically Stimulated Recovery of Oil from Clay Rich Formations, was completed for a course under Dr. Sibel Pamakcu in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her experiments measured the effectiveness of technologies that can clean up sites contaminated with oils or heavy metals, and her report provides an example of clear and concise technical writing combined with skilled integration of relevant library resources. In her interview, Virginia shared unique insights on the library research process. She described how the research process helped her to learn the language of the discipline and gain a better technical understanding of the underlying concepts of the research. In studying the literature, Virgina also gained an appreciation of the long-standing contributions that Dr. Pamakcu has made in this field.

Emily RojerEmily Rojer, Senior in International Relations

A Multi-faceted Approach to Eradicating Female Genital Mutilationwas completed for Quddus Snyder. Emily’s paper combined excellent writing and organization, an original and cogent argument, and strong library research to support her conclusions. Her library research spanned several disciplines and covered a broad range of materials from academic works to NGO resources. Emily's faculty reference described this paper as one of the best he has encountered, and he noted that in this paper Emily achieved a sophistication that is rarely seen in undergraduate work. Emily observed that her experience in Dr. Snyder's course has greatly strengthened her understanding of the research and writing process.

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