Brandeis Library Awards Research Excellence Prize Winners for 2020

The Brandeis Library's Research Excellence Prize recognizes students who apply sophisticated information literacy skills to the selection, evaluation and synthesis of sources for a research project. In addition to highlighting exemplary student scholarship, the award serves to encourage students to engage with library resources and make use of library services.

This is the fourth year that the Library has awarded Research Excellence Prizes. Each winner received a $250 prize. Congratulations to this year's winners!

  • Rebekah F. KristalAward for research completed in a University Writing Seminar (UWS): Rebekah F. Kristal, The North End Italian: Practicing Cultural Traditions to Maintain Ethnic Identity
    • "Rebekah submitted excellent writing throughout the semester, the culmination of which was her research on the North End Italian Immigrants. Her sources were excellent, and she learned so much about this community and its identity that she covered in the paper." Marsha Nourse, University Writing Program
  • Lucia Pugh-SellersAward for a research paper or project completed by an undergraduate student outside of UWS: Lucia Pugh-Sellers, Seeing Humans, Making Commodities: Slave Ship Rebellions on Film
    • "Lucia's thesis is by far one of the best projects I have supervised during my 8 years at Brandeis. It is a model of interdisciplinary research and conceptual originality. Lucia connected multiple analytical threads, all grounded in rigorous primary and secondary source research. She is absolutely deserving of this prize." Chad Williams, Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Chair in History and the Chair of the African and African American Studies department
  • Alex LuuAward for a research paper or project completed by a graduate student: Alex Luu, Non-Topical Coherence in Social Talk: A Call for Dialogue Model Enrichment
    • Alex "integrated a related but under-appreciated field of Conversational Analysis into this paper on discourse and dialogue modelling." Sophia A. Malamud, Associate Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Computer Science
  • Award for research which makes use of materials in the Brandeis University Archives & Special Collections: Esther Bley, Calamity Jane: Ain’t No Buckin’ Around, the Woman Who Wore Buckskin. A Thesis on the Adaptations that Mythologized and Developed a Character’s Queerness 
    • "Esther Bley's thesis is an ambitious analysis of the 'Calamity Jane' archive, including biographical and publicity materials authored by or about the historical personage Martha Canary; her fictionalization in a series of 33 dime novels by Edward Wheeler (she also reviewed the plots of related dime novels by Wheeler in which Calamity Jane does not appear); 20th-century film adaptations, most notably the midcentury musical starring Doris Day; and recent adaptations (animated TV series and fan fiction)." Thomas A. King, Associate Professor of English
  • Claire OgdenAward for a digital research project: Claire Ogden, Funeral Care Work in Massachusetts: Community, Tension, and Change
    • "Claire has really outdone herself with both the digital work she did for this project and the written components. She independently sought out all her interview subjects and put her entire project together with very little external guidance. Hers was one of the most creative final projects I saw for my Death and Dying course." Anita Hannig, Associate Professor of Anthropology