Charles E. Kratz, dean of the library and information fluency at The University of Scranton, awarded the 2018 Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize in the Undergraduate Upper-level category to Maura C. Burns, a senior History major with minors in Biology and Biochemistry from Jessup, Pennsylvania.
The Weinberg Memorial Library at The University of Scranton inaugurated the prize in 2011 to recognize excellence in research projects that show evidence of significant knowledge of the methods of research and the information gathering process, and use of library resources, tools, and services. In 2017, the prize was named for Professor Emerita Bonnie W. Oldham, who founded the prize at the University in 2011.
Burns, winner in the Undergraduate Upper-level category for the winning project completed in a 200- to 400-level course, submitted to the competition her paper “Medicine in the American Revolution,” completed in the course HIST 490: Senior Seminar on the American Revolution, taught by Dr. David Dzurec. Researching and writing on a topic that combined her love for medicine and her passion for history, Burns utilized many of the Library’s resources and services to complete the research for this project, including the databases, the Library catalog and print collection, the eBook collection, EBSCOhost’s digital archives, the online research guide for History, the Circulation Services desk, and the printing and scanning stations throughout the Library. Through the websites curated on the Library’s History research guide, she discovered digital archival resources relevant to her inquiry that are housed outside of the University; in her description of research she explains, “I learned that the University of Scranton website connects to a network of libraries and resources that helped me form the backbone of my paper.” Burns goes on to rightly note that “just like history, research is unpredictable,” and that “research is a learning experience in and of itself,” things she learned through conducting the research for this project.
Maura will be starting dental school this fall.