Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize

The Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize is designed to attract outstanding research projects from courses taught in departments across The University of Scranton campus. It recognizes excellence in research projects that show evidence of significant knowledge in the methods of research and the information gathering process, and use of library resources, tools, and services.

  • Eligible Studentsplus or minus

    Any University of Scranton student(s) at any class level in any discipline who has completed a research project in any format for a credit course at The University of Scranton during the Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Intersession 2020, or Spring 2020 semester is eligible. 

    Three prizes will be awarded to an individual student or group of students in the following categories: Undergraduate Foundational (100-level courses), Undergraduate Upper-level (200- to 400-level courses), and Graduate.

  • Application Procedureplus or minus

    Application must include the following:

    1. Completed application. (Online form for individual or group applicants.)
    2. Description of research: A 500-700 word description of the research methods and information gathering process used. Include also how you used library resources, tools and services to complete the research project. (Tips to help you describe the research project.) (Upload along with your application.)
    3. A final version (or almost complete draft if necessary) of the research project. (Upload along with your application.)
      • Written projects: Submit your document.
      • Media projects: Submit the research project in its media format (e.g. the PPT slide of your poster or slide deck), or the URL if a Web project.
    4. A statement of faculty support from the instructor who assigned the research project. (Online form for faculty.)
    5. A bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted. (Upload with your application.) When preparing your bibliography, keep in mind the following:

    Completed application packages must be submitted by 4:00 pm on Monday, December 9, 2019 for projects completed in courses during Summer or Fall 2019 OR by 4:00 pm on Monday, May 4, 2020 for courses completed during Intersession or Spring 2020. (NOTE: Although there are two different dates to submit an application, only one judging will take place.)

  • Selection Criteria and Judgingplus or minus

    A judging panel composed of University of Scranton faculty and staff will judge entries on the evidence of the applicant's research strategy and personal learning as summarized in the description of the research project. Expectations for achievement will be commensurate with the applicant's class year and the requirements of the discipline. Judges will be invited from the faculty in each of the University's three colleges, the Library faculty, the Library Advisory Committee, and the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE).

    Submissions will be evaluated based on how well they demonstrate the following:

    • Sophistication, originality and/or unusual depth or breadth in the use of library collections, including, but not limited to print or electronic resources, databases, primary resources, and media materials.
    • Exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and effectively use library resources in the creation of a project (in any format) that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research in the future.
    • Evidence of significant personal learning in the methods of research and the information gathering process, and the development of a habit of research and inquiry that shows a likelihood of persisting in the future.

    In the event the selection committee determines that none of the applications submitted for the research prize is meritorious, then no prize will be awarded.

  • Deadlines for Submissionsplus or minus

    Submission Deadlines:
    • Monday, December 9, 2019 at 4:00 pm for projects completed in courses during Summer or Fall 2019
    • Monday, May 4, 2020 at 4:00 pm for projects completed in courses during Intersession or Spring 2020

    NOTE: When submitting an application for a multi-semester research project, please use the submission deadline for the date that the project is “due.” Although there are two different dates to submit an application, only one judging will take place.

    Other Dates to Remember:
    • Winner Notification: Monday, May 11, 2020
    • Reception and Award Ceremony: Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 2:30 pm in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room
  • Awardplus or minus

    Three prizes of $500.00 each will be awarded to the winning individual student or group of students in the following categories: Undergraduate Foundational (100-level courses), Undergraduate Upper-level (200- to 400-level courses), and Graduate. If won by a group, then the award will be split equally among the group members.

    Winning projects and essays will be publicly displayed in the Weinberg Memorial Library and preserved in the Library’s Digital Collections, with access open to the public.

    Photographs of winning students and their faculty mentors will be taken at the award reception and published in Library promotional materials.

  • Previous Prize Winnersplus or minus

  • About Bonnieplus or minus

    Professor Emerita Bonnie Oldham came to the University in 2004 as one of the evening reference librarians in the position of Coordinator of Distance Learning Services and transitioned to a daytime schedule in 2009 when she became Information Literacy Coordinator. In that capacity, her main responsibility was to oversee the Information Literacy Program in support of the learning needs of students as well as the teaching and research needs of faculty and staff. Bonnie was instrumental in the creation of the Library Research Prize, established in 2011. This prize recognizes excellence in research projects that show evidence of significant knowledge in the methods of research and the information gathering process, and use of library resources, tools, and services. The award was named in honor of Bonnie at her retirement in May 2017. Upon her untimely death in September 2017, Bonnie established an endowment fund for the research prize so that it will exist in perpetuity. Bonnie earned an A.B. in History from Chestnut Hill College, an M.L.S. from Kutztown University, and an M.S. in Organizational Management from Misericordia University.
  • Acknowledgmentplus or minus

    The Weinberg Memorial Library thanks the DiMenna-Nyselius Library at Fairfield University for their guidance in the initial development of our Library Research Prize for undergraduate students.
  • Questions?plus or minus

    Contact Donna Witek, Information Literacy Coordinator, by email (donna.witek@scranton.edu) or phone (570-941-4000).