Do basketball players who think positively play better? Graduate Psychology student Anthony David determined to find out, researching the correlation between positive thinking and athletic performance and conducting his own study on the basketball court. His paper “Do Positive Thoughts Increase Free Throw Percentage?” earned him a Library Research Award, with the award committee praising his work as “engaging, supported by research, well-written, and with an exemplary synthesizing of current literature.”
Director of Library Services Lisa Lepore presented the award to David and two other students in a ceremony held on June 4th, 2013. MFA student Tammy Lechner won for her paper “Making Order of Memory,” which examines “how literary writers have tackled the challenge of memory recall and whether materiality (or a sensual connection to objects) inspires the process of bringing memory into order on the written page.” BA student Jacqueline Kahn’s winning paper, “The Evolution of Individuality within a Society,” included historical accounts and behavioral studies, and concludes that “individualism is a product of nature and nurture.”
This marks the first year for the Library Research Awards, the brainchild of vice president for Institutional Advancement Amy Smith – a former librarian herself. Along with her husband, Robert Simon, Smith is also the award donor, generously funding the three prizes of $800 each.
“I had a number of goals with the Library Research Awards,” explains Smith. “I wanted to highlight the central importance of the library and librarians in the academic enterprise; I wanted to provide support for our students; and I wanted to promote the lifelong skills of library research and critical thinking.”
Lepore was likewise eager to recognize the essential role of the AULA library, its resources, and its staff on the intellectual development of students. While presenting the awards, she noted, “…it is often through reading books that we find ourselves slow-thinking, in deep, sustained thought: the kind of thinking that doesn’t simply confirm previously held beliefs, but in fact may overturn them, and construct new roads of thought in our minds, get us wandering, get us going, intellectually and psychically, like little else can.”
Library Research Award winner Jacqueline Kahn, who hadn’t stepped foot in a library in years prior to beginning her research, looks forward to utilizing her newly-honed skills in the future. She’s taken a simple but powerful next step: renewing her public library card.