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Library research competition yields studious winners

May 18, 2012

The inaugural 2011-2012 Monroe Library Student Research Competition shined a light on budding scholars at Loyola University New Orleans recently. The competition recognizes and rewards students who make exemplary use of the collections, resources and services of the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library throughout the research process in order to produce an academic or creative work. Winners received more than just kudos for their work – the first place winner was awarded $300 and two runners-up were awarded $100.

History and sociology senior Garrett Fontenot claimed the first-place prize for his research on the topic, "Pragmatism, Principle and Ideology in the Early American Republic: Paper Money and Early America." Runners up were theatre arts/mass communication freshman Alexandra Kennon for her exploration of "The Secular Voice of Gandersheim: Pre-Feminism and Secular Themes in the Plays of Hrotsvit," and history and classical studies senior, Alexandria Seltenrich, for her investigation of "Masters of the Bayou: Class, Conflict and Context of Guerrillas in Civil War Louisiana."

Applicants were judged on the quality of their research paper and their use of library services, including Special Collections and Archives, electronic databases, specialized research assistance with a librarian liaison, library instruction sessions, study space and books. A panel of librarians including Malia Willey, Teri Gallaway and Trish Nugent selected the top research papers in consultation with students' professors.

"Garrett undertook an extremely ambitious project and utilized a wide array of primary and secondary sources," said Fontenot's history professor, Mark Fernandez, Ph.D. "He did a fine job of extracting evidence from these sources including newspapers, colonial records, the records of the Continental Congress, congressional records from the Articles of Confederation period, the Constitutional Convention, and both Federalist and Antifederalist pamphlets. His thesis is one of the top two that I've directed since coming to Loyola in 1992."

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