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Library Announces Winner of Showalter Research Award

The Legacy Library is pleased to announce the winner of the 2015-16 Kenneth E. Showalter '50 Special Collections Research Award.

This year four research projects were nominated for the Showalter Award. The winner selected by the committee was:

  • Brian Holliday. "The Forgotten Church: The Revitalization of the Legacy of Thomas Ayers Church" — nominated by Dr. Kathryn McDaniel for a HIST 402 History Capstone project.

In her nomination, Dr. McDaniel wrote, "Brian Holliday's paper focuses on an early African-American graduate of Marietta College, Thomas Ayers Church (Class of 1890), who went on to be one of the first African-American graduates of Columbia Law School. He made excellent use of the Special Collections materials related to Thomas Church's time at Marietta College and beyond, which allowed him to investigate questions of racial identity as well as racial politics. As a result, this paper is not only a biography of a little studied yet important individual (and MC alum), but also a unique and valuable investigation of race and identity in the Reconstruction era of American History."

Other nominees for the award (with the titles of their research projects) were:

  • Marissa Merriman. "Lewis Schneider’s On the Picket Guard at Stone River" — nominated by Nicole Livengood for a project completed for English 203
  • Maria Stickrath. "White Masculinity and Racism During the California Gold Rush" — nominated by Matt Young for a project completed for History 202
  • Brent Spinden. "Birth of Modern Medicine: An Analysis of Factors Encouraging the Modern Medical Revolution" — nominated by Matt Young for a project completed for History 202.

This award is presented annually to an undergraduate or graduate student who authors the best research paper using the primary sources of the Slack Research Collections of the Legacy Library. It is funded by the Kenneth E. Showalter ’50 Special Collections Memorial Endowment, established in 2010 by Robert and Shirley Showalter.

To be eligible for consideration:

  1. The submission must be a completed work in any form, for example, research paper, web site, presentation, video documentary, masters thesis, etc.
  2. It must present the original scholarly contribution of the author.
  3. It must have been completed while the author was a student, undergraduate or graduate, at Marietta College during the current academic year (or the preceding summer) and in connection with coursework at the college.
  4. It can be in any field of study, but must be based largely or entirely on sources held in the Slack Research Collections of Legacy Library.

The selection process followed a blind review standard in which information identifying the author of the papers was removed. The award committee was composed of: Dr. James O'Donnell, Emeritus McCoy Professor and Andrew U. Thomas Professor of History; Dr. Douglas Anderson, Director of the Legacy Library; and Mr. Joe Straw, Reference and Instruction Librarian.