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Mary Church Terrell Main Library
148 W College St. Oberlin, OH 44074-1545


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Alison Scott Ricker Research Award

About the Awards

Named in honor of the longtime head of the Science Library, this award recognizes outstanding papers or projects by Oberlin College students in any subject that demonstrate excellent research using library resources. Up to two awards, in the amount of $500 each, may be given annually. 

The four criteria considered are: creativity in the use of research tools, thoroughness in the research process, accuracy and attention to detail, and the use of a broad range of research tools.

Committee Members

  • Elizabeth Sullivan, Assessment and User Experience Librarian, Chair
  • Kathy Abromeit, Head, Conservatory Library
  • Ann Sherif, Professor of Japanese, East Asian Studies

Nomination Process

Nominations for the awards will be made by Oberlin College faculty. Any student project completed for academic credit, with the exception of honors projects, is eligible to be nominated.

We cannot recognize projects for which students received remuneration.

Nominees will be asked to submit to the Friends of the Libraries Research Awards Committee a copy of the final project (e.g. paper, digital project, website, etc.), a bibliography, and a short essay discussing the research processes and strategies used in completing the project. The Committee will select the winners, and may choose to split one of the prizes among multiple nominees, or consider work for a First-Year Seminar in its own category.

Nomination Form

Nominations for student work completed in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 were considered together in the most recent round of research awards, due to an interruption in the award cycle over the course of the pandemic.  The winners were recognized at the Friends of the Libraries Annual Meeting on November 13, 2021: 

Elliot Diaz, nominated by Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies Laura Herron. $500 prize for "'Degenerate’ Rome and Racial ‘Purity’: Comparing Historiographies of Race and Rome from Nineteenth Century Europe to Contemporary American Neo-Nazi Websites," completed for HIST 274 History of the Holocaust. 

Alli Roshni, nominated by Professor of Biology Yolanda Cruz. “Childless, You Are Nothing: The Dilemma of IVF in Developing Countries,” written for FYSP 199 Designer Babies and Other Possibilities. $300 prize with special mention for a project completed in a First-Year Seminar.

Vaughan Schwob, nominated by Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Lisa Ryno.  $500 prize for “Mitochondrial Dysfunction’s Role in the Pathogenesis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Proposed Pathway," written for CHEM 374 Biochemistry.  

Past Projects

Winning projects are archived in Oberlin's Digital Commons. 

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