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Home / Rodcast / 201804 / Mary Ann Bolton Undergraduate Research Award Winners

Mary Ann Bolton Undergraduate Research Award Winners

Thanks to a generous donation from UNI alumna Mary Ann Bolton, Rod Library has begun annually awarding Undergraduate Research Awards to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary research, scholarship, and creative work of UNI’s undergraduate students.

The Mary Ann Bolton Undergraduate Research Award is given to students who demonstrate excellence in library research conducted for an undergraduate paper or project carried out under the guidance of a UNI faculty member or mentor. This is a monetary award with the donations of Mary Ann Bolton providing $1,000 to the first place winner, $500 to the second place winner, and $250 to the third place winner. The very first recipients of the Mary Ann Bolton Undergraduate Research Award have now been selected. They are:

First place

Lyn Tackett, UNI McNair Scholar in Anthropology with a minor in Plant Biology1st place MaryAnn Bolten award winner Lyn

“Tracing Ancient Healing Practices Through the Hibiscus”

[Brief Abstract]:  Hibiscus tea has long been in use throughout Africa and Asia, yet little research has been done into the origins of medicine and whether early cultures traded that information. Trichomes and plant morphology of three species of Hibiscus native to Africa, China and India were studied using microscopy. The results were compared to known medicinal claims and ancient documents including trade maps and iconography.

Faculty adviser: Dr. Julie Kang, associate professor of biology

Second place

Lydia Richards, UNI Senior Flute Performance and Global Studies double major2nd place MaryAnn Bolten award winner Lydia

“Flutists in Red: Increasing Discoverability of Female Flute Players in the World’s Most Used Reference Source”

[Abstract]:  “Flutists in Red” was developed through LIB 3159: Creating Wikipedia for the Arts taught by Professor Angela Pratesi. Wikipedia.org is one of the most accessed reference websites in the world. Known as the “Free Encyclopedia,” Wikipedia is categorized (and conversely plagued) by its collaborative and free nature. This project is born from a desire to share a specific area of musicianship which is grossly underrepresented on Wikipedia: female flutists, and more generally, women in the arts. The title of this project is an homage to a WikiProject “Women in Red,” which refers to those search results (or lack thereof) in red, which alerts that the Wikipedia link or page has not yet been created, as opposed to a blue internal Wiki link which signifies the page’s existence. Per the Women in Red (WiR) project page, a study conducted in November 2014 showed that only 15% of the biography articles on the English Wikipedia are about females. Thus, the Women in Red Project was created the following July to address the gender gap. Currently, the gap has decreased; over 17% of Wikipedia biographies are about women. This project features substantial work or the creation of articles in Wikipedia of female flutists who meet Wikipedia’s standards for notability. Information about these important performers is now freely and readily accessible to anyone in the world. The flutists included in this project are: Jeanne Baxtresser, Lorna McGhee, Leone Buyse, Frances Blaisdell, Ruth Freeman Gudeman, Bonita Boyd, Marianne Gedigian, Amy Porter, and Rachel Brown."

Faculty adviser: Angela Pratesi, assistant professor and fine and performing arts librarian

Third place

Matthew Mengler3rd place MaryAnn Bolten award winner Matthew

“‘Slavery Wasn’t That Bad’: An Examination of the Effects of Reduced Social Studies Class Time and Student Misconceptions”

[Abstract]: "There are four core subjects taught in American public schools today: math, English language arts, science, and social studies. For years, the social studies have been receiving less instructional time when compared to “more important” subjects such as reading, language arts, and math. This has especially been the case since the legislation of No Child Left Behind which placed English language arts and math as the two main pillars of a child’s education. The goal of this study was to figure out how teachers are adapting to this lack of social studies instruction time and to see if there have been any student misconceptions popping up as a result of this lack of time in the classroom. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with experienced teachers about how they approach social studies, changes they have made in recent years as a result of reduced social studies instructional time, and any misconceptions that they have seen in the classroom. Major themes that were found in these interviews include social studies being a personal subject, social studies seen as “not a high priority,” as well as misconceptions and other concerns that teachers discussed in the interviews.

Faculty adviser: Dr. Sarah Montgomery, associate professor of curriculum and instruction

Congratulations to these recipients on their fantastic achievements in research. If you would like to view these students’ research projects, they will soon all be accessible through ScholarWorks. We are very excited for the future of this undergraduate award and encourage all interested students to apply in the next academic year.

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