Announcing the 2016 Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award Winners!
Here at Western, undergraduate students have unparalleled access to research opportunities which are supported by faculty mentors. Western Libraries views the research work of undergraduate students as being tremendously valuable, both in terms of the teaching and learning experience the research process creates, and also because of the research outputs students themselves generate.
Winners of this year’s Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award were honored at a small reception in the library at the Research-Writing Studio on Friday, June 3, 2016, during which Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg publicly recognized the award-winning students and presented each awardee with a certificate. Also in attendance were friends and family members of the award-winning students, the students’ faculty mentors, and members of the 2016 Undergraduate Research Award review committee.
Every spring, a review committee consisting of a variety of faculty members from the Libraries and other departments at Western selects from among the submissions three papers which demonstrate excellence in the creation of research papers for courses taught across the colleges. Papers must be based on significant inquiry using library resources and collections, and they must demonstrate originality or the potential to lead to subsequent original research.
This year was a little unusual because for the very first time, one of the award-winning submissions was actually written by a team of students. Four students in the Community Health major in the Department of Health and Human Development created a program plan called “Preventing Anorexia in Adolescents through Empowerment and Education (PAATEE).”
“The paper is reflection of how group and collaborative work are becoming more common,” explained librarian and review committee member Elizabeth Stephan. “Together with the other papers by Rachel Redjou and Marissa Hall, this year’s winners are excellent examples of the different formats research-based writing can take.”
Publishing the research papers in Western CEDAR makes them available to anyone in the world, enabling students to contribute to the scholarship of their chosen fields while also participating in the growing global movement to provide open access to scholarship and creative works. You can find the winning papers at this link: http://cedar.wwu.edu/library_researchaward/
Marissa Hall for “Feminist Identification within the White Supremacy Movement”
Faculty Mentor: Glenn Tsunokai, Sociology
Rachael Redjou for “Shunga: Erotic Art in the Tokugawa Era”
Faculty Mentor: Massimiliano Tomasi, East Asian Studies
Karima Boumatar, Alex Johnston-Thomas, Dillon van Rensburg, Emma Hefton, for “Preventing Anorexia in Adolescents through Empowerment and Education (PAATEE)”
Faculty Mentor: Senna Towner, Health and Human Development
Congratulations to these remarkable students for all of their accomplishments!
Western Libraries Celebrates its Student Employees
Student staff have always been an essential part of Western Libraries. When Wilson Library’s namesake and Western’s first librarian Mabel Zoe Wilson first began working at Western, she was the only full time library employee for 10 years, and all additional library staffing needs were met by student employees. Today, Western Libraries has over 60 full time staff members, but during this past academic year, we also employed 112 students.
Every year, Western Libraries chooses one student employee from among the graduating seniors who has distinguished themselves from their peers by demonstrating unusual imagination, interest, and capability in providing outstanding service. This year’s Mabel Zoe Excellence in Student Service Award was presented to Simon Bakke in recognition of the number of ways he has provided outstanding service tot he Libraries, both as a Learning Commons Liaison and as the Libraries' Graphic Artist.
Miriam Snow Mathes, a professor of library science at Western, established an endowment in 1998 to fund both the Western Libraries annual student recognition event and also the Mabel Zoe Wilson Excellence in Student Service Award. The first Western Libraries Student Celebration was held in 1999, and they have been held annually every spring since then.
Western Libraries & the Western Gallery Partnership
Western Libraries has partnered with the Western Gallery to exhibit pieces from the Gallery’s substantial 65 piece collection of original chairs, benches, and tables all by prominent designers from the mid-19th century to 1980s.
Photo caption: Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg, Western Gallery Director Hafthor Yngvason, and Western Libraries Art Committee: Michelle Becker, Leslie Hall, and Amy Stefany, (May 2016)
The chairs on display at Western Libraries are examples of mid-century design and include works by Hans Wegner, Isamu Noguchi, Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, and Arnie Jacobsen.
The installation is located on the third floor of Haggard and is strikingly displayed along the windows circling the rotunda. Stop by the library to find out more and take a look at some pieces from this remarkable collection.
The Fathnamah-i-Sind, also known as the Chach Nama, describes the invasion of the Indic subcontinent, specifically Sindh and adjacent areas, by the Arab forces in 712-715 CE. The text was originally written in Arabic, but -- as has happened many times in the history of literature -- unfortunately the Arabic text was lost and the work only survives in a 13th century CE Persian translation.
James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships - Now Accepting Applications for 2017
About the Awards
The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships promote awareness and innovative use of archival collections at Western Washington University, and seek to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. Fellowship funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. Up to $1000 funding is offered in 2017 to support significant research using archival holdings at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources.
- Applications are accepted from individuals in doctoral programs as well as individuals who have finished the Ph.D.
- Successful applicants will be expected to spend approximately one week examining CPNWS holdings in support of their research, and to be in residence prior to October 31, 2017. Additional information and detailed guides to collections may be accessed on the CPNWS website.
- Fellows will be asked to give a presentation about some aspect of their research during the course of their scheduled visit. The audience will vary depending on the time of the year, but may include members of the general public as well as students, faculty and staff from WWU.
- Applications will be reviewed after October 31, 2016, with announcements of awards expected in November 2016. The number and size of awards granted annually is determined by the application review committee.
- Applications may be submitted via mail or electronically and should include:
- Cover letter
- Curriculum Vitae
- Research plan outlining on-site use of CPNWS holdings and proposed presentation topic
- Two letters of recommendation.
- Please send applications via email to Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu or by mail to Ruth Steele, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123. Please enter “Scott Research Fellowship Application” in the subject line of email applications.
- Funds will be awarded after a Fellow(s) has conducted research at CPNWS and delivered their presentation.
- Fellowship awards may be subject to taxation in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Applicants are advised that they may need a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. SSN or ITIN) to receive funds.
We are often asked what is our oldest book?
Osens Establish Endowment for the Advancement of Western Libraries
Earlier this year, Rick and Barbara Osen expressed their wish to make a gift to Western Libraries that would have a lasting impact. On April 5, 2016, members of Western Libraries joined the Osens in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the “Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment for the Advancement of Libraries.”
The endowment’s purpose is especially significant for Rick Osen, who worked at Western Libraries for 35 years, holding managerial and administrative positions that involved virtually every area of the organization, including acting Dean of Libraries from 2012 through 2013. Osen’s decades of dedication and leadership positively impacted the Libraries’evolution and helped shape its future.
“It is particularly meaningful that Rick and Barbara should wish to create an endowment to support the professional and organizational development of staff and faculty,” explained Dean of Libraries, Mark Greenberg. “During his long career in the Western Libraries, Rick saw firsthand how advancing people’s skills and understanding advances their careers and improves library services to the Western community. I am grateful to Rick and Barbara for helping Western Libraries to invest in people.”
While at Western, Osen was a strong proponent of professional and organizational development, and he worked to ensure that Libraries personnel had opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills. Since his retirement in early 2014, Osen has stayed in close touch with his colleagues and has remained a strong supporter of Western Libraries.
Proceeds from the Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment for the Advancement of Libraries may be used to pay expenses related to professional and organizational development for Western Libraries faculty and staff through workshops, seminars, and other similar programs. At their request, preference will be given to professional and organizational development activities that occur at Western.
“With an emphasis on funding training or workshops on campus, it allows all staff to benefit from engaging ideas that enhance work performance and facilitate a shared vision for Western Libraries,” said Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts. She added that the expansion of opportunities for individual staff training and development also benefits the Libraries as a whole, because recipients are able to bring back and share what they learn with the organization.
Western Libraries Administration looks forward to working together collaboratively and in consultation with Libraries faculty and staff, to identify professional and organizational development opportunities that maximize participation and positive outcomes for individuals and for the Libraries as a whole.
Mongolian Studies Special Issue Dedicated to Wayne Richter
Mongolia Society President Alicia Campi and founding director of Western’s Center for East Asian Studies, Henry Schwarz, present the special issue dedicated to Wayne Richter.
On Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Association for Asian Studies annual conference in Seattle, Western Libraries Asian Materials Specialist Wayne Richter received a tremendous honor. President of The Mongolia Society, Alicia Campi, presented him with Volume XXXV (2013) of Mongolian Studies, the scholarly journal of The Mongolia Society, which is a special issue dedicated to Richter.
Writes journal editor David Bade in the beginning of the special issue:
“Wayne Richter has been at the forefront of Mongolian studies in the United States as well as internationally for more than 30 years. . . . It is largely because of Wayne’s many years of careful scholarly devotion to identifying and collating the works of each author represented in Wilson Library’s collection that other bibliographers, catalogers and scholars around the world find that the results of their searches make sense, and they are able to find what they want to find.”
Chief of the Asian & Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress Randall K. Barry and Tibetan expert at the Library of Congress Susan Meinheit pose for a photo with Wayne.
The quality and accessibility of the extraordinary Mongolian Studies Collection at Western Libraries is a result of the generosity of scholars such as Henry Schwarz, Nicholas Poppe, and John C. Street, and the valuable work of Richter. Richter is a nationally recognized expert in the creation and editing of bibliographic records for materials written in Mongolian and related languages, and he is the only cataloger in the United States who routinely creates national name authority records – work which involves considerable research in a field with only limited bibliographic and biographic resources.
Richter has actively reached out to people who are interested in Mongolia and its cultures and languages, participates in meetings of the Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast, and is in regular contact with Mongolian scholars and librarians from other institutions who use Western’s collections. He regularly coordinates and leads tours of the Libraries’ Mongolian Studies Collection for a wide variety of individuals and groups, including Mongolian ambassadors to the U.S., U.S. Ambassadors to Mongolia, and many visiting scholars.
Richter’s efforts to make resources available to scholars worldwide will impact Mongolian studies for decades to come, and the dedication of this special issue of Mongolian Studies recognizes and honors that work.
For more information about Western’s Mongolian Studies Initiatives, please see the Center for East Asian Studies Mongolian Studies page, or this online guide about the Mongolian Collection.
Using Archives to Enhance Teaching & Learning
How can media history inform our understanding of our current moment? What is the role of media in the construction of identity, social hierarchies, and our understanding of power? Recognizing that archival and primary source materials provide evidence that can help answer these kinds of questions, Professor Helen Morgan Parmett decided to experiment by integrating an upper-class research and writing assignment with resources at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a division of Western Libraries Heritage Resources.
Last quarter students from Professor Morgan Parmett’s Communications Studies 416 class, “Cultural History of Media and Identity,” spent several hours at the CPNWS to review a variety of primary source archival materials in their consideration of the intersections between cultural history, media, and identity formation.
This was the first time many of these students had ever worked directly with archival materials, and CPNWS staff sought to provide contrasting examples of locally-produced media by also including materials that spoke to the experiences, interests, and voices of traditionally under-represented individuals and groups. For example, in addition to exploring historic issues of more mainstream publications such as the Bellingham Herald, students also examined the Northwest Passage, an alternative newspaper produced from 1969-1986, as well as a range of newsletters and educational materials produced by women’s organizations and LGBTA+ advocacy groups.
Heritage Resources Assistant Archivist for Outreach and Instruction Roz Koester helped facilitate the inquiry process by asking students to consider not just the materials in front of them, but to also think about what was not kept.
"Since we so often rely on written documentation to provide evidence of our shared cultural heritage, it's important to be aware that there are stories and experiences that remain untold,” explained Koester. “A lot of records don't get preserved, so, as researchers, you need to not only be thinking about the information that's available in the resources you're using, but also what might be missing. And we should all be thinking about how we can engage those hidden voices in order to preserve a more complete picture of our history."
As a required component of their research and writing assignment, students were expected to contribute to the scholarship of media history and identity found in secondary literature by constructing an original argument based on archival evidence of media influence on the construction Pacific Northwest identities.
Professor Morgan Parmett hopes that through this assignment, her students will develop a greater understanding not only of media history, but also of where we are now and how we are currently using media. She emphasized how we can learn much about today by considering the media histories of the past:
“For one, they disillusion us from the idea that things have always been a certain way by demonstrating the conflicts, debates, and struggles out of which our current moment emerged,” explained Professor Morgan Parmett. “These histories illuminate the fact that many of the debates we currently have about media and its societal effects are, in fact, not new. Seeing how these debates were resolved in earlier periods may provide insights for how we might move forward into our media futures in more socially just ways.”
Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes Special Collections, the University Archives & Records Management, and the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. Together these units provide for the responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research. For more information about how Heritage Resources supports the research needs of students and educators, contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.