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Student Research Award


Purpose of These Awards:
Students at Lone Star College-CyFair often put considerable effort into researching, writing, or presenting material for their classes. The library would like to recognize the best student research projects that find, evaluate, select, and communicate information from library resources effectively.

Awards Given:
The library will recognize first, second, and third place winners by providing them with an award in the amounts listed below. The Friends of the Lone Star College-CyFair Branch Library have generously provided funding for this award.

  • 1st place: $500
  • 2nd place: $300
  • 3rd place: $100

Submission Information:
The nominating faculty will complete and submit the Faculty Nomination Form online and attach the student's project to the nomination form. The student is responsible for completing and submitting the Student Information Form. Any faculty or student encountering issues with the form can contact for assistance.

Deadlines for Submissions:
The submission deadlines are:

  • Fall Semester – Wednesday, December 15, 2024
  • Spring Semester – Wednesday, May 11, 2025

No late or incomplete submissions will be reviewed.

Eligibility for These Awards:

  • All full-time or part-time LSC-CyFair students in the summer 2024, fall 2023, winter 2024/25 mini-term, or spring 2025 semesters are eligible for the 2024-25 awards. Students are required to attend LSC-CyFair during the semester their project is completed and nominated, but not necessarily be enrolled at LSC-CyFair when the awards are given.
  • Students may submit projects completed in the summer 2024, fall 2024, winter 2024/25 mini-term, or spring 2025 semesters from credit or dual-credit classes.
  • Students must be nominated by faculty who assigned the projects.
  • A student must electronically sign an academic integrity statement verifying that the project is a product of his/her own work only. Projects found to be plagiarized will be disqualified.
  • Previous Student Research Award winners are not eligible for this award.

Faculty Member Submissions:

  • Faculty who have graded a project during the summer 2024, fall 2024, winter 2024/25 mini-term, or spring 2025 semesters may submit it to the award committee.
  • Faculty must submit Faculty Nomination Form and have student complete the Student Information Form before the award deadline.

Project Requirements:

  • Only projects using at least 3 library sources (books or articles in print or library databases) completed during the summer 2024, fall 2024, winter 2024/25 mini-term, or spring 2025 semesters are eligible.
  • Projects must include a bibliography or works cited in MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, or AMA format based on the assigning faculty's preference.
  • Sources must be cited within the project using in-text citation associated with the specific citation style used or, if submitting a multimedia project, other appropriate means of citing sources within the project (e.g. citing in the notes field of a PowerPoint presentation, verbally stating sources in a video, or using subtitles to provide source information).
  • Students may only submit one project per year.
  • The project must be nominated and submitted by the assigning faculty member.
  • Submitted papers must be at least 3 pages.
  • Submitted speeches or multimedia projects must include a transcript or detailed notes of the content included. A video or audio file of a speech or multimedia project may accompany the transcript but is not required.
  • No group projects will be accepted at this time.
  • A student must electronically sign an academic integrity statement on the Student Information Form verifying that the project is a product of his/her own work only. Papers will be submitted to for an originality check. Projects found to be plagiarized will be disqualified.
  • Complete application packets must be submitted by the stated deadlines for each semester. No incomplete submissions will be reviewed.
  • Upon receipt of submission, both student and faculty will receive a confirmation email.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Demonstrated skill in selecting and synthesizing research materials from library materials and databases and other authoritative sources.
  • Demonstrated ability to capture the reader's interest in the topic, provide appropriate support for the topic, and convey the information in an exceptional style.
  • Effective use of a variety of sources.
  • Sources properly cited using in-text and bibliography/works cited formats.
  • Overall quality of project.

Evaluation Committee
The committee will evaluate the projects using a blind review process. The committee evaluating the entries will be comprised of at least 4 full-time reference librarians.

2023-2024 Award Recipients

  • First Place: Mahmoud Masoud
    "The Fall of Honor: Tracing the Samurai’s Enduring Contribution from Edo to Meiji Japan"
    Professor Keith Altavilla, HIST 2322
    Excerpt: "During the pivotal Edo to Meiji transition in Japanese history, the samurai, though faced with challenges concerning adapting to a rapidly changing socio-political landscape, actively contributed to the nation’s transformation by blending traditional principles with the Western values needed for modernization, thereby leaving an impact on Japan’s cultural and historical trajectory."
  • Second Place: Jazlyn Haywood
    "Navigating Ethics and Strategy in America's Aerial Campaign during World War II"
    Professor Keith Altavilla, HISTH 1302
    Excerpt: “The key to Operation Overlord’s success was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany, which raised complex moral dilemmas for American military planners. Balancing the essential use of military necessity with ethical considerations, Allied leaders battled with the implications of targeting civilian populations while striving to achieve victory in a war of this great magnitude.”
  • Third Place: Tara Murphy
    “Universal Healthcare in America”
    Professor Jennifer Drake, ENGL 1302
    Excerpt: “In a society where well-being knows no economic bounds, universal healthcare is the cornerstone of compassion, equality, and the belief that good health is a right, not a luxury.”

Previous Student Research Award Winners:

  • First Place: Mark Kansteiner
    "A Eunuch in Charge: Zheng He as an Emblem for the Changing Ming Dynasty"
    Professor Keith Altavilla, HIST 2321
    Excerpt: "Even though the Ming’s fragmenting social structure offered more problems than solutions, Zheng He’s ability to become a figure of admiration as part of historically marginalized class shows the possibilities of the sporadically ambitious Ming Dynasty."
  • Second Place: Tyler Stewart
    "Charter Schools and Accountability"
    Professor Bindu Nayar, ENGL 1302
    Excerpt: “By federally mandating that charter authorizers establish guidelines in crucial aspects such as performance, equity, and budgeting, America can stamp out mismanagement and ensure that charter schools do not fall behind their public counterparts. Mandating that charter authorizers publish their inspections’ results would ensure that proper inspections take place (avoiding another Education Office of Civil Rights scenario) and render charters more accountable to their communities; local school boards could use the reports to inform charter renewal decisions and parents could use them to decide which school to send their children to.”
  • Third Place: Yazmin Montes Gaitan
    “Non-Human Animal Capabilities and their Threat: Speciesism”
    Professor Mark Thorsby, PHILH 1301
    Excerpt: “It is absolutely crucial to recognize the deep and meaningful possibilities within the cognitive and emotional abilities of non-human animals in order to slow this growing discrimination. Speciesist views must be challenged, as their influential beliefs have further impacts on the real lives of beings that are fully capable of experiencing pain.”

  • First Place: Dash Ahlstrom
    "The British Turned Back: How Nathanael Greene Turned the Tides of the American Revolution in the South?"
    Professor Keith Altavilla, HISTH 1301
    Excerpt: "By the end of Greene’s struggle against the British in the South, he had transformed a once destitute army into a force to be reckoned with and pushed Cornwallis out of the South permanently. Greene used the local militias combined with his more experienced Continental Army, his superior geographical knowledge, and his strategic mastery to outlast Cornwallis’s pursuit until he could fight with an overwhelming advantage."
  • Second Place: Mykhailo Mazalevskyi
    "Did Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act affect the farm unemployment rate in the United States during the Great Depression (1929-1933)?"
    Professor Amlan Datta, ECONH 2301
    Excerpt: “With almost 322,967 people that became workless, the Smoot-Hawley tariff act impaired the most severe economic depression of the 20th century. Increased goods taxation also worsened the economic performance in other affected industries, and contributed to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
  • Third Place: Michael Veiga 
    “Comparing the Productivity Growth of the United States and China”
    Professor Amlan Datta, ECONH 2301
    Excerpt: “The results of this research suggest that China’s recent overtaking of the United States has correlated with the results of the three factors of productivity discussed in this paper. The rise in the number of skilled laborers in China, as well as the Chinese state’s initiatives to promote excellent vocational training, appears to have greatly affected the productivity growth of the country.”

  • First Place: Diana Tran
    "Creating a Cost-Benefit Analysis Guideline from Ecological Economics: How Can this be Applied to Landfill Mining?"
    Professor Aurora Lugo, ENVRH 1402
    Excerpt: "The infusion of socially conscientious and ecologically sustainable decisions can be added to anything as long as the person is willing and there is ingenuity when thinking of solutions. If something is considered waste, that just means a new use for it has not been found yet or the effort required to reuse the material has been deemed too much from a human profitable perspective. Mutual benefit is one of the best incentives there is to change mindsets and operating practices."
  • Second Place: : Joseph Flores
    “Sin, for the Bishop, is predicated on the action itself. Regardless of what materializes from the action, sin can be as inconsequential as focusing one’s attention on the world’s pleasures and thrill rather than God.”
    Professor Laura Taggett, ENGLH 2332
    Excerpt: “This ‘Death with Dignity’ movement became hugely relevant in the early to mid-1900’s, and is still a source of controversy worldwide. The introduction of every new medical technology – from respirators to chemotherapy – from then on only added to the bioethical debate: do we have the right to die, or must we always preserve the sanctity of life?”
  • Third Place: John Lentz
    “The Moral Engineer: Applying Kantian Deontology to Engineering Ethics Within the Scope of Identity”
    Professors Laura Taggett & Mark Thorsby, ENGLH/PHILH 1301
    Excerpt: “Engineers play a major role in the advancement of society. They are responsible for the design of everything from buildings to space shuttles. However, along with this responsibility for the design comes the ethical responsibility for the safety of the public that are expected to utilize said design. The interplay between these two responsibilities gives rise to an ethical dilemma in which the natural risk associated with emerging engineering designs conflicts with the engineer’s responsibility to public safety.”

  • First Place: Joseph Flores
    "On Discipline in New York and Pennsylvania from 1820-1840"
    Professor James Seymour, HISTH 1301
    Excerpt: "It must be noted, however, that the creation of the modern prison system in New York and Pennsylvania was not limited to pieces of legislation or some axiomatic premise that the new nation ought to treat criminals with endowed respect. The creation of the prison was influenced by the surrounding societies and reformers, who wholeheartedly believed that the criminal could be disciplined, reformed, and returned to the community."
  • Second Place: Kelsey Reimer
    "The Morality of Active Euthanasia: Do We Have a Right to Die?"
    Professor John Soden, PHIL 2306
    Excerpt: “This ‘Death with Dignity’ movement became hugely relevant in the early to mid-1900’s, and is still a source of controversy worldwide. The introduction of every new medical technology – from respirators to chemotherapy – from then on only added to the bioethical debate: do we have the right to die, or must we always preserve the sanctity of life?”
  • Third Place: Sofia Castaneda Valdivia
    “Homeowner Associations’ Impact on Insect Diversity in Houston Metropolitan Area”
    Professor Aurora Lugo, ENVRH 1401
    Excerpt: “Developers' and homeowner associations' preference of ornamental plants and alignment towards the horticultural industry have contributed to increasing habitat loss due to the lack of native plants species in huge sectors of urban and suburban areas. The lack of native plants and habitat loss affect insect populations.”

  • First Place: Colin Stout
    "Hacking Humanity:  How Information Security Misconceptions Lead to Vulnerability and Possible Remedies"
    Professor Kimberly Mori, HONRH 2034
    Excerpt: "Criminals use email and messaging to attempt to trick the end user into circumventing technical security measures. Unfortunately, many users are unaware of their responsibility to secure their information and consequently make poor decisions regarding social scams and password authentication. Although information security is primarily reliant on the behavior of the end user, few people understand this, and consequently, their valuable information is at risk."
  • Second Place: Vanessa Crespo
    "Alice Paul: The Woman Behind the 19th Amendment"
    Professor Esther Robinson, HISTH 1302
    Excerpt: "Alice Paul played a crucial role in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in the United States Constitution by bringing her radical ideas about feminism and utilizing tactics that no other woman had employed before in American suffrage history."
  • Third Place: Daniel Dicken
    "How 'The Right Stuff' Affected the Public's Perception of Gus Grissom"
    Professor Esther Robinson, HISTH 1302
    Excerpt: "The reality is that Grissom’s abilities and experience speak for themselves, and if he truly had no business commanding a NASA mission, on three separate occasions, the agency did not lack potential candidates to replace him and would have done so with haste."

  • First Place: Elias Mata
    "Gerrymandering: The Subversion of the Representative Democracy"
    Professor Robert Holmes, HIST 2033 (Honors)
    Excerpt: "It must be noted, however, that the creation of the modern prison system in New York and Pennsylvania was not limited to pieces of legislation or some axiomatic premise that the new nation ought to treat criminals with endowed respect. The creation of the prison was influenced by the surrounding societies and reformers, who wholeheartedly believed that the criminal could be disciplined, reformed, and returned to the community."
  • Second Place: Aaron T. Morgan
    "A Brief Overview of the Nazi Nuclear Program"
    Professor Robert Coyle, HIST 2312
    Excerpt: "Was the nuclear research project run under Nazi Germany ultimately a failure? The scientists certainly never came close to building a functioning bomb. Lack of funding, materials, and constantly changing leadership and oversight caused the project to lose the head start Germany had in nuclear physics and eventually lag behind the work of the Allies."
  • Third Place: Francisco Javier Melesio 
    “Reduction On Houston’s Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration: Increasing Live Oak’s Tree Population”
    Professor Shaunté Hulett-Abdin, BIOL 1407 (Honors)
    Excerpt: "Overall, the results revealed that the 100,000 live oak trees sequestered an increasing amount of CO2, until they reached maturity, as they grew and developed for the period of the experiment, which signified a decrease in the atmospheric CO2 concentration in the Houston area, as I have hypothesized. . . And by reducing the atmospheric CO2 concentration, the atmospheric temperature would also decrease because the infrared radiation would now be reflected into space."

  • First Place: Daniel Hines
    “The Changing of the Guard: The Evolving Strategy of the U.S. Navy in WWII”
    Professor James Seymour, HIST 1302 (Honors)
    Excerpt: "Surprisingly, for its size, a battleship was rather economical to operate, the upfront cost was often enormous, as was the cost of research and development, but once in service cost for operation was very low. The return on the investment was immense, five smaller Light Cruisers cost the same up front, but took more fuel, more men, and would not be able to bring the same fighting strength to the table."
  • Second Place: Amanda Atencio
    “Minimizing and Utilizing Food Waste in America: A Proposal for a National Mandate to Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse Food Waste”
    Professor Kasey Baker, ENGL 1302 (Honors)
    Excerpt: "By showing people how to plan meals, avoid overbuying, be aware of misleading “sell by” dates, and buy “ugly foods,” campaigns can go a long way towards giving people the information they need to shop smarter. Smart shopping and practical planning will then go a long way towards eliminating much of the food waste on the consumer level, which accounts for a large portion of food waste in the US. Campaigns could also be a successful avenue for the creation of partnerships between stakeholders and local food pantries. By encouraging restaurants, grocers, and farmers, to form relationships with food donation centers, a large amount of nutritious foods could be redistributed to needy families. Along with feeding the hungry, the wastage of food in the retail sector can be significantly reduced."
  • Third Place: Jennifer Sampleton
    “The Other Green Movement: The Damage Capitalism Inflicts on the Environment”
    Professor Michelle Brown, ENGL 1302
    Excerpt: "Capitalism promotes economic growth over environmental protection. The system encourages corporate greed. It devalues the environment and future generations. This has led to continued environmental damage…Attitudes and behaviors are going to have to change drastically for the system to protect the environment. The environment has to be valued by consumers and the government so that corporations will be forced to see its value."

  • First Place: Ana De Angulo
    “Caravaggio's Radical Religious Art and Profound Resonance”
    Professor Matt Backer, ARTS 1304 (Honors)
    Excerpt: "Caravaggio was able to challenge the status quo of religious art and accomplish the unlikely. He rebelled against the firmly entrenched Italian classicism and the former idealization of religious subjects, and yet was able to attract immense praise and admiration from his patrons and contemporaries."
  • Second Place: Deborah Cerritos
    “The Continuation of Corruption in Law Enforcement”
    Professor Bindu Nayar, ENGL 1301
    Excerpt: "There needs to be more focus placed for the supervision of law enforcement officers, but from an outside source, possibly to relieve the chance of corruption in regards to loyalty and more consideration towards defendants in legal proceedings."
  • Third Place: Daniela Markovic
    “The Effects of Banning Books on High School Students”
    Professor Mark Thorsby, PHIL 1301 (Honors)
    Excerpt: "Censorship aims to protect children, yet it can cause those same children to grow up in ignorance. By banning books from high school libraries, students are unethically being influenced to narrow their perceptions of the world around them and losing potential knowledge."

  • First Place: Gabriela Pineda
    “Intentionality Sculpted: The Directedness Higher Level Educated Beings Adhere and Conform To”
    Professor Mark Thorsby, PHIL 2318
  • Second Place: Jessica Martinez “A Wake-Up Call: Confronting Media Expectations for Body Image”
    Professor Kimberly Mori, ENGL 1301
  • Third Place: Braxton Fonner “Teaching How to Learn: In Support of Skills Based Education”
    Professor Jamili Omar, ENGL 1301

  • First Place: Ibrahim Iqbal "The Sight We Lack"
    Professor Rebekah Love, ENGL 1302
  • Second Place: Nancy Amin "Education as a Fundamental Human Right"
    Professor Jamili Omar, ENGL 2333
  • Third Place: Judith Moore "Death Penalty vs. Insanity Plea"
    Professor Fay Lee, ENGL 1301

  • First Place: Jordan Davis
    "Avarice: A Case Study on the Abomination of For-Profit Prisons"
    Professor Heidi Jo Green, GOVT 2304
  • Second Place: Candelario Leal
    "Genius, Madness and Shamanism and the Upper Paleolithic Revolution"
    Professor Matt Backer, ARTS 1303
  • Third Place: Karla Segura
    "Gloria Anzaldua and the Bi-cultural Feminist Americana"
    Professor Michelle Brown, ENGL 1302

  • First Place: April Johnson, "A Classic in Modern Times"
    Professor Matthew Backer, ARTS 1303
    A wonderful essay about German immigrant and Texas Architect John Ludwig Wees’ unique, classical take on the WWI memorials.
  • Second Place: Christopher Whitfill, "The Democratic Spirit"
    Professor Mark Thorsby, PHIL 1301
    A thought-provoking essay about the rise of totalitarianism in pre-WWII Germany.
  • Third Place: Bethany Reese, "Sin Represas: Without Dams!"
    Professor Sergio Sarmiento, GEOL 1405
    A timely PowerPoint presentation about hydroelectric power and some suggested green alternatives in Chile.

  • First Place - Cody Beers - "Daddy Complex"
    Professor: Patricia Healy
  • Second Place - Scott Liebling - "The Societal Effects of the Decline of Organized Labor in the United States"
    Professor: Heidi Jo Green
  • Third Place - Misty Nikel - "Reform for U.S.-China Trade"
    Professor: Patricia Healy

  • First Place - Brandon de Hoyos: “A War of Words: How Civil War Correspondents Changed the News Industry”
    Professor: Esther Robinson
  • Second Place - Gorge Sanchez-Ruiz: “Why the Federal Reserve Must Cease”
    Professor: Margaret Mendonca
  • Third Place - Jim Brant McMahon: “Prisoners of Intangible Walls"
    Professor: Sonila Themeli

  • First Place - Amy Mitamura: "The History of Radiation Safety"
    Professor: Cynthia Robertson 
  • Second Place - Victoria Marie Bee: "Female Genital Mutilation"
    Professor: Michelle Brown
  • Third Place - Maria A. Partearroyo: "Universal Health Care, a Right to Pursue"
    Professor: Bindu Nayar

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