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USC Libraries Research Award: Previous Award Winners and Jury Members

This LibGuide provides information about the USC Libraries Research Award. It includes submission guidelines, requirements, previous award winners and jury members, as well as additional information about primary source materials at USC.

Previous Award Winners

Winners of the 2017 USC Libraries Research Award

Undergraduate Thesis Award:

Jacob Lokshin

  • Paper:  “Whose War is it Anyway? Examining Decision-Making in the Construction of U.S.-Afghan Policy During the Carter Administration”
  • Major: History

Allison Smith

  • Paper: “The News from Nowhere: William Morris's Icelandic Landscapes”
  • Major: English

Undergraduate Research Papers

First place: Anna Lipscomb

  • Paper: “China's Regional Identity Crises: Exploring Identity in Xinjiang and Taiwan's Relations with Beijing”
  • Majors: International Relations, East Asian Languages and Cultures

Second place: Matthew Simon

  • Paper: “Global Evolution: How Globalization shaped the National Basketball Association into an International Power”
  • Majors: Communication and Political Science

First-Year Undergraduate Paper Award:

Rebecca Breitstein

  • Paper:  “La Ventana a la Cultura: El Papel del Idioma en la Educación Primaria”
  • Major: Business Administration


Graduate Student Awards:

Emily Rauber Rodriguez

  • Paper: “Hidden Follies: The Lost Labor Behind Arthur Freed’s Unmade MGM Musicals”
  • Program: Cinema and Media Studies

Michael Turcios

  • Paper:  “Debates and Questions for Studying Black Murals: The Case of Noni Olabisi’s ‘To Protect and Serve’ (1996)”
  • Program: Visual Studies

Winners of the 2016 USC Libraries Research Award

Undergraduate papers:

Tying for first prize:

José Alaras.

  • Paper: "La frontera lingüística de los inmigrantes en el sector de salud"
  • Major: Biochemistry

Brittney Kidwell.

  • Paper: "Portrait of the German-American Economic Relationship from 1933-1945"
  • Majors: History and Economics

Tying for second prize:

Roberto Nazario.

  • Paper: "The Work and Struggles of Jewish Physicists and Mathematicians in Nazi Germany"
  • Major: Physics

Rebecca Teper.

  • Paper: "Analyzing the Effects of Political Preferences and Negative Advertising on Voting Decisions"
  • Major: Business Administration

Graduate papers:

First prize:

Darshana Mini.

  • Paper: "The Great Indian Road Trip: Constructing the Picturesque Colony in 1940s and 1950s Travelogue films"
  • Program: PhD, Cinema and Media Studies


Winners of the 2015 USC Libraries Research Award:

Tying for first prize in the honors thesis category:

Emily Hodgkins.
Paper: “Beat Music and the Politics of Youth Identity in the German Democratic Republic, 1949–1965”

Alexander Finkelstein.
Paper:  “Los Angeles Transformation: 1863–1876,”

Undergraduate papers category

1st prize
Mahima Verma. Paper:  “Unpackaging Life magazine’s photographic essay of the 1946 Calcutta Riots.”

Tying for second prize:

Sareen Palassian. Paper: “The Femme Fatale in LGBT Science Fiction”

Diana Kruzman. Paper: “Uncontacted No Longer: Globalization’s Impact on Kinship, Conflict and Ritual Cannibalism Among the Korowai of Papua.”

Honorable Mention

Sasha Pearce. Paper:  “Mary Stuart in Letters"


Winners of the 2014 USC Libraries Research Award:

First Place Graduate Student Winner:

Natalie Dame
Major: Slavic Languages and Literatures
Paper: Russia in Distress or the Tortured Virgins in the Russian Satirical Journals of 1905-1906

First Place Undergraduate Student Winner:

John Merritt
Major: History
Paper: South Tyrol, Südtirol, or Trentino? National Community on the Linguistic Frontier of Austria and Italy, 1848-1945

Second Place Undergraduate Student Winner:

Leslie Chang
Major: History
Paper: Charles Dickens and the Ethics of Accounting


Winners of the 2013 USC Libraries Research Award:

First Place ($500):
Nitya Ramanathan
Major: International Relations, minor- Human Rights, Resistance to Genocide
Semester in which the Research Paper was written: Fall 2013
Academic Class Level: Junior
Title of paper: How do We Put Ourselves Back Together? An Analytical Comparison between Transitional Justice in Rwanda and South Africa

Second Place ($200):
Diem-Tran Nguyen
Major: History (Minor: Natural Science),
Semester in which the Research Paper was written: Fall 2013
Academic Class Level: Senior
Title of paper:
The Paradoxical Treatment of Male Homosexual Prisoners During the Holocaust



Previous Jury Members

2017 Jury:

●    Jose Alaras, student, biochemistry major  (2016 Research Award winner)
●    Rebecca Corbett, Japanese Studies Librarian, USC Libraries
●    Elizabeth Galoozis, Head of Information Literacy, USC Libraries (lead)
●    Karin Huebner, Director of Programs, Harman Academy for Polymathic Study
●    Kevin Klipfel, Instructional Design & Assessment Librarian, USC Libraries
●    Sue Luftschein, Head of Special Collections, USC Libraries
●    Danielle Mihram, Reference and Instruction Librarian, USC Libraries
●    Darshana Mini, Ph.D. student, School of Cinematic Arts (2016 Research Award winner)
●    Suzi Noruschat, Southern California Studies Specialist, USC Libraries
●    Andrea Parra, Associate Professor (Teaching) of Spanish
●    Eimmy Solis, Social Sciences Data Librarian, USC Libraries
●    Shalini Ramachandran, Science and Engineering Librarian, USC Libraries


2016 Jury for undergraduate student papers:

Sean Nye, Assistant Professor for Practice in Musicology
Emily Hodginks, USC History, 2016 & 2015 USC Libraries Research Award winner
Melanee Vicedo, Head, Education and Social Work Library Services
Andrew Justice, Head, Music Library

Special jury for Spanish-language papers:
Liana Stepanyan, Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese, Dornsife College
​Maria Mercedes Fages Agudo,Senior Lecturer, Spanish & Portuguese, Dornsife College

 2016 Jury for graduate student papers:

Kristin Diehl, Associate Professor of Marketing
Helga Haraldsson, Head, Business and Accounting Libraries
Sue Luftschein, Head, Special Collections


Jury Members USC Libraries Research Award 2015:
Carolyn Caffrey Gardner (USC Libraries)
Jack Merritt (1st place undergraduate student winner 2014)
Rotem Gilbert (USC Thornton Music School)
Natalie Dame (1st place graduate student winner 2014)
Elizabeth Galoozis (USC Libraries)

Ex Officio Members:

Michaela Ullmann
Exile Studies Librarian, USC Libraries

Sue Luftschein
Archival and Metadata Librarian, USC Libraries

2014 Jury Members:

Nitya Ramanathan
1st Place Winner, USC Libraries Research Award 2013

Glenda Goodman
Postdoctoral Fellow, History Department

Gian-Maria Annovi
Assistant Professor of French & Italian

Elizabeth Namei
​Assistant University Librarian and Reference and Instruction Librarian

2013 Jury Members:

Leo Braudy
University Professor and Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature and Professor of English and History

Tyler Cundiff
USC Sophomore, Political Science, Communication, Human Rights

Joseph Hawkins
Director, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

Lindsay O'Neill
Lecturer, USC Dornsife, Department of History