Associate Dean of University Libraries Kathy Crowe and Dean Rosann Bazirjian presented our Undergraduate Research award at the recent research awards ceremony on campus. This award recognizes outstanding work that demonstrates the ability to locate, select and synthesize information and use it in the creation of an original research project.
The recipient for 2015 is Senior History Major Kyle Pope of Black Mountain, NC for his paper, “Lightbulb Moment: Electricity in the YWCA Scrapbook” which he wrote for History 430: Historical Research Methods for Social Studies. For this research assignment, students examine and contextualize scrapbooks from the early days of the university that are held in our University Archives. Kyle noticed that his scrapbook from the early 1920’s had numerous clippings that focused on light bulbs. This led to a light bulb moment of his own when he realized many of the students at that time likely came from rural areas without electricity. It led him to research electrification on campus and in North Carolina. Here is a video interview with Kyle about his project.
Kyle’s professor for this paper was Dr. Lisa Tolbert from the History Department. In her nominating letter Dr. Tolbert noted that his paper “makes an important contribution to the history of the University.” And that it “exemplifies creativity and originality in historical research practices.”
In his application letter Kyle expressed his appreciation for the resources in our Library. In his words: “Without the resources made available through the Jackson Library, I would never have been able to complete the level of research on a topic as obscure as rural electrification.” He credited Archivist Kathelene Smith and Head of Special Collections Keith Gorman with their assistance in helping him succeed.
This is why we established this award – to recognize students who make these discoveries and apply them to their coursework.