Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ryan Ridpath Wins 2017 Undergraduate Research Award from University Libraries

Jennifer Motszko presents award to Ryan Ridpath
Assistant Dean Michael Crumpton and Undergraduate Research Award Committee Chair Jennifer Motszko presented the 2017 University Libraries’ Undergraduate Research Award to Ryan Ridpath on May 3 at the Student Honors Convocation. This award is given in recognition of an outstanding original research project or paper written by an undergraduate student or students at UNCG. A successful project demonstrates sophistication, creativity, originality and depth or breadth in the use of library collections and scholarly resources, an exceptional ability to use these resources in the creation of an original research project or paper and responsible use of information including appropriate and accurate citations and credits. 

In his paper, Ridpath explores “women’s roles and the emotions attributed to them, comparing them to men in Njal’s Saga, and analyzing the sorts of gendered language and insults hurled by both genders” to “derive a more concise understanding about the societal values of legitimate violence as it related to gender in the Viking Age, said Motszko.” Ridpath was nominated by his professor, Dr. Richard Barton. "Ryan produced some extremely valuable insight, particularly concerning the dynamic relationship between manliness and violence that existed in Icelandic society and concerning the role of insult as a way for such relationships to be expressed and, occasionally, transgressed,” said Dr. Barton. Additionally, he commented on Ridpath’s excellent use of library resources, particularly in finding the best English translation of Njal’s Saga and assembling a bibliography of secondary scholarship to support his research. His personal essay included a description of the research process, which involved using online databases and inter-library loan materials. He also browsed sections of the library stacks to find books related to his topic. Through the research process, he learned how invaluable it is to have a familiarity with the physical system of the library and that often, just by looking on the shelves, one can find both the necessary piece for their current research and the cornerstone for the next research project. University Libraries' Undergraduate Research Award was established to recognize students who make these discoveries and apply them to their coursework. Ridpath’s winning paper has been added to NC DOCKS, UNCG’s Institutional Repository.

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