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AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas Libraries have announced the winner of the 2014 Signature Course Information Literacy Award.
Katherine Barnhart— a student in the Business Honors Program in the McCombs School of Business— was selected from a pool of 32 nominations for the award based on her essay, “Jerusalem’s Status in the Tenth-Ninth Centuries B.C.E.” composed for the Fall 2013 Signature Course “Jerusalem” (UGS 303) taught by Professor Jonathan Kaplan from the Department of Middle Eastern Studies.
This assignment was unique in that it required students to choose only two scholarly articles and evaluate them in relation to one another rather than to produce a traditional research paper. The structure of the assignment gave Barnhart the opportunity to understand and engage in the scholarly conversation, resulting in a level of information literacy not normally seen in the work of lower division undergraduates.
One of the judges noted that, “Barnhart's paper analyzes the articles in relation to one another, and contextualizes the entire project. That kind of intellectual work is the reason we do research in the first place.”
The Signature Course Information Literacy Award recognizes exemplary student work that achieves the learning outcomes of the Signature Course information literacy requirement, which are that students will be able to create and execute a research strategy, critically evaluate information and use citations.
The award, which includes a $500 prize, is given annually to a project submitted in a Signature Course, and is judged by a panel consisting of librarians, faculty and members of the Undergraduate Studies staff.