The University of Texas Libraries has announced the winners of the 2020 Signature Course Information Literacy Award.
The award recognizes exemplary student work that achieves the learning outcomes of the Signature Course information literacy requirement. Winning entrants demonstrated an ability to create and execute a research strategy, critically evaluate information and navigate the scholarly conversation. Judges are librarians and staff from the School of Undergraduate Studies and the Center for Skill and Experience Flags. Due to the current health crisis, this year’s awards ceremony was canceled.
Winning projects are placed in the open access repository Texas ScholarWorks where they are available for review.
First place was awarded to Thomas Jennings, a Biochemistry Honors and English freshman, for his paper “The Word Made Flesh in Zen and Anarchism.” Jennings self-nominated his paper, which was completed in Arturo De Lozanne’s fall 2019 course Originality in the Arts and Sciences. Jennings’ project was chosen for his use and synthesis of an impressive array of sources and his successful use of archival sources in particular. Dr. De Lozanne supported this project by saying "he artfully weaves together philosophical and spiritual writings by Ferlinghetti and his contemporaries, historical cultural movements, additional works of art, and his own analysis to make a compelling argument for the benefits of protecting nature.”
Brandon Curl, a Physics Honors sophomore, earned second place for his paper “Why is Gay Not Okay?” nominated by Arturo De Lozanne from the department of Molecular Biosciences. This paper was submitted in the Fall 2019 Signature Course Originality in the Arts and Sciences. Curl’s project developed out of a personal interest in the subject, and used a diverse set of sources. Dr. De Lozanne commended this project by saying "Brandon's paper successfully presents a complex and compelling comparison of two Texas universities' attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ population within their student body. Brandon went the extra mile to not only understand the legal details necessary to make his argument, but he also took care to equally address the emotional impact and social implications of these differing policies”
Joseph Punske (RTF Freshman), Hriman Shah (Biochemistry Sophomore) and Kevin Buck earned third place for the collaborative work, “The effect of the structure of Jazz Music on Anxiety.” The paper was nominated by Laura I. Gonzalez from the Department of Integrative Biology, and was completed for her fall 2019 course, “Scientific Inquiry Across Disciplines.” Buck, Punske and Shah’s project was chosen for their excellent literature review and novel research question that is absent in the existing literature. Dr. Gonzalez praised the project, saying "Students demonstrated amazing creativity in developing their question, methodology and analysis. They used scholarly journals to reference their methods and ideas. The whole final product is one of the best examples of how to ask interesting scientific questions and use interdisciplinary approaches to tackle them.”
The Libraries congratulates all of this year’s winners.