Six USC Undergrads Win USC Libraries Research Award

The USC Libraries honored six University of Southern California students for exceptional research-based coursework at the 2023 USC Libraries Research Award reception, held Friday, April 14, at Doheny Memorial Library. The annual award honors top research completed in for-credit or independent study courses during the previous calendar year. This year, six undergraduate prizes were awarded: two each for first, second, and third place.

Tied for first place were Eric Hu’s essay titled “A History of Allotment on the Agua Caliente Reservation” and Natalie Humber’s “A Scoping Review to Design a ‘Chatbot’ Intervention to Help Adolescents with Type One Diabetes and Their Caregivers Understand Disordered Eating Behaviors and Diabulimia; a Diabetic Eating Disorder.” 

Hu’s work looks at how federal laws and court cases were applied and enacted in the California context, one often overlooked in studies about the allotment laws. Hu wrote of his experience working with USC Libraries Special Collections material: “Therefore, working with primary sources in a personally novel fashion, vastly expanded my research capabilities, not just because of the experience I gained, but also because the amount and medium of the information compelled me to change the way I research and synthesize my research.”

Humber’s research reviewed scholarship about online resource intervention for adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in regards to disordered eating patterns. Her work concludes that while medical providers are not often aware of these issues, online resources have been successful in prevention, screening, and early intervention for non-diabetic individuals and should be studied in T1D populations. Humber utilized skills, methods of research, USC Libraries databases, and programs like Covidence learned from USC Libraries faculty to synthesize their research.

Frances Untalan’s “The Gentleman’s Agreement and its Impact on the Japanese American Family” and Blaise Gordon’s “The Disappearance of American Victory Gardens After World War II” were both awarded second-place prizes. Tied for third place were Jinkai (Kaylee) Chen’s “Prisoner Reentry & Employment” Re-evaluating Self-Efficacy” and Charis Alexander’s “Hypotheses for the Evolution of Lactation and the Origin on Milk: A Summary of Recent Research and a New Hypothesis.”

This year's jurors were Lisa Marie Crow, Javier Garibay, Kevin Klipfel, Jane Lah, Clara Levy, Eddie Loh, Melissa Miller, Suzi Noruschat, Michael Oliveira, Ashley Temm, Holly Thompson, Michaela Ullmann, Ariana Varela, Kelsey Vukic, and Ruth Wallach of the USC Libraries; and USC instructors Lori Mesrobian, Kit Myers, and Trisha Tucker.

The USC Libraries Research Award, which began as a Dean’s Challenge Grant, is now generously supported by Adam Matthew Digital and Johnson Rare Books & Archives.

Submissions will open soon for next year’s awards, which are open to both graduate and undergraduate students.