Brandeis Library & Technology Services

Congratulations to the Library Research Award Winners, Xinyu (Annie) Li and Saren McAllister!

June 20th, 2017 · No Comments

From working with students throughout the year, Brandeis librarians see many students completing impressive research papers and projects. To recognize undergraduate students who apply exemplary library research skills, the Library has started a Library Research Award and selected two award winners from an outstanding pool of student submissions. Congratulations to this year’s winners, Saren McAllister and Annie Li! Descriptions of their research are provided below:

Saren McAllister, “Visual Discourses of Colonialism, Interracial Sex, Resistance, and Nation-Building in Mexico, 1711-1810”
Saren completed this research in AAAS 135: Race, Sex, and Colonialism, taught by Carina Ray. In her recommendation, Carina described Saren’s paper as “eloquent and meticulously researched.”

Saren McAllister

Saren described working with three different librarians (noting each librarian by name!) and concluded: “The final product of this research project is one of my favorite papers I have written at Brandeis, and I learned a lot throughout the process. This project taught me that research papers can be really enjoyable if the process of researching and writing starts early. Not only was starting early on this project advantageous in completing the paper on time, I also realized that starting early gave me more time to really explore my interests. Because I had so much freedom throughout this process, I found the process more enjoyable overall than any other research paper I had done. Choosing my own research and guiding myself was really rewarding, and I felt more invested in the product of my work. I also had a tremendous amount of institutional support throughout the process which helped the process feel less overwhelming. I used to be scared of reading and writing history, but Professor Ray and the multiple employees at the library who assisted me for this project made me feel more confident engaging with history. Until I did this paper, I was not aware of all the systems in place to support undergraduate students doing research. In the future, I will be more willing to access all the resources available to me. I also found a strategy for researching and writing that works really well for me that I can implement in the future.”

Xinyu (Annie) Li, “The Legacy of the South China Sea Arbitration: An Introduction of PCA Ruling in a Historical and Political Context”
Annie completed her research for her senior thesis in International and Global Studies. She was supervised by Richard Gaskins, Heyward Parker James, and Xing Hang. In recommending Annie for the award, Heyward wrote “Annie’s thesis is the most thorough analysis of this issue that I have encountered anywhere thus far. Although I am familiar with this issue through press coverage, this is the first time I have seen the issue covered in this kind of depth. Annie based her research on primary sources throughout. She presented her findings in a balanced manner. Although her perspective on this issue is different than my own, I greatly respect her work. I am extremely impressed by the quality of her research. I recommend her for this honor with enthusiasm and without hesitation.”

Xinyu (Annie) Li

Annie used over eighty different sources, including a wide range of primary and secondary sources. In her research process essay, Annie wrote, “I relied extensively on Brandeis Library’s resources throughout my project. I used the library catalog to borrow academic works on the South China Sea and Southeast Asian histories. These books included but not limited to Bill Hayton’s The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia, Ji-Young Lee’s China’s Hegemony: Four Hundred Years of East Asian Domination, and Kathlene Baldanza’s Ming China and Vietnam: Negotiating Borders in Early Modern Asia. I located numerous journal articles and online resources from JSTOR, LexisNexis Academic, Ebrary e-book and WorldCat. I borrowed 7 books from Interlibrary Loan service for this project, and these books became a great addition to my project.”

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