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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Left to right are Jennie Ransom, Katherine Balak and Kara Rieger, who were recognized Tuesday as winners of the 2011 Library Research Awards.

Left to right are Jennie Ransom, Katherine Balak and Kara Rieger, who were recognized Tuesday as winners of the 2011 Library Research Awards. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Advancement)

April 13, 2011

Library Day Awards recognize three students for outstanding research papers

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To take a look back at the 2010 Library Day Awards click here.

MARYVILLE, Mo. - Three students were recognized at Northwest Missouri State University Tuesday as winners of the 2011 Library Research Awards.

The annual Library Day activities help promote critical thinking among undergraduate students and encourage usage of library resources. The award winners received Walmart gift certificates valued at $200 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place.

Jennie Ransom, a second-year student from Grain Valley who is attending the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing, took first place in the contest for her essay "Not Sense vs. Sensibility," which she wrote for a fall 2010 course, British literature: Jane Austen. Ransom's faculty sponsor was Dr. Jenny Rytting.

Ransom analyzed whether Jane Austen promotes the value of sensibility over the moral virtue of sense or that a proper balance of the two virtues is more appropriate when describing the behavior of the two main characters, Marianne and Elinor, in the novel, "Sense and Sensibility." Ransom provided a wide range of examples in which both sisters display mutual characteristics of sense and sensibility. She concluded neither virtue, nor characteristic, alone are "desirable qualities to embrace" and suggested successful individuals incorporate both sense and sensibility in their character and interactions with others, thus developing a balanced temperament, as well as congenial and manageable relationships.

Katherine Balak, a senior biology major with a zoology emphasis from St. Joseph, earned second place for her paper "The Father of Comparative Anatomy: George Cuvier's Journey and Contributions to Modern Day Biology." Balak wrote the paper for her comparative anatomy course and was sponsored by Dr. Peter Adam.

Balak discussed the significance of the life of Georges Curvier, the founder of comparative anatomy and paleontology. She noted Curvier's unique perspectives were influenced by his work as a bureaucrat for the government and education, his opposition to the theory of evolution, and his advocacy of his theory of extinction. Balak provided a summary of Curvier's research, including his classification system for animals which organizes them in four groups based upon their common functions, rather than ancestors.

Kara Rieger, a senior music major from Falls City, Neb., took third place for her paper "An Analysis of Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1-2, Opp. 46-55," which she wrote for music literature III. Dr. Ernest Kramer was her faculty sponsor.

Rieger's paper consisted of a biography of Edvard Grieg, background information about the origin of the content that inspired the music for "Peer Gynt," a summary of the play and an analysis of the music and performance of the piece. Rieger chronicled Grieg's struggles in school due to his unorthodox musical style and his unwillingness to conform to rules.

The contest's judges were Dr. Joel Benson, professor in the Department of History, Humanities, Philosophy and Political Science; Dr. David Nelson, instructor in the Department of Communication, Theatre and Languages; Dr. Gary Ury, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems; and Owens Library assistant professors Frank Baudino, Carolyn Johnson and Connie Ury.

Johnson and Ury chaired the annual awards, which were first presented in 2008. Dr. Leslie Galbreath, Director of Library and Academic Services, presented the awards.

The research contest was open to undergraduate students, who were encouraged to submit papers written for credit during the 2010 spring, summer or fall trimesters. Papers, which had to be eight to 20 pages in length, were judged on a point system and a range of criteria that required at least 75 percent of cited sources come from library databases or other library collections.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468