The Library Research Awards, sponsored by the Guggenheim Memorial Library, annually recognizes Monmouth University undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate extraordinary skill and creativity in the application of library and information resources to research papers completed in fulfillment of a course requirement. According to University Librarian Kurt Wagner, this year’s awards were presented to graduate student Killian Mann and undergraduate student Danielle M. Dempsey.
Mann’s paper, “The Marriage of Religion and Politics in Nigeria: Precolonial Roots of a Modern Problem,” was completed for HS-599 Precolonial Africa, taught by Professor Julius Adekunle, Department of History and Anthropology. The paper discusses religion’s effect on the social politics of Nigeria and how individuals frequently vote against their own economic or social interest in order to vote within religious affiliation. Mann provides a thoughtful summary of Nigeria’s history, focusing on its religion-infused monarchal structure and how this traditional association of the religious with every aspect of cultural and political life endures to the present, and in complex interplay with Islam, Christian, nationalist, postcolonial, and other concepts, seeking unity without resorting to violence.
Dempsey’s paper, “Examining Sense of Belonging and Early College Experience of Second-Year University Students as it Relates to Social Isolation and COVID-19,” was completed for HO-390 Honors Thesis Proposal, supervised by Assistant Professor Emma Greenspon, Department of Psychology. The paper explores the sense of belonging and early college experience of second-year university students and their social isolation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the extraordinarily relevant topic of Dempsey’s paper, she is commended specifically on her use of the Monmouth University Libguide for psychology students, improving her PsychINFO search technique, meeting with a librarian to further improve her research, and adopting the use of Zotero for citation management and Academic Writer for APA formatting and writing style improvement.