Tra Pham's winning paper, "Why Can't I Look Like Her?: The Impact of Photoshop on Female Adolescents' Internalization of Beauty Ideals and Body-Related Concerns," written for Professor Emily Pawley's First-Year Seminar, was selected for the library's Excellence in First Year Research prize in 2019. The paper was selected because she presented a thoroughly well-researched exploration of how the ease of access to photo manipulation tools might affect a vulnerable adolescent’s self-image. In doing so, Tra weighed various expert opinions regarding the possible psychological effects of such tools and put the potential harmful effects into well-reasoned perspective.
Hoang Vo's winning paper, "Identity Theft: Is the US Really Safe in the Police's Hands?," written for Professor Elizabeth Lewis's First-Year Seminar was selected for the library's Excellence in First Year Research prize in 2019. The paper was selected because he used a variety of data and research to make a persuasive case that current identity theft prevention measures, while not ignored by law enforcement, are woefully inadequate. Hoang's research material was seamlessly integrated into his prose, which in turn allowed him to identify possible improvements for law enforcement agencies.