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Waidner-Spahr Library

The Waidner-Spahr Library Prizes for Excellence in Student Research: Past SO/JR Winners

2022-2023 Winner: Huy Dang Nhat Do (Harry)

Huy Dang Nhat Do (Harry) was awarded this sophomore/junior research prize for his paper, Weak Accountability in a One-Party System: A COVID-19 Corruption Scandal in Vietnam. Harry wrote this paper for Professor Diamant's POSC 390: Political Corruption.

2021-2022 Winner: Trang Do

Trang Do '23 won for her paper “Ethnic Enclaves and Language Proficiency: Tracking Chinese Migrants in the United States,” written for Professor Tony Underwood’s Economics 398 course.

Trang’s paper examines ethnic enclaves in the United States; these are areas with high concentrations of people of the same ethnicity. To use her words, Trang explores “the interactions between ethnic enclaves and language proficiency, and how this multifaceted relationship impacts migrants’ labor market outcomes.” Here is what Professor Underwood said about Trang’s work: “this paper is likely publishable. The level of work is closer to masters-level, so it is hard to believe she was a sophomore when she wrote it. There are two things that stand out to me about this paper. (1) Her ability to discuss the previous literature using appropriate disciplinary conventions is impressive and (2) the data she used for her analysis required a lot of processing, which she did despite still being relatively new to the software. All told, it is exemplary work.”

2020-2021 Winner: Stephanie Uroda

Stephanie Uroda with her award.

Stephanie Uroda ‘23 won for her paper “BPA Reduces Anxiety Behavior in Female Mice,” written for Professor Meredith Rauhut’s Perspectives in Neuroscience course.  Stephanie majors in Neuroscience and Chemistry.
Her research demonstrates that limited exposure to the chemical BPA decreased anxiety-like behavior in female juvenile mice, but recognizes that other studies show that long-term exposure can have harmful effects, including damage to the endocrine system and development of juveniles.  The work was nominated by Professor Rauhut because, in her words, Stephanie produced superior findings that demonstrated an ability to synthesize and integrate previous work.  Our science librarian Nick Lonergan said that Stephanie “did a great job integrating a variety of appropriate sources and produced a high-quality finished product in a scientific writing style.  She engaged with resources in an analytical way, using them to argue against each other and discuss contradictions.”

2019-2020 Winner: Han Hong Cao

Han Cao reads from her winning paper.

Han Hong Cao's paper "The Importance of Inclusivity in Urban Planning: The Case of Ho Chi Minh City," written for Professor Strand's class on Asian urban ecology, was selected for the library's Research Prize for Sophomores or Juniors in 2020 because of her use of census data, country studies, World Bank data and other sources of information to assert that urban planning may fail when it excludes input from the citizenry.  Using Ho Chi Minh City as a case study, a city that has undergone dramatic transformation since the Vietnam War era, Han's work reveals, through recorded experience, that urban development led only by government entities and private sector corporations can further endanger those who are living in poverty, and those close to it, due to mass eviction and displacement. Her research suggests that an engaged citizenry will work toward common goals with government and private sector entities and that their input would encourage bottom-up rehabilitation and prevent problems such as land right disputes.