Libraries Awards Showcase Students Who Took Research Papers to the Next Level

Submitted by Camie on

With a little help from a University of Georgia librarian, Jake Reinhart’s computer science project concluded with a good grade — plus with a patent for a new device, an academic paper under consideration for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and a few hundred dollars in his pocket.

Reinhart, a management information systems major at UGA, was named a winner of the Libraries Undergraduate Research Award, a contest open to any student who has a private consultation with a librarian for help with a research project.

During the annual CURO Symposium in April, a total of six students will be presented with awards, including $300 first place prizes for Vanshika Singisetti, a senior biology and women’s studies major, and Yeongseo Son, a first-year student who learned how to do an exhaustive literature review as well as use special collections from the Brown Media Archives in her research paper.

Reinhart earned $200 for a Juror’s Choice award for his project, and honorable mention prizes of $200 went to Kiana Bussa, a second-year international affairs major, and Erin O’Keefe, a senior majoring in English. A one -time award for most promising first-year research went to Vybhavi Kotireddy for an interdisciplinary project that incorporated research outside of the primary focus of public health.

Reinhart said he was able to get help from a librarian at every stage of his research project.

“I used the libraries resources for the (engineering journal) database to get ideas for the project, used it for information on how to use the USPTO advanced search, and used it for conference proceedings examples,” the Terry College of Business undergraduate student said, noting that in addition to the patent application, he presented his research to faculty and doctoral students. “The greatest skill I learned is persevering through failure when creating something new. The sensor I made had many iterations and a lot of failures along the way, so learning to shake off failures and continue innovating is a skill I will carry with me in my career.”