UGA Libraries' Undergraduate Research Awards Recognize Student Achievement

Submitted by Camie on

When Savannah Chruszcz took on a project to research the Georgia Museum of Natural History, she knew that it would take a lot of time and focus. But with help from UGA librarians and archivists, she figured out how to make the work interesting and rewarding… and in the end, she earned a cash prize for her efforts.

The second year history and geology major earned an honorable mention in the 2024 Libraries Undergraduate Research Awards this month.

“I learned that I just have to have a lot of patience because sometimes a document will have a treasure trove of information, sometimes not, but there will always be something else to look into,” she said. “Research is a very long, tedious process, but a rewarding and fulfilling one.”

The University of Georgia Libraries have sponsored the Libraries Undergraduate Research Awards each year since 2007 as a way to connect students with resources, faculty, and librarians as they pursue projects of their choosing.

This year’s award recipients were recognized at the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Symposium held on April 8-9, 2024 at the Classic Center in downtown Athens, Georgia. The students also received cash prizes ranging from $200-$300.

The requirements for entry are a research consultation with a librarian, an essay reflecting on the research process, and a bibliography. This year’s entries span topics across academic disciplines, from mathematics to social sciences and biology.

Sara Logsdon is a 3rd year at UGA studying mathematics. Her research on the “Group Structure of Conic Sections and Elliptic Curves.” earned her first place in the LURA competition. Throughout the research process she used both pure and applied resources from the UGA Libraries to understand the intersection of mathematics and computer science.

“I learned that research is much more than finding the right answers to your questions, but also finding more of the right questions to ask,” Logsdon said. “The UGA Library staff was so helpful! They pointed me to more specialized databases so that I could find information on both the "pure" and "applied" parts of my topic, something which I think is really important when dealing with any intersection of math and computer science.”

Chruszcz also thanked the staff who helped her research win honorable mention at the awards ceremony.  “The materials in the Special Collections Library were invaluable to my research, and the library staff were fantastic. All of them were very friendly and supportive of my project, and they helped me get back on track whenever I got stuck,” she said.

Winners of the Libraries Undergraduate Research Award. Pictured left to right are  Savannah Chruszcz, Paige Sobczak, Alimata Bah, Shriya Rasale   Hannah Bowen and Sara Logsdon not pictured.
Winners of the Libraries Undergraduate Research Award. Pictured left to right are  Savannah Chruszcz, Paige Sobczak, Alimata Bah, librarian Elizabeth White, and Shriya Rasale. Hannah Bowen and Sara Logsdon not pictured.

Below is the full list of recipients:

  • 1st Place, $300:  Sara Logsdon, “On the Group Structure of Conic Sections and Elliptic Curves.”
  • Honorable Mention, $250:  Savannah Chruszcz, “Researching the Georgia Museum of Natural History.
  • Honorable Mention, $250:  Paige Sobczak, “The Role of Rab12 in Primary Ciliogenesis in Astrocytes and Neuronal Cells.
  • Juror’s Choice, $200:  Shriya Rasale, “Race-Gendered Intersectionality of Black Undergraduate Women in Computing (BUWC):  Preliminary Scale Development and Validation."
  • Most Promising 1st Year Research, $200:  Hannah Bowen, “Drug Discovery for Multiple Hereditary Exostoses.”
  • One Time Special Award for Extensive Use of Library expertise, $200:  Alimata Bah, “The Rise of Coups in West/Central Africa and Human Rights.