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The Second Annual William O'Brien First-Year Research Prizes have been awarded to four students whose projects for the 2004-2005 academic year were judged to "best reflect the goals of the First-Year Seminars."

First prize of $250 went to Lisa Romas '08, Fayetteville, NY, for "The Use of DDT to Control Malaria in Third-World Countries." Her First-Year Seminar was led by Hepburn Professor of Economics Jeffrey Young.

Samuel (Slater) Latour '08, Manchester Center, VT, was awarded second prize, $100, for "When There are No Clear Answers: Navigating Between the Battle Lines of a Culture War to the Promised Land of Sexuality Education." His First-Year Seminar was led by Professor of Economics and Associate Dean of the First Year Steven Horwitz.

Two students tied for the third prize of $50 each: Matthew Landry '08; Wilton, CT; for "Bombing a Magazine: The Effects of John Hersey's 'Hiroshima' on the New Yorker," First-Year Seminar led by Professor of Canadian Studies Robert Thacker; and Matthew Zabik '08, Stafford Springs, CT, for "Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, Reforming the Soviet Union and Advocating Global Peace: The Life and Achievements of a Misunderstood Leader," First-Year Seminar led by Associate Professor of Philosophy Laura Rediehs.

All four will present their work at the honors reception held Family Weekend.

The William O'Brien First-Year Research Prizes were created in honor of O'Brien, a member of the Class of 2006 who was killed in an accident the summer after his first year at St. Lawrence. His family and friends created a fund in his memory, specifically to benefit the First-Year Program and students participating in the program. The research prizes and the First-Year Cup are supported by the fund.

Each spring, the faculty and administrators of the First-Year Program select three students whose research in their First-Year Seminar best reflects the goals of the seminar. Those three students receive cash awards and present their research to the campus community upon their return to campus in the fall of their sophomore year. Students are nominated by their seminar advisors, and submissions are judged on their "creativity, originality, the quality of their written or oral presentation and, especially, their ability to meet the research goals of the First-Year Seminar," which are:
  • To assess the research requirements of a particular assignment and to meet those requirements by using library collections, electronic databases and Web-based sources.
  • To be able to choose amongst these sources to determine which are most appropriate for a particular assignment.
  • To assess and represent the complexity of a particular line of inquiry and to enter responsibly into the conversation about the issues it raises.

    The First-Year Program

    Posted: September 14, 2005

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