Undergraduate Library Research Award Winners, 2022-2023

Posted on
March 27, 2023
By Mary Oberlies - Instruction & Data Services Librarian

The William & Mary Libraries Undergraduate Library Research Awards recognize the creative and original library research completed by William & Mary undergraduate students. Awards are given to students whose papers best illustrate exemplary use of W&M Libraries tools and resources, and the development of information-gathering skills. A total of four awards are granted each year in two categories: Freshman/Sophomore and Junior/Senior.  We are excited to announce the winners of the 2022-2023 award cycle. 

Junior/Senior Category 

Claire Wyszynski
Claire Wyszynski '23 

First Place: Claire Wyszynski ’23

Claire Wyszynski ’23 has received the first-place award in the Junior/Senior category for their paper, “’Lepers for Show’: The Performance of Medical Authority and the Illusion of the Chinese Medical Threat in Nineteenth-Century America.” The paper examines Chinese exclusion policies and xenophobia in the United States through the lens of public health initiatives and fear-mongering. In selecting Wyszynski’s paper, the award committee was struck by the cohesive argument and the extensive and well-utilized bibliography.  



Ruby Neisser
Ruby Neisser '23
Sophia Haile
Sophia Haile '23

Second Place: Ruby Neisser ’23 and Sophia Haile ‘23

Ruby Neisser ’23 and Sophia Haile ‘23 have received the second-place award in the Junior/Senior category for their paper, “Modeling Titan’s atmosphere through investigation of low-temperature kinetics and branching of N (2D) and C2H4 towards cyclic-2H-azirine (c-CH2NCH).” The paper proposes a novel research direction using CRESUSOL to examine the atmospheric composition and properties of Saturn’s moon, Titan, by looking at the moon’s nitrogen chemistry. The award committee was impressed with their research process and the integration of charts and images to explain their findings.  



Freshman/Sophomore Category

Coran Gross
Coran Gross '26 

First Place: Coran Goss ’26 

Coran Goss ’26 has received the first-place award in the Freshman/Sophomore category for their presentation, “The Mark I and the Canvas of War: Gender Roles and Military Vehicles.” Beginning with the Mark I tank, this presentation examines the genderization of military vehicles from tanks, to ships, and nose art during World War I. In selecting Goss’s presentation, the award committee appreciated the variety of sources that were well incorporated to tell the history of gendering military vehicles.  




Sebastian Cannito
Sebastian Cannito '25

Second Place: Sebastian Cannito ’25 

Sebastian Cannito ’25 has received the second-place award in the Freshman/Sophomore category for their paper, “Manufacturing the Freak: Animality and the Western Sideshow.” This paper examines the exploitation and animalization of humans in circuses and related platforms during the late 19th to early 20th centuries. The paper led to much discussion among the award committee, who were intrigued with the use of historical images, and underlying themes of racism, ableism, and sexual rhetoric used in visuals of the time identified by Cannito.