History major wins Undergraduate Research Award from Clemson Libraries

Morgan Jones

Morgan Jones, a senior history major, received the first place Undergraduate Research Award from Clemson Libraries. The award recognizes students who make use of library resources and services to produce outstanding research for scholarly or creative works.

Jones’ project was titled “New Cinema History in Kershaw County, SC: How the Growth of Cinema Contributed to a County’s Identity” and was completed as her senior seminar project. The assignment required her to write an essay and create an ArcGIS StoryMap about the social and cultural history of cinema related to a small town in the South. Jones chose to focus on Kershaw County because she is from the area.

In working on her project, Jones used resources offered by the Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies located in Cooper Library to learn about ArcGIS and StoryMapping, and she checked out books and accessed databases related to the history of Kershaw County. She also accessed newspaper archives through the University of South Carolina Libraries. She was assisted in her research by librarian Anne Grant.

Professor James Burns, who taught Jones’ senior seminar class, wrote in his nomination letter that Jones’ work was “a potentially publishable piece of original scholarship that utilized an astonishing array of library resources for both its research and for its public presentation … Having run this class for more than a decade, I have evaluated dozens of these studies. I have never had a student put more enthusiasm and effort into their research, which is clearly reflected in Morgan’s final project.”

The second-place winner was Browning Blair, a senior English and communication double major, for her project “Understanding Adaption: Learning Via Hallian Representation,” which involved the creation of a lesson plan and an annotated bibliography analyzing the Indian film “Haider,” which is a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Blair used Clemson Libraries’ Shakespeare database extensively when researching for her project.

Students Morgan Jones, Justin Furgala and Browning Blair with Clemson Libraries Dean Chris Cox

Third place went to Justin Furgala, a senior bioengineering major in the Clemson Honors College, for his project “Extracellular Vesicle-Loaded Microgels as a Preventative Method for Radiation Fibrosis,” which was a summer research project at Johns Hopkins University that was focused on designing a hydrogel product that would help improve wound healing in cancer patients. Furgala used the library to find journals, scholarly articles and databases for his research, as well as for assistance writing citations.

This is the third year of the Libraries’ Undergraduate Research Award. The first-place winner received an award of $1,000, with $750 going to second place and $500 going to third place. The recipients’ research projects will be made available in TigerPrints, Clemson’s digital repository of research and scholarly works.