Research papers net two students RCC writing awards

Professor Terri Seward and Salome Quintanilla

Professor Terri Seward and Salome Quintanilla

Rappahannock Community College’s library coordinator, Dan Ream, is pleased to announce the winners of the college’s Student Research Paper Awards. The purpose of this competition is to recognize excellent writing and research in student papers counting toward RCC credit courses during the Spring 2015 semester. All entries were carefully reviewed by a panel of three judges: Ream; RCC’s president, Dr. Elizabeth Crowther; and public information officer Tom Martin.

Out of 26 papers submitted for consideration, the first prize went to “The High School Environment and Its Impact on Cross-Gender Teens,” by Salome Quintanilla of Williamsburg. This paper was written for Professor Terri Seward’s Information Literacy class. In addition to Quintanilla’s $200 award, Professor Seward will receive a $50 honorarium.

Adam Parker of Northumberland County earned second prize for “The Effect of Changes in pH on the Production and Respiration Rates of Native Tape Grass, Vallisneria Americana,” which he wrote for Professor Jim Beam’s Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School course in Marine Science. Parker’s award will be $100, and Professor Beam will receive $50. Both Quintanilla’s and Parker’s papers are posted at the RCC Library’s website.

A further 14 papers were submitted by Haynesville Correctional Center inmates who take RCC classes. These papers were judged separately, as the students who wrote them do not have Internet access, and had to rely exclusively on print resources provided by the RCC and Correctional Center libraries. The judges felt that these papers made particularly good use of the available sources, and were distinguished by exceptional writing. Two Haynesville inmates will receive certificates in recognition of their outstanding entries.

All submissions were judged according to the quality of library and Internet sources cited (including journal articles, books, or web resources), as well as the overall quality of writing and presentation. The cash awards were funded through the RCC Educational Foundation, Inc.

This competition was organized for the first time in Spring 2015, and Ream hopes to make it an annual event.