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Connecticut College Prize for Undergraduate Library Research: 2020 Prize

The official site for the Connecticut College Prize for Undergraduate Library Research.

Library Prize 2024

The 2024

Connecticut College


Prize for





$500 Award | Applications due 3/08/2024 | Winners published in Digital Commons

2020 Prize for Undergraduate Library Research


Information Services is excited to announce the winner of the 5th annual $500 Connecticut College Prize for Undergraduate Library Research:


Avatar Simpson '20

For the project:

"Using Contextual Information to Extrapolate the Reasons Behind Severe Environmental Ignorance in New London During the Era of Urban Renewal"‚Äč

Written in the Fall 2019 semester for Professor Anna Vallye's course, Architectural Studies: Urban Renewal/America: New London (ARC 473).


An excerpt from [the winning] application:

"My preliminary research was comprised of relevant newspaper articles from the CT State Library, information on the CT DEEP website, and an article written by Professor Niering from the Linda Lear Center...

"After conducting this research and obtaining a broader sense of wetlands importance and destruction, I consulted with librarians and faculty members to help me better understand the contextual history of wetlands within New London. Over the course of the semester, I worked with [multiple librarians], as well as [College staff], [and multiple members of the faculty]. Also, I coordinated with librarians at New London Landmarks and with Brian Rogers, a librarian at the Custom House Maritime Museum...

"With the help of [a Special Collections librarian], I was able to identify all the relevant documents found in the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives... Through this research, I learned about the significance of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (IWWA) of 1972 in Connecticut...

"I then used OneSearch to find articles and other sources pertaining to the IWWA. Furthermore, I worked with [another librarian], who gave me early access to [a recently digitized] collection of [...] Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) [publications]...

"My research primarily consisted of three parts: how the perception of the ecosystemic role of wetlands evolved over time, how wetlands legislation evolved in Connecticut, and how wetlands were treated in New London during the era of urban renewal."


The full-text of winning research statements is available in Digital Commons.



Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work or sponsored a student for this year's competition. The Library Prize Committee was impressed with the variety of disciplines and research methods employed in this year's applications. 

We are thankful to have received so many scholarly entries for this year's prize from a variety of departments and programs, including: American Studies, Architecture, Biology, Economics, and History.


About the Library Prize


The annual prize was awarded for the first time in 2016. It is the first award at Connecticut College specifically created to recognize excellence in the research process. Its purpose is to honor students who have demonstrated excellence in research, and to motivate students to learn and deploy sophisticated research strategies. The competition is judged by a team of librarians and faculty (see Library Prize Committee).


All currently enrolled undergraduate students are eligible for the prize, and any student work for a grade (excepting work for honors projects) was accepted. Entrants submitted a copy of their work and a research statement describing their process, along with a bibliography and a note of recommendation from a faculty member. 


Students are encouraged to consider applying, and faculty, similarly, are encouraged to suggest that students apply.

Sponsors and Thanks

The Library Prize Committee is grateful to the Friends of the Connecticut College Library for their generous sponsorship of this award.

The Connecticut College Prize for Undergraduate Library Research is adapted from UC, Berkeley, Library Prize for Undergraduate Research; Temple University, Library Prize for Undergraduate Research.