University of South Florida students are capable of great things. But occasionally, an ambitious young student will demonstrate such mastery of the research process, and pursue their academic and career goals with such focus, as to bedazzle those around him or her. It is this passionate undergraduate scholar that the Best Use of Library Resources award seeks to find each year. The scholarship was established by a generous donation from the USF Tampa Library’s Director of Academic Services, Nancy Cunningham, to be awarded to a student participating in the Office for Undergraduate Research’s (OUR) annual Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium.
“Both of these young men have extraordinary skills as researchers and,
as a donor, it is an honor to contribute to the advancement of their education
through this scholarship award.”
-Donor and USF Libraries Director of Academic Services Nancy Cunningham
This year, two promising young students shared the award. Anthony Cilluffo had established his passion for the research process and the library, having worked as a USF Library GURU this year. A political science and economics major, minoring in math, Anthony will temporarily leave the USF Tampa Campus (and his family in Pasco County) for the 2014-2015 academic year in order to participate in the London School of Economics’ (LSE) vaunted General Course, a program once attended by a young JFK.
Cilluffo’s award-winning research project was a historiographical analysis of the role that various government entities have played in the incentivization of several downtown Tampa entertainment projects. He sees it as a step toward becoming a macroeconomist, with the intention of entering public service as a policy analyst promoting effective and efficient government policies.
Anthony’s research project is entitled, Entertaining Government: A Case Study of the Role of Government in the Tampa Entertainment Industry. Of receiving the award, Anthony says,
Working in the library has been an incredible opportunity for me. I get to be surrounded by research everyday, and to spread my interest and experience in conducting research to others that need help. I am also surrounded by people that share the same passion for helping others with research. I’ve gotten a lot of ideas about how to make searches in the catalog and databases better from working with the librarians. Receiving an award from the place that has taught me so much is very fulfilling and encouraging, and will help propel me forward toward my next research project. In a more pragmatic sense, the library award is a great external affirmation of my growing research abilities that I hope will aid me when I approach faculty at LSE about assisting them in their research when I am there.
Bryan MacNeill’s enthusiasm for scientific research is evident the moment you meet him. Ask him about his research and you will be rewarded with a rich depiction of the forces influencing the ecosystems he studies. Bryan, originally from Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, is majoring in integrative animal biology. His project sought to understand whether differences in freshwater inflow could be responsible for an increased rate of parasitism in the species investigated. This kind of research has significant implications for estuarine and river health assessments. Bryan points out that, “By looking at two seemingly insignificant species, we can assess with ease whether a river system is in need of management or not.”
MacNeill hopes to publish his project, entitled Can River Flow Mechanics Drive Variation in Parasitism of Anchovies by Isopods? in an academic journal. He intends to pursue a doctorate in ecology, with which he aims to conduct research and to teach. Bryan also plans to work as a USF Libraries GURU in coming semesters, so that he can help other students make the most of the universe of resources that the library provides. Of receiving the award, Bryan says,
This award is very important, and holds a bit of sentimentality to me. One thing that has always inspired me is the human drive to know and learn more. There was recently a kid in the news who had discovered a new way to test for a certain cancer that would only cost about $5, whereas previously it had cost thousands. When he was asked what his greatest issue was during his research, he said it was the amount of money he had to spend looking through academic papers and journals, many of which have expensive subscriptions.
There are a variety of ways to support these research awards. For example, a gift of $25,000 can endow a research award like this in perpetuity, in your or your family’s name. Become involved in recognizing and supporting students who are making the most of their educational opportunities: contact the USF Libraries Development office here or by calling (813) 974-4433 .