Joyner Library recognizes prize winners for outstanding student research

Caption: Joyner Library director Jan Lewis, second place winner, Zachary Dale, first place winner, Jeanann Woodard, and Arthur Carlson, Joyner’s university archivist pose during an April 5 awards ceremony.

Joyner Library announced the winners of its eighth annual Rhem/Schwarzmann Prize for student research during an April 5 ceremony held in the Special Collections Reading Room located on the fourth floor of Joyner Library.

Established by Mrs. Ann Schwarzmann to honor William and Emily Rhem and Theodore and Ann Schwarzmann, the Rhem/Schwarzmann Prize recognizes outstanding research papers written by sophomores, juniors and seniors at East Carolina University.

Eligibility criteria required students to use Joyner Library’s Special Collections, which houses manuscripts, rare books, university archives and the North Carolina collection, as a primary source for their research.

“The papers written by this year’s Rhem/Schwarzmann Prize winners enrich our knowledge of university, community and regional history,” said Joyner Library director Jan Lewis. “Their papers illustrate how primary sources in Joyner Library’s Special Collections can be used to research recent events as well as those occurring more than 150 years ago.”

Papers could be in any field of study but had to be at least 10 pages or 2,500 words in length, and submitted by Feb. 17.  Entries were judged on originality, quality of research, style, documentation and overall excellence by a panel comprised of faculty members from the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and Joyner Library.

“Through close reading and analysis of primary resource materials, these students improved their critical thinking skills and demonstrated the importance of identifying biases and questioning assumptions,” Lewis noted.

Winning the award for first place — and a $750 prize — was Jeanann Woodard, senior in the Department of History Education in the ECU College of Education, for “Planning and Patronizing: Urban Renewal and Race Relations in Greenville, N.C. in the 1960s.”

“I particularly enjoyed using the special collections because it allowed me to travel back in time and connect with people I may never have a chance to meet,” said Woodard. “While reviewing documents and images, I got the closest thing to a firsthand look at Greenville in the 1960s. The primary sources in the special collection allowed me to better connect to the residents who lost their homes for urban renewal and Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church members, while also exploring the perspective of the city council and the redevelopment commission.”

Two additional award winners were:

Zachary Dale, senior in the Department of History Education in the College of Education, in second place — a $500 prize — for “Queer History: LGBT Activism at East Carolina University.”

 Andrew Turner, junior in the Department of History in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, in third place — a $250 prize — for “The Battle of New Bern: Trial by Fire.”

“Ultimately, the special collections provided me with the evidence needed to construct an argument for the thesis of my research paper,” Woodard continued.

Arthur Carlson, Joyner’s university archivist, said this year’s cycle was the most successful to date as it featured a record number of qualified entries.

“We are especially proud of our winners, who used the unique resources available in special collections to produce research papers that made an original contribution to human knowledge,” he said.

This year’s awards are made possible by the Friends of Joyner Library and the generosity of the late Mrs. Ann Schwarzmann.

For more information about the awards and future participation, contact Arthur Carlson at 328-6838 or

To learn more about manuscripts and rare books, university archives, digital collections, and the North Carolina Collection, please see



Where History Launches the Future

Where History Launches the Future
Donations to ECU libraries help patrons prepare for their futures

n honor of National Library Week, East Carolina University is spotlighting the generous gifts made by alumni and friends of the university.

Use of private funds and unique donations can be seen across all three of ECU’s libraries; you just have to know where to look. Whether it is historic papers at Joyner, distinct music collections in Fletcher Music Center, or places to study while enjoying the spring weather at Laupus – the impact of donors is all around us.

Learn more here:

Game Night!

Please join us for a great night at Joyner Library. Enjoy electronic video games, board games, contests, prizes, pizza, snacks, etc and learn more about the services and resources Joyner offers!
Free with an ECU One Card

Dr. Calvin Mercer – FaculTea

Join us for a FaculTea presentation by Dr. Calvin Mercer, Professor of Religious Studies.

Dr. Mercer with talk about Living Healthy for 500 Years and Other Enhancements: It’s No Longer Mere Science Fiction at Joyner Library in Room 2409

As a part of National Library Week, see how Joyner Library has transformed over the past year. The 2016 Annual Report features photographs and student quotations that highlight the importance of Joyner Library to East Carolina University students. Joyner Library stands by its promise to support excellence, expand opportunity, and celebrate achievement.

“I think the library component is a very important part of education. The library is a lost treasure at many universities and campuses. If we are to compete in a global capacity, We must meet the needs of every student. The library is one part of the university that truly tries to do that.”
– Josiah Thornton, Joyner Library’s one-millionth visitor

To view our annual report, please visit:

Part of the mission at Joyner Library is to support contributions to the research community worldwide. During the 2015-2016 academic year, The Interlibrary Loan Program provided 12,849 items to 1,081 libraries in all 50 states and 16 countries.

For more information on our Interlibrary Loan program, visit our website at:

As the cost of higher education continues to rise, Joyner Library is finding ways to save students money on course materials. Joyner has worked with faculty to provide students with free electronic access to dozens of course-adopted texts and supports the adoption of alternative textbooks.

“I particularly love using e-books because of their easy access. The fact that alternative textbooks also help students cut down on spending is fantastic.”
-Margaret Blythe, Senior Sociology

To learn more about our affordable textbook initiatives please visit:

At Joyner Library, our librarians enjoy helping students reach their full potential. We offer a variety of ways to communicate with us so that students can get research assistance when and where they need it.

“The skills I gained through the library during my time at ECU have made me the accomplished researcher I am today and have even allowed me to help others. The librarians are very well informed. I was also never let down by the impressive efficiency of the ILL service. One of ECU’s main strengths is its library.”
-ECU Senior English

For more information on how to book a librarian, please visit our website:

Joyner Library is committed to helping our students find the information they need to succeed in research. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Joyner Library saw 108,076 uses of our research guides. The success of our students is the ultimate measure of our library and university.

“I love the library! I am very grateful that ECU has such an awesome studying resource, as well as access to all of the academic journals that are necessary for me to succeed in my courses.”
-ECU Sophomore Psychology Major

To access our research guides and other materials, visit:

#National Library Week

Each year, Joyner Library recognizes student excellence through award programs that reflect the diverse talents and interests of ECU students. Joyner Library offers three awards recognizing excellence in research and writing.

“Finishing off my senior year at ECU by receiving the Michael F. Bassman Honors College Thesis Award was a very special and rewarding moment.”
– Hannah G. Wollard, 2015-16 Bassman Award recipient for her thesis on investigating the mechanism behind the reaction that converts cycloplatinated complexes into products used for biological imaging and cancer research

To learn more about our awards and how to apply, visit: