UC Berkeley Library

2004 Honorable Mentions - Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

Content section: 
Sonya Hammons & Gustavo Huber Landscape Architecture 154
Melissa Moore Latin American Studies H195
Evita Rodriguez History 7B
Jon Martin Schultz-Akerson Spanish H195A/B

Sonya Hammons & Gustavo Huber
"The Glen Park BART and Its Entangled History"
Landscape Architecture 154
Lecturer Helaine Prentice (Mellon Library/Faculty Fellow)/Curator Waverly Lowell

For their Landscape Architecture 154 site tour, Sonya Hammons and Gustavo Huber chose to investigate "The Glen Park BART and Its Entangled History." Their research led them to several libraries on-campus - including the Environmental Design Library, the Environmental Design Archives, the Architecture Visual Resources Library and the Transportation Library - as well as libraries off-campus, such as the California Historical Society, the San Francisco Public Library History Center and the Glen Park Branch. In their research essay, they write:

"Our experiences across this variety of libraries helped us to understand the site as an intersection of many disciplines, spanning earth science, history and urban planning. We challenged the limits of our respective disciplines through our collaborative discussions of our findings."

They also learned significant lessons about research. After exhausting every possible avenue to answer one of their research questions, they concluded that "it seems as though there simply may be no written record left regarding the intent of the station design process."

Environmental Design Archives Curator Lowell adds:

"Despite all their effort, they had difficulty locating the information that answered their fundamental question.… They responded to this gap in the record with scholarly sophistication by reforming their question and developing an analysis that takes into account an absence of information."


Melissa Moore
"The Persistence of Human Insecurity in Relation to Land Access: Twentieth Century Paraná"
Latin American Studies H195
Lecturer Patricia Y.C.E Lin

Melissa Moore completed her senior honors thesis in Latin American Studies on "The Persistence of Human Insecurity in Relation to Land Access: Twentieth Century Paraná." Inspired by the discovery of an unpublished diary written by the grandfather of a family friend, Melissa formulated the fundamental questions addressed in her thesis. She used a variety of search tools to answer these questions. She explains:

"In conducting my research I employed library resources such as … Pathfinder and Melvyl, … databases of theses and dissertations, … article and journal databases … and periodical databases such as Lexis Nexis. My searches revealed hidden treasures.… These works … lay the foundation for the rest of my study, as they provided me with a deep understanding of the many theories within which I situate my thesis."

Her advisor, Lecturer Lin also remarks on the variety of sources used:

"Melissa's sources were wide-ranging, and included, in Portuguese, Spanish and English, government and non-governmental printed documents, unpublished manuscripts, documentaries, periodicals, the websites of non-governmental organizations and field work in Brazil. In the course of her research, she even found to a Doe Librarian's delight a copy of a Brazilian government report … which was not cataloged in any of the databases!"

Evita Rodriguez
"Zoot-Suits and the Media: Stories of Good and Evil"
History 7B
Professor Leon Litwack/GSI Amy Lippert

Freshman Evita Rodriguez completed the research for her History 7B paper on "Zoot-Suits and the Media: Stories of Good and Evil" using not only the UC Berkeley libraries but also the UCLA special collections. Required to use primary sources, and determined to research a significant incident from her hometown, she decided to go straight to the source. In her research essay, Evita writes:

"Monday through Friday I set out on a solo expedition to Westwood in search of any information that might be pertinent to my topic.… I wanted to immerse myself [in] as much primary information as possible so that I could reconstruct what happened, like a real historian…. I could not help but get a rush from feeling like some investigator out of a Bond movie."

GSI Lippert adds in her letter of support:

"Her exploration of the Sleepy Lagoon case files, and the considerable volume of documentation which she extracted and brought back to Berkeley … led her to enhance the depth and sophistication of her argument by comparing the two events with one another in an analysis of the context behind the riots.… Her thorough knowledge of the subject matter and her considerable enthusiasm for conveying what she had learned have already been amply demonstrated…"

Jon Martin Schultz-Akerson
"Language and Identity in José Donoso's El lugar sin límites: A Comparative Analysis of the First Draft and Literary Notebooks"
Spanish H195A/B
Professor Francine Masiello

Inspired by reading Chilean novelist José Donoso while studying abroad in Santiago, Jon Martin Schultz-Akerson decided to write his senior honors thesis in Spanish on "Language and Identity in José Donoso's El lugar sin límites: A Comparative Analysis of the First Draft and Literary Notebooks." For his research, he devised a structured approach. After researching the general topic and answering some specific questions, he moved on to the next stage of his research. He writes:

"The first two stages laid the groundwork for the third - archival research.… I learned through my research that Donoso had a close relationship with Princeton University and the University of Iowa.… On a hunch, I went to … the finder's guide for their special collections divisions. I was ecstatic to find extensive collections of Donoso's manuscripts, correspondence and notebooks."

He later addresses the final stage of his research, the analysis:

"This analysis has opened new avenues for my project and in turn provoked new questions and the need for more research."

In her letter of support, Professor Masiello emphasizes the originality of his research:

"What he has unearthed is absolutely a gold mine of material that will force critics to reread Donoso's novel and rethink its narrative construction…. As far as hitting paydirt in the archives goes, Marty has exceeded the measures set for professionals in the literary field."