CFA Students Honored with Undergraduate Library Research Awards

winnerschickendinner - CFA Students Honored with Undergraduate Library Research Awards
From left to right, Tara Edwards, Clare Sitzer, and Rachel Marlies Napierkowski, the recipient of the second honorable mention.

Last week, two CFA students were recipients of the William H. Hannon Library’s 2017 Undergraduate Library Research Awards. This year, the Grand Prize of $1,000 went to Clare Sitzer, a senior Dance major, for her work entitled “Dance Education as Art and a Lever of Social Change,” and one of two Honorable Mentions went to Tara Edwards, a junior Studio Arts-Photography major, for her work, entitled “Dividing Los Angeles.”

Sitzer is a teacher-dancer interested in dance pedagogy and the ways in which artists use dance as a vehicle for social change. Her complex paper explored a number of areas – modern dance history and education; dance culture and dance studies; and current issues in dance pedagogy. She produced this work, which was nominated by Clinical Assistant Professor of Dance Kristen Smiarowski, for the course DANC 282: I Am, Therefore, I Dance. This class explores dance as a cultural, political and socio-economic phenomenon in the United States. Sitzer has been accepted into the Teach for America program for next year, where she will be teaching dance while pursuing her teaching credential.

According to Professor Smiarowski, Sitzer has been interested in the confluence of dance education and social change since her first day at LMU. “In her research, Clare demonstrates that dance education methods and approaches have the potential to influence cultural values, community relations and students’ sense of bodily authority,” she said. “She does this by drawing connections between key historical figures, institutions, cultural values and belief systems, and she effectively synthesizes her research to examine this seismic shift in the field of dance and dance education.”

Edwards produced her work for the Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and presented it as a photo essay in the form of a book. This is only the second time that a photo essay has won an Undergraduate Library Research Award. Tara’s project began with her reflection upon the ways in which man-made features divide residents of Los Angeles. She spent the better part of a year on a photographic exploration of structures in Los Angeles that contribute to residential segregation by displacing and dividing communities. She was inspired by her own experience growing up on one side of the 10 freeway and recognizing that life is very different on the other side. Edwards was nominated by Professor of Photography Diane Meyer.

View the work online!

Sitzer’s Project:

Edwards’s Project: