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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

$1000 research award given out to students by Ablah Library

Dean of libraries wants to make it an annual award for undergraduate and graduate students who use the library’s resources.
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Brian Hayes
Ablah Library. (File photo)

A new yearly $1000 award has been established by Wichita State’s Ablah Library for students who utilized any of the library’s resources for research on campus.

Previously, the library worked with URCAF (Undergraduate Research and Creativity Activity Forum) to offer a monetary reward which was specifically geared toward undergraduates. Students who did URCAF were able to apply for the $250 partnered library award. 

The Library Research Award is similar to URCAF but isn’t limited to undergraduate students; any student can apply. The only requirement for the award is a short essay about how the library was utilized during the research project. The project itself is not judged in any capacity. 

The plan, proposed by Dean of Libraries Brent Mai, is to make this award an annual event given out every April.

For this year, the $1,000 award has already been given. There are two $1,000 awards, each given to the undergraduate winner and the graduate winner.

The undergraduate award went to the team of Lauren Coffman, Taylor Spinelli and Marcell Lozano, all sophomores, with a project focusing on photoplethysmogram devices. 

“It’s the part of your Apple Watch or other PPG devices that measure the blood flow through your arteries right beneath the device,” Spinelli said. “It (then) makes a graph so you can tell a whole bunch of things about your cardiovascular health.” 

The team saw the call for submissions for the library research award when they were preparing to submit it to URCAF and decided to submit for that as well since they had been utilizing the library’s resources for their project. 

The graduate award went to Talha Khan, a senior studying for his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. His project focuses on creating a copper porous structure to carry heat away from electronic devices. 

Khan submitted his project for the library research award to show people the work that Ph.D. students do and recognize how invaluable libraries can be in the research process. 

“(I did this) because of the fact that the library has been helping me, and not just me, but all of us students on campus,” Khan said. “I’ve achieved most of the stuff I have because of the library.” 

Khan emphasized that the project was a team effort, as it was passed to him by graduating seniors. Khan said he is passing it on to those who come after him as he graduates this year. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my seniors and my colleagues who’ve been instrumental in me getting this award, because it’s not just me,” Khan said. 

To be eligible to submit for next year’s award, research projects must begin in June. 

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About the Contributors
Maleah Evans
Maleah Evans, Reporter
Maleah Evans is a second-year reporter for The Sunflower. Evans is a junior studying history and communications with a journalism emphasis. They plan to pursue a career working in a museum. In their free time, they can often be found ranting about cryptids or Greek mythology. Evans uses they/them pronouns
Brian Hayes
Brian Hayes, Former Photo Editor
Brian is the photo editor at The Sunflower. Hayes is a junior majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in journalism. He is from Wichita. Hayes enjoys art, music, tattoos, craft beer and food. After graduating he plans to move back to Atlanta to pursue a job in photojournalism/dog sitting.

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