UC Berkeley News


The Library and LHS garner Educational Initiative Awards

| 04 May 2005

The Library Prize for Undergraduate Research recognizes students whose undergraduate research projects demonstrate use of Library collections and exemplify advanced information literacy and research skills. Launched just two years ago, the Library Prize last month received the campus Educational Initiative Award (EIA) at a ceremony that also honored Kevis Goodman, this year's winner of the Distinguished Teaching Award. University Librarian Tom Leonard accepted the award for the Library.

Given annually by the Committee on Teaching, the EIA was designed to complement the Distinguished Teaching Award, which recognizes individual faculty members. By contrast, the EIA is presented to a department, unit, or group of faculty that has created an outstanding program that will serve as a model for others on campus.

"In the essays I read, many students revealed that they learned how difficult it was to articulate a significant, researchable question and how they were challenged to draw conclusions based on evidence rather than on their deeply held assumptions," wrote Professor of Education Andrew Furco, a judge for the 2004 Library Prize. "This level of analysis," continued Furco, "is typically associated with students at the graduate level."

"The Library Prize not only honors the work done by undergraduates, it provides criteria and structure for those who wish to compete for the Prize as well as incentive for students to increase their information literacy by putting it into practice," wrote College Writing Programs' Jane Hammons, another 2004 judge.

Up to six Library Prizes are awarded annually. In 2004, the Library Prize was awarded to six students from architecture, history, history of art, peace and conflict studies, molecular and cell biology, and political economy of industrial societies. Winning projects are exhibited in the Library throughout the year, allowing winners to influence a potentially large audience of their peers.

The Lawrence Hall of Science's Communicating Science course was also honored with an Educational Initiative Award. Begun in 1997 as a collaboration between Professor of Chemistry Angelica Stacy and LHS, the first course taught chemistry majors how to teach inquiry-based science and offered them direct experience doing so with elementary-school students in local public schools. Since then, 400 Berkeley students and at least 5,000 local elementary students have participated in a Communicating Science course. Additional courses funded include those in astronomy, physics, and ocean sciences.

"I realized that teaching science was far more than imparting information, but could encourage students to think about the world in a whole new way," says senior philosophy and geography major Andrew Friedman, of his experience with Communicating Ocean Science.

Elizabeth Stage, director of the Lawrence Hall of Science, accepted the award for LHS.