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2017 Library Research Review Competition Winners

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Left to right: Lilla Toke (Classroom Instructor for First Place Winner), Sukhrob Abdushukurov (2017 First Place Winner holding the Kindle First Prize), Ambar Castillo (Second Place Winner), Phillip Mahony and Jennifer Tsuei (Third Place Winners), and Clementine Lewis (Chair, Research Review Panel)


Library Research Review Competition Winners

By Clementine Lewis, Professor, Library Media Resources Center

The Research Review Competition continues to highlight student learning and student success in the classroom and library. Students who engage in the research process demonstrate their ability to access, evaluate, and use information resources effectively. These information literacy skills can also be used in their daily lives and in the workplace.

The Competition also supports research at the College and provides an unique forum for the following research activities: a) showcasing the wide range of research work conducted by our students, b) enhancing and building confidence and self-esteem in students involved in the research process, c) providing recognition for full and part-time students who may not have the time or opportunity to participate in other campus activities, and d) enriching and highlighting the work of the classroom instructor.

Research Topics

Listed below are some examples of the wide range of research topics pursued during the 2016-17 academic year:

  • Economic issues: Robots in Jobs and The Working Class in America
  • Health issues: Diabetes in Asian-Indian and Hispanic Communities,  Whole Foods Diet and Healthy Living, and Profits in the Pharmaceutical Industry      
  • Historical issues: Harlem Race Riot of 1943, Joseph Goebbels’ Propaganda Machine in Nazi Germany, Comfort Women of World War II, Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution, and W. E. B. Du Bois--Life and Works
  • Social issues: Cultural Appropriation, Calatrava’s Architecture Designs, Equality and Women in the Workplace, Difference Between Transgender and Crossdressing, Muslim Women and Religious Attire, and New York City’s Homeless Shelters
  • Political issues: Fight for Mosul in Iraq, President Trump and the U.S. Presidency, and Social Media and Fake News
  • Literary works and issues: John Cheever’s “The Scarlet Moving Van,” The Diary of Anne Frank, Jhumpa Lahiri’s Gogol in The Namesake, Shakespeare’s Othello, and Narrative Innovations in Modernist Short Fiction by Several Authors

Student Winners

While seeking a degree and doing extremely well in their academic studies, many of our students lead very busy lives. However, they have goals, motivation and good study habits that help them excel in all their academic studies. As you review information about each winner, you will see these traits and the information literacy skills that continue to help the winners succeed in the workplace and in our global society.

Sukhrob Abdushukurov (1st place) is an upper-class freshman and planning to graduate in Fall 2018. After he graduates, he hopes to transfer to Brooklyn College. Currently a psychology major, Sukhrob is also pursuing biology, with a future goal to pursue a career in a medical field. A graduate from a high school in Uzbekistan, Sukhrob speaks five languages: Uzbek, Russian, Farsi (Tadjik), German, and English. He is also very active at the college: enrolled in ASAP (Accelerated Study in Associate Programs), a member of PTK (Phi Theta Kappa honors society) and PALC (Peer Activist Learning Community), which is led by Dr. Eduardo Vianna in Psychology.

Ambar Castillo (2nd place) is a second-year student and enrolled in the Theatre Program at LaGuardia. She has already earned a B.A. in Latin American Studies/Journalism from Boston University. Presently, she is a literary contributor to the Lit, LaGuardia’s Arts and Literary Magazine. In May 2017, Ambar was one of 38 students selected by the Pulitzer Center in Washington, D.C. to receive an international reporting fellowship. During the summer of 2017, she traveled to Gujarat, India to report on organizations that use the arts to combat social justice issues that threaten people who live with chronic diseases. It is interesting to note that this topic was born out of her research paper, which was submitted into the Research Review Competition. As a theatre major, she is also very active and has performed in college theatre in Boston, Ecuador, and New York, where she received a 2017 Irene Ryan acting nomination for the Kennedy Center College Theater Festival. Ambar is also an apprentice with InViolet Theater and performs regularly in plays addressing social justice issues.

Jennifer Tsuei (3rd place) is a part-time student majoring in English. This is a second win for Jennifer. She participated and won in the 2016 Competition. Jennifer is also the proud mother of a new baby boy and has a daughter who attends kindergarten. Jennifer is a great example of a part-time student who may not have the time to participate in campus activities but is a great student in her classes and dedicates her time to family responsibilities. She is also very humble and states that she is “thankful’ to Dr. Parris, her classroom instructor, for guiding her through the research process. Since she is a frequent user of many of the library services on and off campus, she extends her thanks to all library staff who provide her assistance.

Phillip Mahony (3rd place) an English Literature major is scheduled to graduate in Fall 2017 with plans to pursue a degree in economics from New York University. At the moment Phillip is an intern in the Queens District Attorney’s Office and aspires to become a lawyer.


On October 11th, the winners attended a special photo session for a group picture in the Library’s Courtyard Reading Room. This photo is included in the article. In October, a Certificate of Participation was also sent to all of the students who participated in the Competition. According to many of them, the Certificate is one of their prized possessions, especially since it includes recognition from President Mellow.

Again, we are thankful to the dedicated classroom instructors who helped publicize the competition and worked relentlessly with students to help them achieve their academic success. Thanks to my colleagues who serve with me on the Research Review Panel: Dr. Nicolle Fernandes, Dr. Tomoaki Imamichi, Mr. Christopher McHale and Dr. YuZhang. We also thank Faculty Council for providing the competition prizes.

Library Research Review Competition Winners and Classroom Instructors

First Place: Sukhrob Abdushukurov  ENC 101 – Dr. Lilla Toke
Second Place: Ambar Castillo HUP 101 – Dr. John Chaffee
Third Place:

Phillip Mahony

Jennifer Tsuei

ENG 103 – Dr. Sorin Cucu

ENG 225 – Dr. LaRose Parris

For additional information about the Research Review Competition, please visit the website located here.

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