May 13th, 2015
The West Virginia University Libraries selected Jordan Lovejoy and Matthew Trickett as 2015 Robert F. Munn Undergraduate Library Scholars for their research at the Libraries as part of their undergraduate theses.
“All of us at the WVU Libraries are pleased to name Jordan Lovejoy and Matthew Trickett as Munn Scholars,” Dean of Libraries Dr. Jon E. Cawthorne said. “Jordan and Matthew produced impressive works of scholarship. Both did a tremendous job researching their topics and presenting their findings.”
The WVU Libraries and the Honors College established the Robert F. Munn Undergraduate Library Scholars Award in 2008 to honor Dr. Robert F. Munn, dean of Library Services from 1957-86. The award goes to one or more graduating Honors students for an outstanding humanities or social sciences thesis based on research conducted in the WVU Libraries. Writing a thesis is a graduation requirement for Honors students. Along with receiving a $1,000 award, the scholar’s name is added to a plaque in the Downtown Campus Library. There have been 12 Munn Scholars.
Ryan Claycomb, assistant dean of the Honors College, said this year’s Munn Award winners’ submissions demonstrate the range and quality of undergraduate research in the social sciences and the humanities.
“While both have an important component that analyzes gender, Lovejoy’s interpretive and lyrical eco-feminist approach to narratives of our Appalachian landscape complements Trickett’s data-based approach to the influence of gender roles on depression,” Claycomb said. “Together they show us how much influence the humanities and social sciences have on the quality of the lives we lead, and how excellent student work in these fields underscores the importance of higher education in preserving, teaching and developing these ways of knowing our world.”
Lovejoy, the daughter of Jeffrey and Rebecca Lovejoy of Pineville, won the award with her paper titled “Speaking with the Silenced: Unquiet Ecologies in the Appalachian Writing of Denise Giardina.” Her thesis explores how Giardina wove environmental issues and activism into her novels.
“One of the most important things I learned is that literature has an influence and a power in the actual world, and the actual world has a power and influence on literature,” Lovejoy said.
She developed her concern for the environment while growing up in southern West Virginia where she witnessed the effects of the mining industry on the surrounding landscape and experienced the loss of friends in mining accidents.
“It opened my eyes to things happening in my community,” Lovejoy said.
Her perceptions grew when she enrolled in an Appalachian literature class and started reading historical fiction and non-fictional accounts related to life in the Mountain State and surrounding region. She credits Dr. Lowell Duckert, who teaches a class that examines Shakespeare’s references to ecology and the environment in his plays, for introducing her to ecocriticism, which blends the study of the environment and literature.
“Reading can lead to writing, which can lead to activism. Writing is a type of activism,” Lovejoy said.
While writing her paper, Lovejoy spent a lot of time in the West Virginia and Regional History Center where she found a wealth of resources concerning Giardina.
“The WVRHC has Denise Giardina’s manuscripts and her personal notes from while she was developing and writing both of her novels,” Lovejoy said. “That was great because I wanted to look at her life and what made her want to write these.”
Along with being an Eberly Scholar and a McNair Scholar, Lovejoy was the University’s first Udall Scholar since 2001. (The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation annually selects 50 college sophomores and juniors committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care.)
Lovejoy will graduate with a triple major in English, Spanish, and Women’s & Gender Studies. She wants to teach Appalachian literature and ecocriticism on the college level. In the fall, she will begin studies at The Ohio State University in a master’s/Ph.D. program in literature.
Trickett, the son of Walter and Bonnie Trickett of Sandyville, won the award with his paper titled “Investigation of the Relations between CES-D Subscale Scores and MRNI-SF Masculinity Scores.” For the thesis, he studied depression in both men and women, and compared their depression scores to a masculinity measure.
Trickett got the idea for his paper while working with doctoral students in Dr. Amy Fiske’s lab and focused two semesters on the research and writing. Much of that time was spent searching out and then scouring journal articles related to his topic in the Downtown Campus Library.
“You have to find out what other people have already written to see if it’s been done so that you’re not just replicating someone else’s work,” he said.
Trickett feels gratified by the Munn Award and appreciates the financial boost. He also believes that his long hours in Wise Library’s Milano Reading Room will pay off, too.
“Writing this paper has been a stepping stone for research I’ll do in graduate school. It’s been a great learning process,” he said.
Trickett came to WVU as an art education major and later switched to psychology because of his interest in how people think and react to different situations and stimuli. He received the PROMISE Scholarship as well as the University’s Presidential Scholarship for his first four years at WVU.
Since graduating in December with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, he has been working to save money for graduate school and build his art portfolio. His interest is in child psychology and art therapy. He plans to enter a Ph.D. program in fall 2016.
Munn Award winners Matthew Trickett and Jordan Lovejoy pose with Dr. Jon E. Cawthorne, dean of the WVU Libraries.