Ursuline staff create award-winning research course | Local news


Two members of the College of Ursulines staff, with the help of an adjunct professor, developed an undergraduate academic research course for the College’s English department, which is now recognized with a national master’s degree award. ‘information.

Kate Trostel, Assistant Professor of English, and Mara Shatat, Reference and Instruction Librarian, together created EN-124 – a semester-long research course that incorporates five library sessions. Adjunct English Professor Rhonda Filipan also helped develop the course, which has been shown to improve students’ skills and confidence by using the university’s library and its systems for writing research-based assignments, according to a press release from Pepper Pike college. The course has been available for two semesters, with student survey results showing increased confidence in research skills, the statement said.

As a result, Trostel and Shatat receive the first annual Modern Language Association-EBSCO Collaboration for Information Literacy Prize. Announced on December 14, the award will be presented on January 8, 2022, at the association’s annual convention in Washington, DC. A University of Colorado professor and library will also be honored at the convention.

According to the selection committee, the Collège des Ursulines course “demonstrates a thoughtful and rigorous commitment to information literacy at the first-year college level,” saying the committee was “impressed” by the team’s ability. to include Librarian Shatat as an active and collaborative instructor. throughout the course, the statement said.

Trostel, 34, of Cleveland Heights, told the Cleveland Jewish News that they felt “a great sense of accomplishment” to be honored for their work in developing and facilitating EN-124 at Ursuline College. She attends services at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, where her daughter attends preschool and religious school.

“This is a vast area that had to be tackled at the College of Ursulines,” she declared. “We did it for the students, recognizing that they came to college with little understanding of the research and what it means, or even how to ask a question.”

Shatat, 40, of Pepper Pike, told CJN it’s a problem many college librarians see year after year with new freshmen.

“Getting people in the door and orienting them in an efficient and useful way is always a challenge,” she said. “We also have teachers who are really involved in this whole process as well. Katie set up this dream platform for us to do just that.

Being honored by MLA-EBSCO is a big deal, the pair said. Trostel added that the small size of the College of Ursulines makes it an even bigger accomplishment.

“We’re such a small college – I’m a department of one, and Mara is one of five librarians, so it’s big,” she said. “We are proud to be able to represent our students. But, I think our students are also representative of many students across the country who come to the school as first generation students and maybe not as prepared to start writing a research paper right away. independently.

Although Ursuline is a liberal arts college, Shatat said many students pursue the school’s research-intensive nursing program. Perfecting that research and English skills makes a big difference to these students, she explained.

“Getting freshmen in and giving them a solid idea of ​​what is expected of them when they move into this nursing program gives them a little push, shows them where to go and what to expect. ‘they have to do,’ she said. “This is meant to give them a bait. It is fundamental. “

Shatat said his favorite part is seeing change in students – when everything clicks for them and they gain the confidence to do research.

“What we are seeing is that most students come in with very low confidence, having no idea what they are looking for,” she said. “When they leave, their confidence skyrockets. They report that they are more willing to come to the library. They are more than willing to begin their research with the library and are willing to speak to a librarian. That alone is a huge step forward.

Before the class, Trostel said she felt her students thought they were alone in the research process.

“Ever since we built it, they feel like the library is helping them and is their link,” she said. “The incompetent state of mind and the feeling of being completely overwhelmed are gone. “

In the future, the couple hope that more Ursuline departments and schools across the country implement the coursework.

“I think it shows other faculty members what the library has to offer,” she said. “All of our resources are now online for the public. Maybe other colleges can take that and work with it. I think they will see a better outcome – students who can think critically and do their research with confidence.

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