Students honored during annual awards banquet

Maximizing student success is a pillar in the East Carolina University main campus library strategic framework. The 2022 Library Student Awards Ceremony supported that pillar, providing a moment to reflect on remarkable student achievements.

A listed aspect of the student success initiative is to champion student excellence in research, writing and creative activity. Students demonstrated those abilities and earned recognition with a W. Keats Sparrow Writing Award, Rhem/Schwarzmann Prize or Marie & James Thompson Student Employment Award.

A few of the students in attendance chose to elaborate on their experience, including Jaylyn Johnson in the Marie & James Thompson Student Employment Award division. She spoke about the skills she developed as a student employee in administrative services.

“Faculty and staff in the library pushed me to do my best and put me up to challenges that I always loved,” Johnson said. “The library will always hold a major aspect of my professional life because of the skills I learned. … Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work in your office and being part of your team. I am truly thankful for each of you and how you helped me grow professionally.”

W. Keats Sparrow Writing Award: 1st Place — Kathryn Fox; 2nd — Isabella Benitez; 3rd — Courtney Gibbs; Honorable Mention — Anna Sykes.


Rhem/Schwarzmann Prize: 1st Place — Justin Mullis; 2nd — Spencer Story.


Marie & James Thompson Student Employment Award winners: Kristen Daniel, Jenna Dawes, Michael Gaines, Jaylyn Johnson, Darden Meyer, Madison Pearson.


The Rhem-Schwarzmann Prize recognizes standout research papers that were based largely on primary sources held by the library’s departments in manuscripts, rare books and/or university archives. Earning second place was Spencer Story, who was mentored by Drs. Ryan Schacht and Charles Ewen (Department of Anthropology) in a project that focused on the history and current status of local cemeteries. Jennifer Daugherty, Head of North Carolina Collection, also assisted and presented Story’s plaque to her during the awards ceremony.

“We looked to see what had happened to them,” Story said of the cemeteries. “Unfortunately, we did find several of our Black cemeteries have been moved over the years and many of the white cemeteries that are left out in fields have become a little neglected and they are no longer the beautiful cemeteries they once were. They were sort of left to the elements. We enjoyed going out to find these and helping to bring back a little of the history.”

The Sparrow award recognizes excellence in research and writing by students in ECU English 1100 and 2201 composition classes.

Library director Jan Lewis said it is always a great day when students are honored inside the main campus library. Library staff representative Ashley Moore also provided personal insight in her remarks.

“It is such a joy and a proud moment to get to see all of those who have accomplished something great and done it here in our library, for them to be recognized,” said Moore, Head of Administrative Services. “I’ve been here at the library for a few years now and have had the opportunity to do a lot of things, but one thing I had not done until this past year was supervise students. It was a brand-new experience for me, but I have to say that I ended up being really lucky.

“The students I got to work with and supervise, for a short time during a transition time, they were amazing. And I am positive that every student that was recognized today is amazing.”