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2024 Steely Research Award Winners

May 5, 2024
Join us in celebrating Yara Abdou and Grace McConn, the 2024 Steely Research Award recipients.
The W. Frank Steely Library Research Award is available to any NKU undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral student who participates in either the Heather Bullen Summer Research Celebration or Celebration of Research and Creativity and provides a narrative on their research process that showcases their use of library resources and services as well as their growth as a researcher. Each year, the committee chooses up to two recipients, who each receive a $500 cash prize. 

Yara Abdou – First-year, biological sciences major, and part of NKU’s FYRE Program
Yara Abdou poses with the Steely Research Award certificate.

2024 Steely Research Award Recipient Yara Abdou. 

Project Title: Exploring the Impact of Histidine Dipeptides on Growth and Genome Stability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
After reading through numerous irrelevant abstracts, I began to get a little frustrated. I needed a new research strategy. So, I stepped back and started thinking about the bigger picture and predicting connections to guide my searches. ‘Okay, if I know that histidine dipeptides are antioxidants, then what pathways use antioxidants or play a role in cell toxicity?’ Through this strategy of questioning and predicting, my research progressed."
Use of the Library: In Yara’s love letter to Steely, she shared many ways it supported her research journey, from the physical space to the online databases. The award committee felt Yara’s research was well grounded in scholarly literature, setting her up to pursue this line of research this summer. Yara’s narrative also openly shared her sense-making challenges when she couldn’t quite find the right research thread. Finally, Yara’s narrative also spoke to information literacy instruction sessions she had for Honors 101, which helped her better understand how to choose the best database for a research topic.
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Erin Strome

Grace McConn – Senior, double majoring in economics and marketing
Grace McConn – poses with the Steely Research Award certificate.

2024 Steely Research Award Recipient Grace McConn.  

Project Title: Fertility and the Future: The Impact of Declining Birthrates on American Innovation
“Steely Library, you fostered my intellectual growth, providing the resources and support to contribute meaningfully to academic discourse. Your nurturing environment cultivated a lifelong passion for learning that will stay with me, as I continue to contribute to future scholarly conversations.
Use of the Library:

Grace’s research required her to explore scholarly literature and understand the conversation already happening around her topic. The award committee was impressed with how Grace used bibliometrics to determine a source’s usefulness along with finding ways to include multiple perspectives to strengthen her research. Throughout both her research narrative and love letter to Steely, Grace shared several library databases she used, along with the ways she put her information literacy skills to use.
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Linda Dynan

If you're looking to up your research game, librarians will be available for consultations throughout the summer. You can also utilize our chat service wherever you are, to get help as well!