Evans Awarded Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Apr. 9, 2014 — Holly Evans, a senior English major from Andrews, S.C., has been awarded the Coker College Library Prize for Undergraduate Research for her senior thesis paper titled “Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted: The Politics of African American Literary Criticism during the Last Century.”

The 20-page research paper reflects on the history of reader response as a critical theory using the text of “Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted.”

Evans began her research journey after selecting a research topic and realizing she needed to clarify it further. “Essentially, it was research that led me in the direction I went and helped me to refine my paper,” said Evans. In the process of writing her paper, Evans realized research requires an inventive mind. “In order to get the information I needed, I had to get creative and resourceful with research methods,” said Evans. “Also, I spent a lot of time working with the research librarians.”

Evans is president of both Excursions Literary Magazine and Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society. Evans is a Senior Sparrow Scholar and a tutor in the Writer’s Studio. She is also a resident assistant and does regular community service at Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School. After graduation this May she plans to take some time off and then continue her education in graduate school.

“Holly chose her topic carefully and purposefully…[her] writing and research skills developed and progressed as she moved from draft to draft and final revision of her thesis,” said Jasna Shannon, associate professor of English and director of the writing center. “Her thesis was certainly original and demonstrated strong writing skills, correct use of citations and skillful integration of sources that reflect multiple perspectives.”

With support from the Charles W. and Joan S. Coker Library and the Coker College Undergraduate Research Program, the Library Prize was established in 2013 to encourage the use of library research techniques and to honor the best research project produced each year by Coker College undergraduate students.

Entries for the prize are judged on originality, depth, breadth and demonstration of sophisticated use of library collections: the ability to select, evaluate, synthesize and use library resources in the creation of a project. Entries are also evaluated on evidence of personal growth by their authors’ explication of new-found knowledge.

For more information about resources at the library, contact associate professor of library science and director of the library Alexa Bartel at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For information about undergraduate research programs at Coker College, contact associate professor of biology and director of undergraduate research Joseph Flaherty at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Release written by Alexa Bartel, the director of the library.

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Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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