Maurine Dickerson Research Prize Winners

By Katy Ward
April 17, 2014
Maurine Dickerson Research Prize WinnersFrom Left to Right: Tish Conejo, PhD, professor of nursing, Award Winner, Mary Wirtz, and her husband Patrick Wirtz

Congratulations to the winners of the Maurine Dickerson Research Prize!  The award is a newly-created academic achievement recognition program recognizing students who have written a paper of outstanding quality. A panel of librarians and teaching faculty judge the submitted works through a blind review process. The award is named in honor of Maurine Dickerson, who was the first librarian at MidAmerica Nazarene University.

The submitted papers are judged in three areas: 

            • Use of Library Resources
            • Writing Quality
            • Caliber of Research

The Honorable Mention for the Traditional Undergraduate Award is senior Multimedia major, Colton Easdon, of Hutchinson, Kan., for his paper Media Equation in TV Shows “How Television Shows Portray Human-Media Interaction.”

This study attempted to discover if characters in recent television support the theory that “media equals real life.” People often become attached to their media and treat it as if they would a real human being. The study looked at: The Big Bang Theory, Numb3rs, Scrubs and Phineas and Ferb. Results showed that characters in television illustrate the theory in their personal interactions, but do not support the theory in a professional interaction.

The winner for the Traditional Undergraduate Award is senior History and Government Education major, Christopher Hagedorn of Kalona, Iowa, for his paper "Commitment and Stability: A Reconsideration of the 1950s American family."  

“This paper explores the lives of American families in the 1950s.  Attention is given to various aspects that make this a unique time for the American family.  For example, stability and commitment are two central ideas explored in depth,” explained Christopher.

The winner for the profession/nontraditional award is RN to BSN student, Mary Wirtz of Olathe, Kan., for her paper Early Mobilization and the Stroke Patient.Maurine Dickerson Research Prize WinnersAward winner, Mary Wirtz, with Nursing faculty, Library personnel and Registrar, James Garrison.

Her research question was “In acute ischemic stroke patients, does receiving early mobilization as compared to delayed mobilization improve the safety, independence, and psychological well-being of the patient?”   

The paper defined mobilization as the stroke patient being upright and out of bed, either sitting or standing and discussed when early mobilization needed to begin with patients.

According to Bruce Flanders, Mabee Library director and one of the readers, Wirtz’s paper posed a truly unique question of the published research.

“This student asked a question that had not been posed in published research,” Flanders said. “It was the most unique thesis submitted this year.”

Thank you to Dr. Andrew Overholt and Dr. Tyler Blake who assisted in reviewing the papers. As well as special thanks to James and Carol Garrison for providing the funding for the professional award.