Rebecca Luttinen and Brooke Schaeffer share Libraries Student Research Prize for excellence in scholarship and research

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2020 Student Research Library Prize winners

Lehigh Undergraduates Rebecca Luttinen and Brooke Schaeffer will share the Libraries Student Research Prize for 2020. Sponsored by Library and Technology Services (LTS) and the Friends of the Lehigh Libraries, the Prize recognizes excellence in undergraduate scholarship and the use of library and research resources.

Rebecca Luttinen’s Fertility and the Availability of Contraception in Bududa, Uganda

Luttinen ‘20 completed her paper Fertility and the Availability of Contraception in Bududa, Uganda as part of Economics 389, an Honors Project with Professor Frank Gunter. Using anthropological, sociological, and economics sources, Luttinen effectively frames her research question on fertility and contraception attitudes in Uganda. She used a combination of surveys and qualitative methods to collect data on fertility and contraceptive practices and perception among Ugandan women. Gunter observes, “I think that Luttinen’s results are important. She showed that, contrary to popular narratives, women in at least one region of Uganda did not desire a reduced fertility rate but rather wanted access to contraceptives primarily to better space the births of their children.” Luttinen presented her paper at the Eastern Economic Association Annual Conference in Boston in February.

Luttinen will receive a dual degree in International Relations and Economics with a specialization in Sustainable Development. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Luttinen founded and manages The Arenam Project, a nonprofit with the goal of combating water scarcity and low agricultural productivity in Kenya. She received the Leonard P. Pool Memorial Prize in 2019 which recognizes students with entrepreneurial talents, and she is a research assistant at Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia. Luttinen is fluent in Spanish and has knowledge of Arabic. An enthusiastic traveller, through various study abroad programs at Lehigh she has visited four continents.

Brooke Schaeffer’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Reflection of Increased Medicalization in America?

Schaeffer ‘20 completed her paper Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Reflection of Increased Medicalization in America? to fulfill requirements for Biological Sciences 297, Neuroethics: Critical Analysis of Brain Research, with Professor Ann Fink. Schaeffer’s paper on ADHD reflects on how the commercial interests of medicine and pharmacy can create ethical conflicts in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Fink notes that Schaeffer’s essay “surpasses standards for undergraduate writing,” and she notes Schaeffer’s talent for diving deep into literature and integrating divergent perspectives into her argument. Fink observes “Her use of the Libraries’ databases and her commitment to literature-based research is remarkable.” 

Schaeffer, originally from Westfield, NJ, will graduate with a degree in Biology and a minor in Psychology. She is an accomplished sprint and middle distance runner for Lehigh’s Track and Field team. Schaeffer serves on the Center for Ethics Student Advisory Committee and volunteers as an EMT at the Garwood First Aid Squad in New Jersey. Schaeffer plans to pursue a career in medicine and medical writing.

About the Libraries Student Research Prize

Both Luttinen and Schaeffer will receive $500 and a certificate of recognition, and their papers will become part of the Lehigh Libraries digital archive, Lehigh Preserve (http://preserve.lehigh.edu/library-research-prize).  Awards will be presented at the 2020 Symposium on Teaching and Learning at Lehigh University on April 16.

The Prize is sponsored by Library and Technology Services and the Friends of the Lehigh Libraries. The selection process is rigorous and involves two phases of review. First, a team of research librarians reviews the pool of applicants and selects papers to go to a faculty review group. In the second phase, a faculty review group selects the winner(s) from the finalist pool. This year, librarians narrowed the submissions from a pool of over thirty applications to a small pool of finalists. Faculty reviewers selected the winners from five strong finalist papers.

Photo courtesy Allen Kingsbury