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April 2011—Raynor Memorial Libraries announces the results of the 14th Maria Dittman Library Research Competition. The winners received their prizes at an informal recognition ceremony on April 13th.


Freshman/Sophomore: Albert Rivero for his paper, "The Origins of Modern International Chemical Law," written for Political Science 4601 (International Law) with Dr. Lawrence LeBlanc.

Junior/Senior: John Kilbane for his paper, "The Culpability of Fiction: Readings and Reception of Charles Brockden Brown," written for English 4510 (Colonial and American Literature from the Beginnings to 1798) with Dr. Amy Blair.

Graduate/Professional: Rachel Bernstein, for her paper, "Opt-In or Opt-Out?," written for Advanced Topics in Property Law with Professor Kali Murray.


The competition is launched each January and all Marquette students are invited to submit their A-grade papers from the previous calendar year.  Each submission must be accompanied by a one-to-two-page description of the research process, including sources used, citation style, difficulties encountered, and what was learned about research during the writing of the paper. Competition guidelines and a list of past winners are maintained online. As past committee chair Mary Frenn said, "The competition gives library staff an opportunity to connect with a group of talented students who make the most of what the library offers. We know many winners have gone on to success in master's and doctoral programs."

Staff of the University Libraries conceived the competition in 1997 to honor retiring instruction librarian Maria Dittman, who taught research skills to thousands of students in her 25+ years at the university. The first awards were made in 1998, funded entirely by the Librarians' Assembly. An elected committee of librarians and support staff now organize the annual competition and award process. When Maria Dittman passed away in 2005, her family designated the Dittman Competition for memorial gifts, ensuring a long future for the competition.  A permanent plaque for the award was commissioned and hangs near the entrance to the bridge.