The inaugural 2017 Sherrod Library Graduate Student Scholarship for Excellence in Research was recently awarded to Ifeoma D. Ozodiegwu. The Sherrod Library Graduate Student Scholarship for Excellence in Research is awarded to one individual a year during the fall semester. It commemorates graduate students who produce course papers exhibiting outstanding utilization of Sherrod Library research resources.

Ozodiegwu received the $500 award for the excellent research she conducted while writing her paper “The relationship between maternal obesity and neonatal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa: A pooled cross-sectional analysis of 33 countries.”

“We had seven entrants in 2017,” said Dr. Wendy Doucette, Sherrod Library graduate research and instruction librarian. “Out of the papers we received, Ifeoma’s paper was outstanding.”

Hailing from Nigeria, Ozodiegwu is a third year Dr. P.H. (doctor of public health) student with a concentration in epidemiology. She currently possesses both a master of public health degree awarded by ETSU and a bachelor’s degree in applied biochemistry from Nigeria’s Enugu State University of Science and Technology.

Ozodiegwu’s employment history is also quite impressive; she has served various reputable organizations such as the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Zambia, the World Health Organization and the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health. More recently, Ozodiegwu worked for the Research Triangle Institute (a North Carolina-based global nonprofit) as a regional monitoring and evaluation consultant. In that position, Ozodiegwu provided Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health Neglected Tropical Diseases program with in-country tech support.

“Most graduate scholarships are aimed at students completing their capstones, theses, or dissertations,” Doucette said. “My colleagues and I created the Sherrod Research Scholarship to help people getting started with their post-graduate educational careers.”

Graduate students in good standing may apply for the award should they write a research paper of 10-20 pages using at minimum of 10 sources. At least half of those sources must be peer-reviewed. Additionally, the papers must be written for an ETSU course in the fall, winter, spring or summer semesters prior to each yearly award.

Note that book reviews, case studies and close readings are ineligible. Capstones, dissertations and theses as well as sections from such works are also ineligible. The course professor must also be willing to nominate the paper for the scholarship.

Forms for student applications and faculty nominations are available on the Sherrod Library website.

“Many of us have the tendency to just pull an article or two from the library and rely on Google Scholar for most of our research,” Doucette said. “Sometimes, though, that isn’t good enough. The Sherrod Research Scholarship rewards those who put in real effort to conduct the best possible research for their papers.”