University of South Carolina

USC library research award recognizes three

The University Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research at the University of South Carolina has recognized three individuals for their use of the libraries’ resources in highly effective ways.

Christian “Chris” Buckson, a South Carolina Honors College junior from Greenwood who is majoring in history and international studies, took the top prize of $500. Honors College graduates Katharine “Katie” Parham of Irmo and Nicholas “Nick” Williamson of Blythewood each received honorable mention awards of $250.

The goal of the University Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research is to foster USC students’ research.

Undergraduate students must have completed the research project for a credit course at USC within the past academic year and demonstrate extensive knowledge and skill in researching and gathering information to create a project in any media.

A history term paper assignment on NATO and American Foreign Policy led Buckson to delve into primary sources at Thomas Cooper Library, piquing his interest in a NATO sub-group, the Parliamentary Council.

“To my knowledge, Christian is the first scholar, professional or otherwise, to address the Council in a paper-length research study,” wrote history professor David Snyder in his letter of support for Buckson. He also described the project as a “tour de force that would have been suitable for a tenured scholar…”

Buckson relied heavily on primary resources on campus and, with the help of a Magellan Scholar Award and an Honors College research grant, continued his research in Brussels, Belgium, at the Parliamentary Council Archives.

 “Without access to the library’s resources, both here and abroad, I would not have been able to bring my project to its successful conclusion,” Buckson said. He plans to continue his research at the Thomas Cooper Library with the goal of publishing it in an academic journal.

Honorable mention recipient Parham is a May graduate with degrees in political science and French. In writing her Honors College thesis, “The Aftershock: The Effect of the NGO Influx in Haiti on the State of Reconstruction, Development Agendas, and Public Policy Discourse After the January 2010 Earthquake,” she used news and Internet sources while also researching the historical role of non-governmental organizations (NGO) in Haiti.

Williamson, who also graduated in May with a degree in civil and environmental engineering, submitted an 80-page literature review that he created for an independent study course. He investigated traditional and novel materials for overhead transmission line structures.

For more information about the award, go to

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 05/22/11 @ 1:00 PM | Updated: 05/22/11 @ 12:17 PM | Permalink