News:

12/06/12 Great Neck South High School Students Win State Archives Award

Albany, NY -- The New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust have selected Jonah Mittler, Samuel Sommer, and Max Summers from Great Neck South High School as the recipients of the 2012 Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 9-12, for their entry “Corruption and Reform in New York State.”

Using historical records from the Library of Congress, the University of California Library, New York Times Archives, and Harper's Weekly, Jonah Mittler, Samuel Sommer, and Max Summers developed a comprehensive documentary on the political corruption and reform movements in New York City and New York State governments during the Progressive Era, 1890-1920. The students used a wide variety of historical newspapers, political cartoons, archival photographs, and portraits to illustrate the scandals and investigations that led to the development of reform laws. The students researched the role of immigrants, voting ballot methods, and bribery and threats that propelled the progressive movement forward. The judges were very impressed with the students' enthusiasm for the project, their high degree of analysis, and use of historical records.

The Student Research Awards are named for Regent Emerita Laura Chodos and her late husband, Dr. Robert Chodos, who created an endowment to encourage students to explore the wealth of historical records in New York State. The awards are presented annually to a student, or group of students, in New York State who have made outstanding use of historical records in their research. They recognize student work for demonstrating excellence based on specific criteria: using a variety of historical records, drawing on information from those records, and interpreting and integrating that information with creativity and imagination.

“We are very pleased to recognize the winning students and their teachers of Mamaroneck Union Free School District, Guilderland Central School District, and Great Neck Union Free School District for their outstanding projects which earned them top honors in the New York State Archives’ annual student research awards contest,” said State Archivist Christine Ward. “Each year, we invite students and educators from throughout the state to conceive projects which utilize primary source documents to explore New York’s glorious past. From hundreds of submissions, we select the very finest. It is our hope that the enjoyment that these young people and their mentors derived in putting together these award winning efforts will make history relevant for them in the near future and throughout their academic careers.”

The annual Archives Awards program recognizes outstanding efforts in archives and records management work in New York State by a broad range of individuals and organizations. A complete list of this year’s award recipients follows:

Excellence in State Agency Records Management
NYS Office of General Services

Cheryl Steinbach Award for Excellence in Local Government Records Management
Town of Somers (Westchester County)

William H. Kelly Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development
Livingston County

Program Excellence in a Historical Records Repository
Zadock Pratt Museum, Prattsville (Greene County)

Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of the State Archives
Dr. Tom Arne Midtrod, University of Iowa

William Hoyt Advocacy Award
Carl Hayden, former Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees
Dr. Kenneth P. O’Brien, Associate Professor of History at the College at Brockport
and President of the SUNY Faculty Senate

Bruce W. Dearstyne Archives Award for Excellence in the Educational Use of Historical Records
Amber Quinn, Shenendehowa High School, Shenendehowa Central School District (Saratoga County)

Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 9-12
Jonah Mittler, Samuel Sommer and Max Summers, Great Neck South High School, Great Neck Union Free School District, Teacher: Frances Tria (Nassau County)

Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 6-8
Sarah Jones, Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland Central School District,
Teacher: Deborah Escobar (Albany County)

Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 4-5
Millie Bohn, Murray Avenue School, Mamaroneck Union Free School District,
Teacher: Pamela Tanenbaum (Westchester County)