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Huntington High School Student Wins State Archives Award

Friday, November 6, 2015

The New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust have selected John Riley of Huntington High School, Huntington Union Free School District, as the recipient of the 2015 Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 9-12, for his entry “Harlem Hellfighters: Battling on Two Fronts – Freedom at Home and Abroad.” A certificate was presented to John at a luncheon ceremony at the Cultural Education Center in Albany, held recently.  His teacher, Lauren Desiderio, was also recognized.

Using historical records from the Library of Congress, Memphis Archives, National Archives, the National Guard, National Park Service, New York Public Library, and the United States Army, John created a documentary about World War I that examines the leadership of Colonel William Hayward and the legacy of the 369th Regiment - the Harlem Hellfighters. The judges commended John for his comprehensive research, his analysis and use of historical records, and for incorporating his own perspective on the topic.

The Student Research Awards are named for Board of Regents 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.

“Every year the State Archives invite students and educators from throughout the state to create projects that utilize primary source documents to explore New York’s past,” said Acting State Archivist Thomas J. Ruller.  “From hundreds of submissions, we select the very finest.  It is our hope that the enjoyment that these students and their teachers 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 takes place every October, during American Archives Month, and 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:

New York State Archives Partnership Trust Award:
New York State Canal Corporation

Lifetime Achievement Award for Advancing the Security of Archives in New York State:
Richard Strassberg (Albany County)

Annual Archives Award for Program Excellence in a Historical Records Repository:
SUNY Plattsburgh (Clinton County)

Annual Archives Award for Excellence in State Agency Records Management Program Development:
New York State Office of the Children and Family Services

William H. Kelly Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development:
City of Rochester (Monroe County)

Cheryl Steinbach Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Records Management:
The Town of Hamburg (Erie County)

Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of the State Archives:
Russ Immarigeon (Columbia County)

Annual Archives Award for Student Research Using Historical Records Grade 4 & 5:
Aaron Lener, Homer Intermediate School, Homer Central School District; Teacher: Laurie Leach (Cortland County)

Annual Archives Award for Student Research Using Historical Records Grade 6-8:
Sahil Sangwan, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School, Three Village Central School District; Teacher: Nicole Connelly (Suffolk County)

Annual Archives Award for Student Research Using Historical Records Grade 9-12:
John Riley, Huntington H.S., Huntington Union Free School District; Teacher: Lauren Desiderio (Suffolk County)