The New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust awarded the 2017 Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 9-12, to Sara Kuken, Ryan Hayden, Nate LaPlante, Elizabeth Machnick, Kaylan Comache, Katherine Champagne, Lillah Jacobson-Schultz, Sophia Baldwin, Anthony Styles, Lexis Carista, Shannon Walsh, Hunter Yeardsley, and Renna Poulin from Tamarac High School in Brunswick Central School District for their entry “Perseverance: The Story of Women's Suffrage in NY State.” The Archives presented certificates and a cash award to the students at a ceremony at the Cultural Education Center in Albany recently. The Archives also recognized their teachers, Michelle Furlong, Steve Pomposello and Mark Spitzer.
The students created a documentary on the women’s suffrage movement using records from the Rensselaer County Historical Society, Valley Falls Library and Historical Society, the Emma Willard School, Getty Images, The New York Times, League of Women Voters, Auburn University Libraries, Nation of Change, CNN, Al Jazeera Media Network, Yates County History Center, The Harvard Art Museums, Women’s Voices for Change, the Library of Congress and interviews with the Rensselaer County Historian and Town of Schaghticoke Historian. Using photographs, maps, newspaper articles, postcards, and political cartoons, the students explored the movements for and against women’s suffrage in Rensselaer County, NY. They researched women’s rights activists Emma Willard, Russell and Margaret Sage and the women of the Valley Falls Political Equality Club. The judges commended the group for their use of historical records to tell their story, for their examination of past and present work for women’s rights and for researching a national topic from a local perspective.
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. The awards recognize student work 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’re proud to present the Archives Awards to recognize and celebrate individuals, organizations, and students who have done exceptional work in preserving and promoting New York’s history,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “We congratulate all the winners on their achievements and urge them to continue maintaining and researching historical records that document our heritage.”
“The Annual Archives Awards is an opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work that organizations and individuals do every day to maintain and preserve historical records,” said Regent Roger Tilles. “We’re also honored to acknowledge the exceptional work students across the state have done to incorporate archival records in their research and bring New York State’s history to life. Congratulations to all the winners."
“The Board of Regents and I congratulate the winners of the 2017 Archives Awards,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “We’re proud to honor exemplary maintenance and use of archival records so our history is preserved for future generations. We applaud the student winners for their outstanding use of historical records in their research and encourage them to continue to explore New York’s rich history at archives, libraries and cultural institutions across the state.”
“The State Archives presents these awards annually to celebrate the significant role archives perform and to honor the archivists, researchers, educators and students who are analyzing and sharing information contained in New York’s historical records,” said State Archivist Thomas Ruller.
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 winners follows:
* Cheryl Steinbach Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Records Management:
Town of Livonia
* William H. Kelly Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development:
Warren County Records Storage Center and Archives
* Annual Archives Award for Excellence in State Agency Records Management Program Development:
NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
* Annual Archives Award for Program Excellence in a Historical Records Repository:
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
* Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of the State Archives:
Sarah F. Rose, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Disability Studies Minor, University of Texas at Arlington
* Lifetime Achievement Award for the Protection of Archives or Cultural Collections in New York State:
Richard Lord, Chief of Mitigation Programs and State Hazard Mitigation Officer, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
* Annual Archives Award for Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 9-12:
The following students from Tamarac High School, Brunswick Central School District:
o Sara Kuken
o Ryan Hayden
o Nate LaPlante
o Elizabeth Machnick
o Kaylan Comache
o Katherine Champagne
o Lillah Jacobson-Schultz
o Sophia Baldwin
o Anthony Styles
o Lexis Carista
o Shannon Walsh
o Hunter Yearsley
o Renna Poulin
Teachers: Michelle Furlong, Steve Pomposello and Mark Spitzer
* Annual Archives Award for Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 6-8:
The following student from The Wheatley School, East Williston Union Free School District:
o Manav Bansal
Teacher: JoBeth Roberts
* Annual Archives Award for Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 4 & 5:
The following students from Drexel Avenue Elementary School, Westbury Union Free School District:
o Ryan Alvarez
o Alexander Munguia
Teacher: Patricia Matarazzo