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Amy Collins Honored For Research Paper

April 18, 2005

 [ Amy Colins ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- Ohio Wesleyan senior Amy Collins received the Research Paper Award during the OWU Library and Information Services Celebration of Scholarship on April 15.

"The Research Award is a pleasant reward for months of research and hard work," said Collins. "I am pleased that the selection committee, who have each made their own scholarly contributions in their respective fields, found my paper to be worthy of this honor."

Collins, a Curtice resident and graduate of Genoa Area High School, earned the award for her paper, "Bricks and Bombs as Arbitrators: The Electric Auto-Lite Strike of 1934." Collins received a $500 award from the Friends of the Library and the paper will be included in the Library catalog and the University's archive.

Collins, who will graduate on May 8 with a major in history and a minor in zoology, chose the topic because of its connection with the Toledo area and the role of the strike in New Deal legislation. "My thesis was two-fold: firstly, I sought to tell the story of the strike from start to finish; and secondly, I sought to connect the strike's importance to New Deal labor legislation, with particular emphasis on the role the strike played in encouraging the passage of the Wagner Act," said Collins. "Most importantly, I wanted to use the latest available materials, including the Floyd Bracy newspaper collection, to write a comprehensive story of the Auto-Lite strike. It is a beloved story to the people of Toledo, but only a handful of scholars and researchers have written about it."

She hopes to add one more scholar to the list as the paper she originally wrote for Departmental Honors in history will cleaned-up and submitted to historical journals for publication consideration.

The paper took many hours of research and Collins did most of that research in a local history room of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library main branch. However, it didn't always go smoothly for her. "I work for a cemetery in the summer, and didn't often get a the chance to change out of my grungy work boots, muddy jeans, and sweaty T-shirts, so I'm sure I was quite a sight in the labor history room," said Collins. "Well, one afternoon I fell asleep in the library and the security people saw me, and given my attire, they thought I was a vagrant. No amount of documentation from the University could prove to them I was a researcher, and they escorted me from the library. Oh, you never quite know what setbacks you'll encounter while researching."

That is about the only thing that has held Collins back. During her time at Ohio Wesleyan, she has worked with the Office of Residential Life as a YearOne Community Assistant. "Where I strive to build a positive environment and an intentional community among a group of 24 freshman students living on the same floor in a residence hall," said Collins. She is also a member and former officer for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, served as an orientation leader in 2004 and serves as a student member of the University Orientation Committee. She also serves on the History Department Student Board and is a member of the Phi Alpha Theta history honorary, the National Residence Halls Honorary, and Mortarboard.

She plans to enter the work force following graduation and eventually return to graduate school. "Regardless of my future education or career path, I plan to continue researching history and writing about the lost stories that deserve place in our historical memory," said Collins.