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Kalka's award-winning paper examines history of STEM disciplines at UND

Posted on 6/3/2014

Joseph Kalka, Grand Forks, a University of North Dakota sophomore majoring in History and Honors, won the 2013-14 Merrifield Competition for his research on the history of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at the UND.

Kalka's paper, "Unbalanced Scales: Women in STEM Fields at the University of North Dakota, 1940-1960" examined the history and development of women studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at UND.

Named in honor of Webster Merrifield, UND's first librarian and third president, the Merrifield Competition awards a $1,000 scholarship for the most outstanding student research paper that uses historic documents from the Chester Fritz Library's Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections. The competition is sponsored by Special Collections and the UND Department of History.

A five-member jury reviewed the papers submitted for the competition. The jury comprised Curt Hanson, UND head of Special Collections, and four UND faculty members: Eric Burin, history; Matthew Notbohm, accountancy; Michelle Sauer, English; and Burt Thorp, interdisciplinary studies.

The papers were judged on quality of research, clarity of thesis and conclusion, writing skill and the investigation of primary sources.

Useful links:
Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections:

Merrifield Competition:


Curt Hanson, head of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections
UND Chester Fritz Library
701.777.4626 |

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