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May 15, 2013 5:29 PM by MELISSA CANONE

History major Couvillon aces research, writing contest

Kelsey Couvillon has won the Jefferson Caffery Research Award based on a research paper submitted for the Edith Garland Dupré Library's Caffery Competition.

The annual writing contest, which has a $500 prize, encourages undergraduate or graduate students to conduct scholarly research. Students must use primary source materials that are part of the library's Special Collections.

Couvillon's contest-winning submission was a paper she wrote for a History 490 course. It detailed the House on Un-American Activities Committee's investigation of the Ku Klux Klan.

The U. S. House of Representatives established the committee in the 1930's to delve into allegations of communist and subversive activity. It was renamed the Internal Security Committee in 1969, and disbanded in 1975.

Couvillon researched materials that are included in Dupré Library's Willis Collection. Edwin Edwards Willis was a U.S. representative from Louisiana and chairman of the Committee on Un-American Activities. He died in 1972.

The Willis Collection consists of general, legislative and committee correspondence, casework documents, scrapbooks, photographs, maps and mementos.

"I've always enjoyed writing, and I'm a history major, so I write and research quite a bit," said Couvillon, 21, a senior who will graduate on Saturday.

Couvillon will begin a stint with the Peace Corps in June as a health care worker in West Africa.
"After that, I'm considering maybe teaching, or going to graduate school," she said.

The Caffery Competition award is provided by a fund established in 1967 by Ambassador and Mrs. Jefferson Caffery. A 1903 graduate of UL Lafayette, Caffery served as U. S. ambassador to El Salvador, Columbia, Cuba, Brazil, France and Egypt.

Materials in the library's Jefferson Caffery Louisiana Room, the University Archives and Acadiana Manuscripts Collections, the Rare Book Collection, the Cajun and Creole Music Collection and microforms can be used for research.

Caffery competition entries were judged by a panel composed of members of the library committee, library staff and others designated by the panel, based on quality of research, clarity and writing skill.

For more information about Edith Garland Dupré Library, visit library.louisiana.edu.

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