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Announcing the Inaugural Winners of the Mendel Sato Research Award

The Washington University Libraries are excited to announce the inaugural winners of the Mendel Sato Research Award. Congratulations to Washington University students Olivia Danner and Huzefa Jawadwala for their insightful and well-researched essays that explore unique primary source material and documents from the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections.

Mendel Sato Research Award 2021 winner Olivia Danner, Class of 2024. Danner is posed in front of sunflowers for this photo.

Olivia Danner (LA 24) won the award for her paper, To Serve and Protect’ Whom?: The History of University Police Departments written for Professor Kristoffer Smemo’s class “Protest and Power in Modern America.” Her piece incorporates unique materials from the Black Manifesto Collection, the Students for a Democratic Society Records, and past editions of Student Life from the University Archives to trace the origins of the Washington University Police Department (WUPD) and how it reacted to student protests in the 1960s-1970s. In her statement of support for Danner, Professor Smemo wrote, “Olivia’s project thoughtfully and carefully incorporated materials that highlight the wide range of student activism and protest on campus.”

Huzefa Jawadwala (MArch 21) received the award for his project, St. Louis Ethical Society Building: Modern Forms | Harris Armstrong | Faith & Congregation for Professor Robert Moore’s class “Landscapes Through Time.” His work uses material from the Harris Armstrong Collection to trace the history of the architect’s career including his design of the St. Louis Ethical Society Building. Jawadwala was able to view Harris’ original drawings and correspondence relating to this project. Professor Moore wrote, “His efforts in conducting primary source research in the collections of Washington University is what makes the article so informative, authoritative and authentic,” in his statement of support for the paper.

Mendel Sato Research Award 2021 winner Huzefa Jawadwala. Jawadwala graduated with their Masters in Architecture and Construction Management from Washington University in St. Louis in 2021.

Both projects are great examples of how research in archives can be used to illuminate not only the past but current issues as well, and they will be preserved in the University Libraries’ digital collections with access open to the public.

About the Mendel Sato Research Award

The Mendel Sato Research Award is designed to engage students’ research with collections from the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections in courses taught in departments on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis.

The vision and funding for this program are provided by a generous endowment established by Dr. Mendel Sato, who hopes “to help awardees do well for themselves and enable them to do good for others.” Sato earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Washington University in 1976 and a doctoral degree in dental medicine, also from WashU, in 1979. Today, Dr. Sato and his wife, Sharon, live in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he operates a dental practice alongside his two sons. Inspired by his days as a student at WashU, where he learned by collaborating with faculty members, Sato created an endowment to provide ongoing funding that encourages student exploration into the archives of the Washington University Libraries.