YU Student Library Research Award 2021 Winner: Elisabeth Kohn

By Wendy Kosakoff
Public Services and Outreach Librarian

Congratulations to Elisabeth Kohn ’21s, our 2021 YU Student Library Research Award Winner. Elisabeth is a political science major. Her paper, “German Attitudes Towards the United States Under Donald Trump’s Presidency, Based on German Reporting,” is an impressive, detailed product of a summer of research. She collaborated with Dr. Ronnie Perelis (associate professor of Sephardic studies; Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham and Jelena (Rachel) Alcalay Chair in Sephardic Studies; director of the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Program for International Affairs) and Dr. Steven Fine (Dean Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History and founding Director of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies), who connected her with Dr. Robert Freedman, a political scientist who holds appointments at Baltimore Hebrew University and at the Johns Hopkins University.

“After my summer internship at the State Department was canceled due to the outbreak of the pandemic,” she recalled, “I reached out to Dr. Perelis to ask if he knew of any research opportunities. Dr. Perelis, together with Dr. Fine, connected me to Dr. Freedman, who was looking for a German speaker able to analyze German publications and data for his upcoming book. He asked me to produce a research paper examining various issues, and I ended up examining German sentiment towards issues such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Nord Stream II Pipeline, defense expenditures, the Iran deal and other issues that involved the Trump administration and shaped the transatlantic relationship.”

She learned from our librarians how to use online tools to filter through and save relevant sources for easy citation. Her extensive research, the depth and originality of her paper, and her careful adherence to Chicago-style citations impressed our committee of seven readers, who evaluated 24 papers.

“It’s an absolute honor to be the recipient of the Research Library Award, and I am very grateful for all the opportunities I had at YU.”