The 2006 Student Employee of the Year, winning over 15 other nominated students from around UR.

Peterson works as a laboratory assistant in the Bowers Laboratory at the Center for Aging and Developmental Biology. She was nominated for the award by Assistant Professor William Bowers and lab technician Michael Mastrangelo.

Peterson is a 2006 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar in addition to being a National Merit Scholar. She was hired to the Bowers Laboratory to assist the technical staff with routine projects, but her responsibilities have expanded to independent projects of her own.

“She proved that she could conduct her duties with high precision, consistency and with minimal supervision,” Bowers said. “This research opportunity provided Elise with a different environment and scientific field in which to hone her experimental skills.”

Fifteen other students were nominated, with the first runner-up being senior Christopher Meteyer. The other nominees were graduate student Sophia Ahmad, seniors Lauren Ambrogio, Bethany Carlson, Karin Gasaway, Laura Porterfield, Tonya Smith and Erika Winkler, junior Neethi Venkateswaran and sophomores Elise Coco, Eryk Druszkiewicz, Kaitlyn Nolan, Breana Roides and Angela Stoutenburgh.Mellon Grant allows Rush Rhees to plan new catalogRiver Campus Libraries was recently granted $283,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The money will go toward developing a new cataloging system for the libraries’ collections, allowing users to conduct more powerful searches for content.

The new system, “eXtensible Catalog,” will be an open-source online system to unify access to both paper and digital resources at the library.

UR will be the lead institution for the implementation of the XC project and will play the largest part in developing the system.

Many different aspects of the university will come together to make the project a reality. XC will combine the talents of staff members specializing in metadata programming, anthropology, graphic design, user-centeric design and usability testing.

In charge of the development of the system will be the Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the River Campus Libraries Ronald F. Dow.

Also heading up the project will be Director of Digital Initiatives David Lindahl, Director of Digital Initiatives Jennifer Bowen and Lead Anthropologist Nancy Fried Foster.

In the course of the development of the system, the investigators will survey other related projects to identify the feasibility of using already existing systems as a backbone of the new system.

In addition to analyzing other systems, the designers of the XC system intend to seek the help of other institutions in the creation of the project. Open-source materials will be integrated to allow more people to work on the mechanisms behind the system’s user interface.

According to the administration, the end result of the project will be an inexpensive and flexible alternative to using off-the-shelf software to provide access to the library collections.

The Mellon grant extends from May of 2006 to April of 2007, allowing time for development and testing of the new system.

The project administrators hope to add to UR’s positive track record in open-source software with the introduction of this system.Reporting by Matt Majarian

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