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Student Writing Competition

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I was a long-time member of this organization and a friend of the award's namesake. I thought that there was enough talented and intelligent people on this site that they could actually win the award. If you have any questions about the award or the organization sponsoring it, post it here and I'll answer them as best as I can (but I'm not on the awards committee, so sucking up to me won't help your chances). Also, you can visit the Society of Automotive Historians' website at www.autohistory.org.

This is directly from the press release:

INFORMATION ON THE 2009 STUDENT AWARD:

In order to encourage research and writing effort among university students in the area of automotive history, the Society [of Automotive Historians] in 2009 will confer its annual award for the best student paper in the auto history field. The award is named for Richard Scharchburg, the late Professor of History at Kettering University, eminent automotive historian, and past president of the Society of Automotive Historians. Persons submitting papers must be enrolled at educational institutions (upper-class undergraduate or graduate level) at the time of submission. This competition is international in scope, but papers must be in the English language. Papers already published or scheduled for publication will not be accepted.

Manuscripts should not exceed 10,000 words, and should be double-spaced. An abstract is requested. Judging criteria include clear statement of purpose and testable hypothesis, accuracy and thoroughness of research, originality of the research, documentation, quality and extent of bibliographic resources, and writing style. Diagrams, graphs, or photographs may be included. Submissions may be electronic in Word 1997-2003 format only to the e-mail address below, or if mailed hard copy, five copies to the mailing address below.

Possible subjects include but are not limited to historical aspects of automobile companies and their leaders, regulation of the auto industry, financial and economic aspects of the industry, the social effects of the automobile, highway development, environmental matters, and automotive marketing, design, engineering, and safety.

A cover letter should be included stating the student’s address, school, program, advisor, and stage in studies. The student should indicate how the paper submitted will relate to his or her professional future. Submissions must be postmarked or e-mail dated by June 10, 2009. All papers submitted will be acknowledged.

Upon recommendation of the judges, the winning paper will be considered for publication in the Society’s Automotive History Review. The winner will be notified in late August 2009. The award will consist of a plaque and a cash prize of $500.00.

Submissions should be sent to:

Robert R. Ebert, PhD, Chair, Student Awards Committee

Professor of Economics

Baldwin-Wallace College

275 Eastland Road

Berea, Oh 44017-2088

e-mail: rebert@bw.edu

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Hmm, I'm interested in this just because the award is named after a professor from my university (though I've never heard of him).

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Hmm, I'm interested in this just because the award is named after a professor from my university (though I've never heard of him).

Trust me, he was a great guy. Richard was very interested in automotive history and getting young people involved in it. I was fortunate enough to know him and experience many things through his eyes.

A few years back, the board members of the Society were invited to tour a private collection of cars. Richard liked very early automotive history and was excited when this particular collection included an early Mason, a car co-developed by the Duesenberg brothers. When the owner got this Mason running, the look on Richard's face was like a young kid getting just the right toy for Christmas. He marveled at the 90-year old engine running with its exposed valvetrain spraying oil but purring like a kitten.

I wish you could have met him. He was a stickler for details and a thorn in the side of many of the officers of SAH. He always made meetings exciting. Great guy and missed by many.

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That's really interesting to know. How long ago did he pass? How long ago did he teach at Kettering/GMI?

On the lines of the actual contest: do you know what style they are looking for? Is this supposed to be a research-drenched article? Or something from the heart with a small touch of research and facts? I want to do the latter and not bog it down with too many numbers, but I'm not sure if that's what they'd like to see...

Also, what is an upper-class undergraduate? I'm a Junior at Kettering; am I eligible to enter?

Edited by NOS2006
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That's really interesting to know. How long ago did he pass? How long ago did he teach at Kettering/GMI?

On the lines of the actual contest: do you know what style they are looking for? Is this supposed to be a research-drenched article? Or something from the heart with a small touch of research and facts? I want to do the latter and not bog it down with too many numbers, but I'm not sure if that's what they'd like to see...

Also, what is an upper-class undergraduate? I'm a Junior at Kettering; am I eligible to enter?

Richard died in 2000 and he taught right up until he died, I believe.

I believe a Junior can enter, but you've got to show them some superior researching skills. The article must be historic in nature; a research paper. You can write from a viewpoint, but you must back it up with great research. And the more unique the information, the better. If you knew someone who, say, worked on the line at Tucker...an interview with that person would make a great basis for a paper.

I would love to see someone from this site win this award.

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Gosh, that's too bad.. my grandpa worked on the line at Packard, but he passed away in April.. :(

Then again, on second note, I might be able to speak to good ol' Reggie Bell. Never had him as a professor, but I know he's been a good source of auto info for a lot of people. Maybe I'll see if I can catch him in an office hour...

Edited by NOS2006
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If I researched not the car company, but the trial and what accusations were made and by whom, would that be something the judges would find interesting? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get a feel for what the judges are looking for.

Make sure you connect the car and car company to the story, but yes. It's part of automotive history. Oh, and make sure you have lots of new research, which is entirely possible since it's a local story. Go to the local historical society. I remember doing research on my hometown where there were two "car makers" and finding the original local car registration directory with both cars (each "manufacturer" had one vehicle registered) in it. You'll find great stuff there...and leads on others who have unwritten history passed down from generation to generation in stories. Make sure you get some of those. You'll do great.

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