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W. Curtis Worthington, Jr. Prize

2013 Winners

The Waring Historical Library at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) announced that the winner of the 2013 W. Curtis Worthington, Jr. Research Paper Competition first prize in the graduate category was Jenny M. Luke, a history master’s candidate at the University of Texas at Arlington for her paper, “Asafetida to Aureomycin: African-American Nurse-Midwives, 1930-1950.”

First prize in the undergraduate category was awarded to John Scaringi, a senior history major at the College of Charleston, for his paper, “Physicians, Paupers, and the Peninsula: The Emergence of Public Health Policy in Charleston, South Carolina.”

Both first prize winners receive $1500 and their papers printed in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association. Papers were judged by: Dr. Kurt Boughan, professor of history at The Citadel and a scholar in medieval medicine; Dr. Peter McCandless, professor emeritus, department of history at the College of Charleston; and Dr. Charles S. Bryan, professor emeritus, University of South Carolina School of Medicine and former editor of the Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association.

Jenny Luke Jenny M. Luke earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009 and 2013, respectively. As a graduate student she was awarded the title of University Scholar and was the recipient of the 2012 Wolfskill Award for Excellence in Master’s Studies in History. Her interest in the history of childbirth practices and maternity care is rooted in her experience as a registered nurse and certified nurse-midwife.


John Scaringi John Scaringi, originally from Greenville, South Carolina, attends the College of Charleston from which he expects to graduate with a B.A. in history, B.S. in chemistry, B.S. in biochemistry and a minor in philosophy. After a post-graduate year working full time studying cardiac electrophysiology in the research lab of Martin Morad, Ph.D., Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina endowed chair for Cardiovascular Health and professor of Regenerative Medicine and Cell biology, he plans to apply to medical school.

The W. Curtis Worthington Research Paper Competition is named for Dr. W. Curtis Worthington Jr., director of the Waring Historical Library, and is in its seventh year. The Award was established to encourage students to contribute to the scholarship about the history of medicine and to reward those whose work is truly exemplary.

If you are interested in supporting the award, please contact Susan Hoffius to discuss gift-giving opportunities. For more information about the award, including details about eligibility, please visit the Waring website at


Papers entered in the competition should represent original research in the history of the health sciences. They may cover any historical period and any cultural tradition. Paper topics may include -- but are by no means limited to -- public health policy and the social context of disease and health; the construction of the medical profession and medical institutions; gender and medical theory or practice; learned medical practitioners as social, political, and economic agents; notions of the human body as the subject of health, disease, and therapeutic intervention; medicine and natural philosophy/science; medicine and the humanities; and the development of health science disciplines such as nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and allied health fields. One first prize of $1,500 will be awarded each year to the winner in each category: undergraduate and graduate. The winning papers will be published in the Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, subject to the review and requirements of its editor. Entries must be received by MAY 31st in each contest year.

Who can participate?

This competition is open to any degree-seeking individual attending an accredited college or university. Additionally, interns and residents in accredited programs are eligible in the graduate category. Entries may not have been published previously, nor be submitted more than once. A person may submit only one entry each year. The same person may not win first prize during two consecutive years. The WLS Awards Committee reserves the right to not give any or all awards in a particular year.

Submission details

Entries must be not fewer than 2,500 words nor more than 5,000 words (not including notes and bibliography). Photographs or illustrations should be included whenever possible or appropriate. Manuscripts should be submitted as a Word document or as an unformatted ASCII-preferred document. Send completed application form as an attachment with your submission; do not include any personal identification information in the text of your submission. Entries must be received by MAY 31st in each contest year.

Winners agree to grant the Waring Historical Library and Waring Library Society both initial and subsequent publication rights in any manner or form without further compensation. Except as provided above, copyright ownership otherwise remains with the author.
Guidelines      Application

Previous Winners

  • Bancroftian filariasis in Charleston, South Carolina: the medical history of a forgotten and abhorred disease, by Mark P. Nelder (2007, first prize graduate)
  • "An American Contribution to Social Welfare:" The Human Betterment Foundation's Advocacy of Compulsory Eugenic Sterilization, by Shanon Fitzpatrick (2008, first prize graduate)
  • Jack: The First Recorded Case of Sickle Cell Anemia, by Thomas Mullen (2008, second prize graduate)
  • Dr. Ella Ware, "The Country Doc:" Early Female Physician Educated and Practicing in Rural Texas, by Kassie Dixon (2008, first prize undergraduate)
  • The Syphilis Epidemic of the Late Middle Ages: Social and Medical Treatment, by Rebekah Harris (2008, second prize undergraduate)
  • Naturally Degraded: How Racialism Impacted Politics in the Late Antebellum South, by Christopher Willoughby (2009, first prize undergraduate)
  • "As You May Think Best": Doctors, Disability, and Decision-Making in the Medical Care of Slaves, by Dea Boster (2010, first prize graduate)
  • "I Thought Mamma Would Like to Hear": Elite Women’s Preservation of Medical Knowledge in the Antebellum South, by Ivy Faye McIntyre (2012, first prize graduate)

Guidelines   Application

For more information about this competition, please contact the Waring Historical Library at 843-792-2288 or