Mimi originally created her posterboard presentation for the 2015 Graduate Student Research Symposium held on April 14th, then submitted her project for the Monroe Library Student Research Competition. She has summarized the historical controversy regarding Thecla and her relevance to women today in an abstract of her presentation:
"This research was performed to determine the factors that led to the exclusion of the extracanonical Acts of Paul from the New Testament. My investigation into the Acts of Paul and its reception in early Christianity highlights the martyr Thecla, a key figure in the Acts of Paul, as a major cause for the exclusion of the Acts of Paul from the New Testament. The role of women was an issue for the early church and continues to be a contentious issue today. The passages pertaining to Thecla presented difficulties and were considered questionable because they defend the right for women to baptize and teach. Her active role in ministry, her stance for asceticism and alleged feminism led ancient church leaders like Tertullian to label the story of Thecla as disgraceful and to reject the Acts of Paul on theological grounds because of Thecla’s participation in the Pauline ministry. Thecla’s story makes the Acts of Paul relevant and relatable for women occupying leadership roles in ministry today."
Mimi's award recognized her academic work that resulted from exemplary use of the collections, resources, and services of the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library, which is the purpose of the Monroe Library Student Research Competition.