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Submissions open through Monday, March 13 for library award cash prize

The Libraries are accepting submissions until Monday, March 13 for the Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE), an annual cash prize awarded to students who use library resources to great effect in the course of class research projects. All Miami undergraduate students are eligible to enter, and do so with a 750 to 1000-word essay summarizing their research and how they used the Libraries.

Learn how to enter

Last year’s LAURE winners highlighted how librarians were essential to their success.

Melanie Hamon reached out to Carla Myers, associate librarian and coordinator of scholarly communications, to discuss copyright considerations for her non-traditional research paths, which included citing YouTube videos and ensuring her own work wasn’t used without permission. 

“I met with [Myers] three times during this project.” Hamon said. “She really prompted me with critical thinking questions… and was really easy to talk to.” 

Megan Snyder offered similar sentiments after working with Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian Jenny Presnell, noting that working with librarians connected her to research avenues and resources she wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

These students’ successes were music to arts and humanities librarian Stefanie Hilles’ ears. “I was delighted to hear about all the ways this year’s LAURE winners engaged librarians during their research process,” she said. “That’s what we’re here for! For many of us, myself included, working with students is one of our favorite aspects of our job.”

2022’s LAURE winners

Third Place: Danielle Young, “A Pipeline to Education: The Tools to Draw America’s Children Out of Poverty.”

Second place: Isabelle Sistino, “Onward Echoes the Story: The Study of Religion amid Miami’s Narratives of Justice & Change”

First place: Megan Snyder, “Everything But Carry a Rifle: An Article Examining the Members of the Women’s Army Corps and their Relationship to Guns”

Honorable Mention: Rickey Staarmann, “Substance Use Disorder: A Criminalized Illness”

Honorable Mention: Melanie Hamon, “Communication: A Greater Analysis of Storytelling in Music Through Mayuzumi’s Bunraku”

About the LAURE

The LAURE is a joint effort of the University Libraries and the Office of Undergraduate Research. Winners are announced at the annual Undergraduate Research Forum.

The award-winning submissions are uploaded to the Miami University Scholarly Commons as part of the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Collection, where previous LAURE winners’ projects and essays can be found.

LAURE committee members & judges:

  • Mark Dahlquist
  • Stefanie Hilles
  • Rachel Makarowski
  • Jody Perkins
  • Shawn Vanness

The judging panel is made up of the committee and students, faculty, and staff outside the Libraries:

  • Alex Cox
  • Nancy Parkinson
  • Martha Weber
  • Carlo Samson
  • Kate Francis

To learn more about the award, review the submission process, and read previous winning essays, visit the LAURE website. The LAURE committee is happy to answer any questions about the application process and provide support in writing the essay or submitting files.