Each year, the Undergraduate Research Center recognizes a member of the Occidental community for excellence in creative activity and research mentoring. 

Award Details


$2000 and recognition with the keynote address at the annual Summer Research Program conference. 


All members of the Occidental community (including alumni) are eligible for this award and to nominate for this award. 


Members of the Undergraduate Research Committee evaluate nominations based on the quality and scope of the faculty member’s undergraduate research mentoring. Letters of nomination are solicited in the spring, and should address the nominee’s undergraduate research mentoring contributions, mentoring philosophy or approach, and evidence of success as an undergraduate research mentor.


Laural Meade headshot

Laural Meade is a Resident Professor in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies at Occidental College. In classrooms and on the mainstage of Keck Theater, she collaborates with students on their research and production in playwriting, acting, directing and theater theory. Her specialties include musical theater, ensemble creation, and the fine art of theater-going (on Friday nights you can often find her shepherding students to all manner of performance venues throughout L.A. - and meeting with artists afterward). As the director of the annual New Works Festival, she has mentored 100+ student writers through the process of developing their original scripts for live audiences in collaboration with professional artists from the local theater community. In her creative life beyond Oxy, Laural makes music as the choir director for The Secret City (an “art church” that celebrates all forms of creativity), and as a singer around town. Her current project explores the life and risque song catalog of jazz great Sophie Tucker. 2023-24 will mark Laural’s 26th year on the faculty at Oxy. She also calls the college home as a graduate - earning a B.A. in theater here before completing an M.F.A. in playwriting from UCLA.

Contact Undergraduate Research Center

2nd floor, Old Wing, Room 253A