Occidental Receives National Recognition for Student Research

Jim Tranquada

Occidental College has been awarded the Council on Undergraduate Research’s 2019 Campus-Wide Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments (AURA) for its exemplary program that provides high-quality research experiences for its students.

For AURA recognition, colleges and universities must demonstrate depth and breadth in their undergraduate research initiatives and evidence of continual innovation.

“The 2019 AURA recipients demonstrate a dedication to diversity of undergraduates and academic fields, dissemination of student research, attention to essential support services, and continual assessment,” said CUR Executive Officer Lindsay Currie. “CUR salutes these higher education institutions for their commitment to excellence in undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry on their campuses.”

Occidental’s “robust undergraduate research effort permeates campus culture with evidence of substantive institutional commitment and active student engagement,” said a CUR statement. “The institution’s student researchers come from a wide range of disciplines and socioeconomic backgrounds. Forty percent of student participants in Occidental’s summer research program are from non-science departments, demonstrating a dedication to undergraduate research access across the academic spectrum.”

“We are honored to receive the prestigious AURA award, which arrives as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Occidental’s Undergraduate Research Center,” said Wendy Sternberg, Occidental’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “Our students don’t wait until they graduate to make original intellectual and creative contributions to their disciplines. Whether it’s for a class, a senior comprehensive project, a Richter overseas fellowship, or as a participant in our Summer Research Program, student research is a hallmark of an Oxy education.”

The CUR awards will be presented on January 24, 2020, at the CUR executive board reception during the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges & Universities in Washington, D.C. Also recognized this year were Florida State University and Bridgewater State University of Massachusetts.

Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research is an organization of individual, institutional, and affiliate members from around the world that share a focus on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity opportunities for faculty and students. More than 700 institutions and more than 13,000 individuals belong to CUR.