University of Oregon

Meet Last Year's Undergraduate Research Award Winners

The deadline for submissions to the annual Undergraduate Research Awards, sponsored by the UO Libraries, is February 4, 2013. Are you interested in learning more about the program or seeking inspiration? Read on to learn about last year's winning undergraduate researchers.

Last year, five theses written by University of Oregon students were named winners of the 2011-12 Undergraduate Research Awards sponsored by the UO Libraries. The annual competitive program honors UO students who produced outstanding original research and scholarship in the previous calendar year using resources available through the UO Libraries. 

For 2011-12, a $1,500 prize was awarded to history major Erik Erlandson. Four other winners--art history major Laura Barton, music major James Bean, history major Elan Ebeling, and international studies major Vanessa Fielder--received $1,000 awards. 

To be eligible for the award, students are required to submit a research paper, project, or thesis that has been completed as part of their coursework or degree requirements at the UO, along with a recommendation from a UO faculty member. Students must make extensive, creative use of UO library services, resources, and collections in their research.

The Undergraduate Research Awards are made possible by endowments established through the generous support of Barbara B. Sparks and Jon and Lisa Stine, as well as gifts from Walter and Gretchen Barger. Electronic copies of their work were deposited in Scholars' Bank, the library's open access archive for UO research, publications, and supporting materials in digital form. 

For more information on the awards, visit


2012 Undergraduate Research Award Winners


erik erlandsonErik Erlandson

"Cattle Plague in NYC: The Untold Campaign of America’s First Board of Health, 1868" (Honors College Thesis)

Award: $1,500

Faculty Sponsor: James Mohr, History

Acknowledged Library Staff: John Russell (Social Sciences and History Librarian), Tom Stave (Head, Document Center), Tamara Vidos Glencross (Microforms Coordinator)

"I am thankful that the UO Libraries has these great resources because they allow undergraduates like myself to become definitive authorities on certain historical episodes."


laura bartonLaura Barton

"Interdependent Parts of the Whole: Edward Weston’s Studio Nudes and Still Lifes, 1925-1933" (Art History Thesis)

Award: $1,000

Faculty Sponsor: Kate Mondloch, Art History

Acknowledged Library Staff: Cara List (Art and Architecture Librarian)

"Through the resources available at the library, I was able to find other scholars who had done related work. This was an important step in my research because it forced me to evaluate other scholars' work and find a way to contribute meaningfully to the conversation. The research methods session taught by Cara List gave me a solid foundation for doing art history research, which led to the success of my thesis."


james beanJames Bean

"Ground: For Four Players and Their Instruments" (Music Composition, School of Music and Dance)

Award: $1,000

Faculty Sponsor: Robert Kyr, School of Music and Dance

Acknowledged Library Staff: Terry McQuilken (Music Services Technician)

"Without the tools provided by the library, it would have been increasingly, if not prohibitively, difficult for me to do my work. It is clear that not a single aspect of this project would be possible without the resources of the library."


alan ebelingElan Ebeling

"The Tumultuous Nature of American Public Health at the Grass Roots Level During a Transitional Decade: Wheeling, West Virginia, 1850-1890" (History Department Thesis)

Award: $1,000

Faculty Sponsor: James Mohr, History

Acknowledged Library Staff: Margaret Bean (Resource Sharing Librarian), Tamara Vidos Glencross (Microforms Coordinator)

"In writing this paper, I learned how to analyze and synthesize a massive amount of information and learned a great deal about the nature of historical writing in the process. There is no way I could have conducted even a small part of this research without the resources and assistance of the UO Libraries and its staff."


vanessa fiedlerVanessa Fiedler

"Solid Waste Management: Improving Waste Disposal Options in Rural Areas of Central America" (International Studies and Honors College Thesis)

Award:  $1,000

Faculty Sponsor: Galen Martin, International Studies

Acknowledged Library Staff: Tom Stave (Head, Document Center)

"Navigating and efficiently utilizing the resources of the UO Libraries made my thesis a success. The wide availability of books from the UO and through interlibrary loan enabled me to double-check ambiguous information, gain a historical perspective, and review local solid waste manuals."

University of Oregon Libraries
1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR
T: (541) 346-3053
F: (541) 346-3485
Make a Gift