Laura Berk Undergraduate Writing Award

Dr. Laura Berk is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the Department of Psychology at Illinois State. She is a nationally known researcher, teacher, and textbook author focusing on early childhood development. She established this award upon her retirement to honor exceptional writers from the department.


  • Must be a full-time student admitted to the Major in Psychology;
  • Must have written an empirical research or expository paper in APA style; and
  • Financial need is a factor for consideration.


Psychology faculty may nominate their students who have written appropriate papers that qualify for this award. Nominations are submitted during the spring semester. Nominated students must complete the application process in order to be considered for this award.

Application Process

Students should email electronic copies of the following to the Chair of the Psychology Department Awards Committee.

  • A completed application;
  • The paper for consideration; and
  • A letter of recommendation from the faculty member who made the nomination.

This application is an interactive Microsoft Word document . Click on the link to download the form. Complete the application and email electronic copies of all application materials to the Awards Committee Chair.


The department's Awards Committee is responsible for awarding the Laura Berk Undergraduate Writing Award each year if there is an eligible candidate.


The award is typically $500 each year. The amount of the award will be determined by the department's Awards Committee. If the funds are left unused in the income account, the funds can be carried over for the next year or transferred to the endowment account.


The Laura Berk Undergraduate Writing Award is an endowment fund and the award is to be made in perpetuity. The department chair is responsible for distributing the award funds and for appropriate publicity related to the presentation of the award.

Other Considerations

The Laura Berk Undergraduate Writing Award fund is an "open" fund in the Illinois State University Foundation, which may be increased through additional contributions of cash, and may receive the proceeds from bequests, trusts, life insurance, real estate, and personal property. Additions to the fund shall be subject to the award conditions contained in these guidelines.