Each spring semester the OWU Biological Sciences Department presents several student awards for academic excellence, research, and service to the department. Majors within the department are eligible for three named awards.
Burns-Shirling Award for Outstanding Achievement
In honor of former departmental professors, Dr. George Burns and Dr. Elwood Shirling, the department annually presents the Burns-Shirling Award to a current junior or senior major declared in Botany/Microbiology who has demonstrated exemplary academic success and/or service to the department. The student will receive a certificate, a monetary gift, and have their name engraved permanently on a plaque displayed in the awards case.
Esther Carpenter Award
This award honors senior female majors in who demonstrate excellence in research, best exemplify the ideal of a liberal arts education, and show potential for future contributions to her profession and society at large. The students will receive a certificate, a monetary gift, and have their name engraved permanently on a plaque displayed in the awards case.
Elizabeth Cass-Wills Prize
The Elizabeth Cass-Wills Prize offers a cash prize (typically $500) to either a senior Zoology major or a recent graduate who is beginning graduate school for the first time within three years of graduation. The nonrenewable prize will be awarded in the fall to the recipient upon evidence of her/his matriculation into graduate school in the zoological sciences.
The Decker-Ichida Award recognizes the academic excellence of a junior and a senior major declared in Botany/Microbiology. The student will receive a certificate, a monetary gift, and have their name engraved permanently on a plaque displayed in the awards case.
Edward L. Rice Scholarship
The Edward L. Rice Scholarship offers financial assistance to zoology students who, in the summer, broaden their experience by taking a course at a biological field station or participate in research (typically unpaid) at a similar field site during the summer.
The department has several other awards for graduating seniors in Zoology. Recipients are selected annually after deliberation by the faculty. Names are announced at the department’s spring picnic; they are included in the University’s graduation program, and inscribed on plaques in the display case opposite room 302 in the Schimmel-Conrades Science Center. Each of these awards carries a cash prize as well.
- The Edwin Grant Conklin Award recognizes excellence in independent research by a senior zoology major.
- The George Barnes Harris Award is given for outstanding academic achievement by a senior major.
- The Ralph Alvin Bowdle Award recognizes exceptional contributions to the Department by a senior major.
- The Kraus Research Fellowships support field research at the 80-acre Kraus Nature Preserve.
Finally, the department also sponsors the William D. Stull Curatorship, which supports a student who performs curatorial duties in the Ohio Wesleyan Museum of Zoology.