Scholarships and Awards
The department gives out a number of scholarships and awards to deserving undergraduate and graduate students each year. We are very proud of our outstanding students and feel they should be recognized, rewarded, and congratulated for their academic and research accomplishments. Most of the awards come from donations by alumni to the NIU Foundation in the name of various scholarships. Committees made up of faculty and/or students make nominations for the awards and determine who will receive them. Lots of helpful information about scholarships and awards can also be found at the Scholarship Office.
Alumni Scholarship in Biological Sciences
This award is presented annually to an outstanding undergraduate student in biological sciences. The Award is made possible by the generous donations from biology alumni.
Building Engagement in Laboratories, Networking, and Peer Groups (BELONG) in STEM Scholars Program provides scholarships for undergraduate students that are rising juniors and are majoring in biological sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, geology and environmental geosciences, mathematics, or computer science. NIU received a $1M grant from the National Science Foundation S-STEM program to offer scholarships to students with financial need and academic promise. Students selected to be BELONG in STEM Scholars will receive $5,000 each academic year for up to 3 years. Scholars will be invited to participate in professional development activities, research opportunities, and peer group meetings to support their growth and persistence in their major.
Sonya Conway Memorial Award
Established to honor the memory of Dr. Sonya Conway, a longtime faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences. The award is given annually to an outstanding female undergraduate in the department.
Established in 1970 by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to give recognition to senior students who have made outstanding contributions to their major departments. These students are expected to have displayed leadership, conspicuous service, and an excellent scholastic record. Each department may submit one nominee to the college, from which the dean selects award recipients.
Dissertation Completion Award
Dissertation Completion Fellowships are awarded annually to some of the university's most promising doctoral students to assist in the completion of their dissertations. Those awarded to full-time students carry a tuition waiver, a stipend, and funds for limited research expenses. Those awarded to part-time students include a tuition waiver and funds for limited research expenses.
Harvey A Feyerherm Award
Established as a memorial to Dr. Harvey A. Feyerherm who came to NIU in 1950 and served as head of the Department of Biological Sciences from 1964 to 1969. He served as a professor of bological sciences and Acting Director of the School of Allied Health. This annual award is made to a junior with high academic achievement and potential for success in one of the health care professions.
Winifred Halsey Scholarship
This award is presented annually to an outstanding female undergraduate in biological sciences. The award was established by Winifred Halsey, an alumna of the Department of Biological Sciences and in memory of her mother, Winifred Ethel Halsey.
August M. Gorenz Award
Established in 2000 by Dr. August Gorenz (B.S., NIU, Ph.D, UW). Dr. Gorenz had a long and successful career in plant pathology working at various locations around the world. The award is presented annually to an outstanding undergraduate student majoring in the biological sciences.
David R. Layman Scholarship Fund
Established in 1997 by David R. Layman. This award is designed to support outstanding students in the Biology Teacher Certification Program.
Dennis Larsen Endowed Scholarship
An endowed scholarship to honor the memory of NIU Biology alumni Dennis Larsen, longtime teacher and environmental activist. The scholarship supports undergraduate and graduate students in the Dept. of Biological Sciences who have an emphasis or interest in the environmental studies.
Michael Mangold Scholarship
Established in 1996 and funded by Dr. Michael Mangold, an NIU graduate (B.S. 1989, M. S. 1984). He established the scholarship to recognize and help students who are working to fund their education. It is presented to a pre-medical student with an excellent academic record and significant working experience.
Sidney A. Mittler Award
Established to honor the memory of Dr. Sidney Mittler, professor of Genetics, who died in 1988. Dr. Mittler came to NIU in 1960, and served as a faculty member of this department until his retirement in 1987. A certificate and monetary award is presented to the outstanding graduate student in genetics, as determined by a faculty committee.
Charles E. Montgomery Award
Established to honor the memory of Dr. Charles Montgomery, who came to Northern Illinois State Normal School in 1917 and served as head of the Biology Department from 1921 until his retirement in 1952. This award is presented to Biology majors in the teacher certification program who demonstrate excellence in scholarship and who possess qualities that suggest that they will become outstanding teachers.
David and Karen Nargis Scholarship (New)
An endowed scholarship by the Nargis family to support the educational pursuits of undergraduate students in the biological sciences.
NIU At Oxford Biological Sciences Scholarship
NIU has offered a summer program at University of Oxford, England since 1969. Each year the Department of Biological Sciences presents a monetary award to selected students who plan to participate in the study of Biological Sciences at Oxford, to help cover travel expenses.
Phi Sigma Outstanding Graduate Research Award
Established by Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society, this monetary award is given to the outstanding graduate researcher in the department, as voted on by the members of Phi Sigma.
Phi Sigma Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award
Established by Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society, this monetary award is given to the outstanding undergraduate researcher in the department, as voted on by the members of Phi Sigma.
PMBC Graduate Research Assistantship
This award is presented annually to an outstanding graduate student working in the area of plant molecular biology.
PMBC Undergraduate Research Fellowship
PMBC undergraduate fellowships have been awarded competitively since 2002. Fellows are provided a stipend to conduct research during the summer term under the guidance of a PMBC faculty member. This fellowship has been supported by private donations.
George L. Terwilliger Memorial Scholarship Fund - Endowed
Established to honor the memory of Dr. Geroge L. Terwilliger. Dr. Terwilliger came to this institution in 1925 when it was Northern Illinois State Teachers College. He served as a faculty member for 45 years until his retirement in 1968, and filled the position of department head from 1952-1964. Each year a certificate and monetary award is presented to the outstanding graduate student in the department, as determined by a faculty committee.
This monetary award was established in 1965 to recognize academic excellence and high potential in a major field of study. Recipients of University Fellowships are selected by the Graduate School Fellowship Committee from a large number of students nominated by academic departments.
Jerrold H. Zar Endowed Scholarship in Biology
Established in 2002 by Dr. Zar to provide scholarship support for senior undergraduate students majoring in Biology at NIU. Dr. Zar had a long and impressive career at NIU. He earned his B.S. at NIU (Ph.D. UIUC), joined the NIU Biology faculty in 1968, served as chair of the department from 1978 to 1984, served as vice provost for Research and Dean of Graduate School from 1984 until his retirement in 2002.
Jerrold H. Zar Endowed Scholarship in Science Education
Established by Dr. Zar to provide scholarship support for a full-time student admitted to an initial teacher certification program in biological or physical science at NIU.