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Mildred Dahne Award for Academic Excellence

The Biology Department is thrilled to to be recognized as this year’s co-recipient (along with the Elementary and Early Childhood Education Department) of the Mildred Dahne Award, as recently announced by the Mildred Dahne Award Committee. The award is given annually for department or program excellence, and includes a cash prize of $8,000. The award recognizes excellence and outstanding achievement in at least three of six categories: Department Impact, Innovation and Creativity, Academic Excellence, Teaching Excellence, Student Involvement, and Service to Profession.

According to the Committee, the applications from the Departments of Biology and Elementary and Early Childhood Education were equally impressive, and the selection committee unanimously decided to recognize both departments with the award this year. These two outstanding departments will share this honor and the $8,000 prize equally.

The Biology Department application outlined the achievements of the department in the categories of Department Impact, Academic Excellence and Teaching Excellence. Among the highlights are:

• Serving as the major department for nearly 10% of the undergraduates on campus

• Providing an excellent scientific foundation to non-majors by offering over 500 seats a year in six different non-majors courses

• Integrating research experiences into the curriculum at all levels

• Placing a high priority on giving students an opportunity to engage in original research, with over half of the Biology majors participating in scientific research for academic credit by the time they graduate

• Embracing the teacher-scholar model, with the majority of the faculty (eleven of fourteen) actively engaged in scholarship in the field of biology

• Collectively, the faculty published 27 papers in peer-reviewed journals in the past five years, and one faculty member has published an internationally adopted textbook.

The Biology Department is honored to be recognized in this way, and is grateful to the Mildred Dahne Committee for selecting us from the many applicants.