Biology Department Awards

Four awards are given annually by the department.


The Russell Mixter Award

Given to a junior or senior Biology major with a GPA of 3.5 or above who exhibits the qualities of exemplary character, Christian witness, and academic promise to which faculty, students and other campus personnel should attest. Funds for the Russell Mixter Award was provided by a Wheaton graduate to honor Dr. Russell Mixter, Professor of Zoology at Wheaton from 1928-1979. As Chair of Biology, Dr. Mixter played a significant role in the development of biology at Wheaton College and in the Black Hills. He also was a voice for understanding creation and evolution among the larger community of Christians in science and was a respected member of the Wheaton College community. You can see a picture of him on the mural outside the Stupe, peering through the jaws of a shark. He died in January 2007 at the age of 100 years. The recipients of the Mixter Prize can be seen on the plaque outside the seminar room in the Biology department, and includes our own Dr. Jennifer Busch.

Recipients of the Russell Mixter Award

Jessica D. Cruise, '16

Eunice Y. Lim, '17

Daniel P. MacLachlan, '17


The David Bruce Memorial Research Award

Established in 2003, this award is in honor of the department's beloved physiologist here at Wheaton for over 20 years, Dr. David Bruce.

The criteria for this award are:

  • A Biology major junior or senior who has done collaborative research with a Wheaton Biology Department faculty member
  • A presentation at a national meeting or authorship in a peer reviewed paper resulting from this research.
  • A stated desire to continue in some type of scientific career in the future will also be an advantage. This may include, for example, biological research, teaching, medicine or other careers that are clearly facilitated by the student's experience of doing biological research as an undergraduate.

Recipient of the David Bruce Memorial Research Fund Award

Corbin J. Renken, '16


The Raymen & Ruth Johnston Family Botany Scholarship Award

Established in May of 2009,  this award will be given to:  

  • Students majoring in Biology who have demonstrated an interest and aptitude in Botany through Botany classes taken and participation in Botany research, management or restoration efforts.
  • Recipient(s) must have a cumulative GPA of no less than 2.5 through their Freshman year and be in good academic, spiritual, and moral standing to receive the award.
  • The Department of Biology Faculty will recommend potential recipient(s) to the Financial Aid Office, who will make the final determination.
  • The Department of Biology Faculty can recommend that a recipient(s) receive the award for more than one year.
  • The annual award can be distributed to either one or two recipients per the recommendation of the Department of Biology Faculty.

Recipients for the Raymen & Ruth Johnston Family Botany Scholarship Award

Taylor L. Clemens '16 and Jeremy A. Foster '16


Honors in Biology

Students who wish to apply to the Biology Department Honors Program in the Spring semester of one's junior year must meet course, GPA, and research criteria.

Students who are accepted to the Honors program must fulfill the following requirements:

(1) successful completion of BIOL 499 Biology Honors Research and Seminar (2 credit hours) in the fall and spring semesters of their senior year. This course will require research conducted with a Wheaton Biology professor, attendance at weekly class sessions, and presentations.

(2) a written thesis evaluated in the Spring semester by the Honors student’s supervising professor and a second reader (also a biology faculty member);

(3) an oral defense of their research as well as their general knowledge of biology; and

(4) an overall GPA of 3.5 and a 3.7 GPA in the major (including supporting courses) at the time of graduation. [jb1] 

All students will present their honors research in a symposium-like setting at the end of the spring semester. The departmental honors designation will appear on a student's transcript and on the printed program at graduation. All honors theses will be kept in the Biology Department and in the College library.

These Seniors were Awarded Honors in Biology 2016

Jessica D. Cruise, '16

Anne M. Davidson, '16

Sarah E. Mudra, '16

Corbin J. Renken, '16



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