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.

Recipient of the Russell Mixter Award
 Matthew Ahrenholz
 Matt Ahrenholz, '15


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

 Joshua Roden  Luke Taylor
Joshua Roden '15  Luke Taylor '15


Beaver-Schmale Award

The Beaver-Schmale Award is awarded to a student who excels in effort to conduct research in Biology, who has exhibited professionalism in work with a written research paper and has presented the work to the Biology Department or to an outside audience (ACCA).


Recipient of the Beaver Schmale Award


 Daniel Lim

Daniel Lim, 15


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.


Recipient for the Raymen & Ruth Johnston Family Botany Scholarship Award

Taylor Clemens 

Taylor Clemens '16


Honors in Biology

An honors program in this department requires at least six hours of biological research credit or its equivalent, an overall GPA of 3.5, a biology GPA of 3.7, and a combined Biology+supporting courses GPA of 3.5.  The research requirement can be met by (1) six credits in BIOL 495, (2) a research experience off campus* or in another Wheaton College Department* or as a Summer Researcher at Wheaton, or (3) a combination of (1) and (2). In any case, communication of results in a publishable paper (in preparation, in review, or in press) or communication of results at a scientific meeting [National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA), or any professional society meeting)] or an equivalent professional accomplishment as determined by the Department of Biology is also required. An application for honors consideration in biology can be obtained from the departmental office. Application for honors must be made by the second Friday in February of the student’s senior year or by the second Friday in October for a December graduation.

*Approval of those research experiences not performed in the Biology Department must be granted by the department prior to the experience in order to receive BIOL 495 credit or for inclusion of the experience as a consideration for honors.


These Seniors were Awarded Honors in Biology 2015

 Alexandra Petrie

 Gianna Seeland

 Luke Taylor

 Alexandra Petrie  Gianna Seeland  Luke Taylor







Congratulations to all!

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