Symposium Awards

Virtual Senior Research Symposium Awards (2021)

Most Engaging Poster. Best Video. Most Creative Presentation. Digital Engagement. Equity & Inclusion. Contribution to Sustainability. Where does your I.S. project shine?


All College of Wooster students who complete their Independent Study during the 2020-2021 academic year and submit a virtual presentation for the 2021 Senior Research Symposium. 

How to Apply:

All those who submit their virtual presentation by April 2 will be eligible for IS Symposium Awards, such as Most Engaging Poster, Best Video, Most Creative Slideshow, and more.

If you would like to be considered for themed prizes below—three awards each for Critical Digital Engagement; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; and Sustainability & the Environment—send a brief rationale (~250 words) to Lindsey Millan by the April 2 deadline for Symposium submissions.  These will be forwarded to the prize committee(s) with a link to your Symposium website once it is created. 

Faculty Advisors (and other mentors and fans): you are also welcome to nominate a Senior IS for one of the following awards—especially those who might be too humble to nominate themselves.  Please send their name to Lindsey Millan and once we receive their Symposium submission for the webpage, we will reach out to request that they submit the brief rationale mentioned above.

All winners will receive $250 and a digital award badge on their Symposium webpage!

CoRE Awards for Critical Digital Engagement

Does your Independent Study use digital technologies to critically engage with your topic in innovative ways? Maybe, taking inspiration from your major or minor, you have had to think creatively about the ways in which more than one discipline intersects with digitally-informed critical inquiry. Or you might bring digital methods to bear in a discipline that does not typically feature such research. Perhaps, though, your discipline is steeped in digital technologies, just not quite in the way that you’re deploying them.

If your Independent Study, either in methods or in subject matter, critically engages with or through digital technologies, submit a rationale that articulates the ways in which your independent study exemplifies critically digitally engaged scholarship. The research question is at the core of this award; rationales should articulate the ways in which the questions of an I.S. are integrally in conversation with technologies. The most competitive applicants will either (A) use technologies in ways that are pathbreaking for their disciplines or (B) offer critiques of technologies. In either case, technologies will be integral to your research and not merely added to an otherwise non-digital, non-technologically-informed question.  

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards (honoring Dr. Josephine Wright, Musicologist & Leader in Africana Studies)

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion IS Awards honor the pathbreaking work of Dr. Josephine Wright as she retires after over 40 years of teaching and mentoring students and the development of the Africana Studies Department at the College of Wooster.  Her research on African American music has received accolades from the prestigious American Musicological Society and taken center stage in recent controversies about racism in sports. These awards recognize outstanding student scholarship that centers issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Projects that critically engage with DEI issues move beyond including a “diverse sample” of participants or nodding to literature by a diverse range of scholars.  Rather, your rationale should articulate how your project is framed explicitly around scholarly approaches to DEI (such as critical race theory; Black feminist theory; AsianCrit and LatCrit Theories; Afrocentricity; LGBTQIA+ studies and queer theory; disability studies and crip theory; and other scholarly approaches to social justice) and/or efforts to raise the volume of underrepresented voices in your field(s).  You should also discuss the implications—and possible applications or interventions, if applicable—of your work toward broader efforts for equity, inclusion, and justice.

Sustainability and the Environment Awards (in honor of Dr. Melissa M. Schultz)

The Sustainability and the Environment award honors the memory of Dr. Melissa M. Schultz, Associate Professor of Chemistry, who was a beloved mentor to her students and died tragically in an automobile accident on February 7, 2015. The prize recognizes excellence in undergraduate research that contributes to our understanding of sustainability and the environment.  

To apply, provide a rationale that describes how your project is connected to environmental sustainability. Note that sustainability has many interpretations, and can be assessed from any disciplinary perspective.  

The most competitive applicants will demonstrate the ability to think cross-disciplinarily. It will not be enough that your topic overlaps with sustainability; rather, you should explicitly frame your I.S. project around sustainability, and possible implications of your results for the ongoing quest to achieve a more sustainable world.