Chemistry Student Awards

GVSU Chemistry Department Academic Awards

General Chemistry Award – The general chemistry awards will recognize students who show excellence in general chemistry. Instructors that taught CHM 115 in the immediately previous Fall, Winter, and Summer semesters will be asked to provide the names of three students that have excelled in the course. Instructors teaching CHM 116 in the current Winter semester, the previous Fall, or previous summer will also be asked to submit three names. Awardees will be selected from the compiled list based on names that appear twice.

Organic Chemistry Award – This award recognizes the top students from the CHM 241/242 sequence. Instructors teaching CHM 242 in the current semester, the previous fall, or the previous summer will be allowed to submit one name for each section based on the student’s performance in CHM 241 and CHM 242. An award will be given to every student who was chosen by a CHM 242 instructor.

Green Chemistry Award – This award is given to a declared chemistry major who has excelled in the green chemistry courses, CHM 421/427. Relevant performance in CHM 441 may also be considered. The student must have completed either CHM 421 or 427 in the current academic year. The faculty teaching these courses will select the awardee based on the above criteria.

Biochemistry Award – This award is given to a declared chemistry or biochemistry major who has excelled in the CHM 461/462/463 sequence. The student must have 1) completed or have in progress all three courses of the sequence and 2) completed either CHM 462 or 463 in the current academic year. Biochemistry faculty will select the awardee based primarily on the above criteria, but other criteria (e.g. research and service contributions) may also be considered.

Senior Chemical Education Award – This award is given to a Chemical Education major, typically a graduating senior or other student who has successfully completed CHM 419/SCI 440 and who has demonstrated professionalism as a preservice teacher. Demonstration of professionalism may include activities such as tutoring on or off campus; attendance or presentations at professional conferences; participation in professional organizations, chemical education research, or outreach events; volunteering in schools, or other such activities. The Chemical Education faculty will select the awardee from the best students meeting the above criteria.

Externally-sponsored awards (ACS and AIC)

ACS Analytical Chemistry Division Undergraduate Award – This award is given to a declared chemistry or biochemistry major who is outstanding in CHM 221 and CHM 325.  The student must have completed CHM 325 in the current academic year.  The analytical Chemistry faculty will select the awardee from the best students meeting the above criteria based upon chemistry GPA. 

ACS Inorganic Division Undergraduate Award – This award is given to a chemistry or biochemistry major that has excelled in the inorganic chemistry courses CHM 273/471/477.  The student must have completed CHM 477 during the current academic year. The Inorganic Chemistry faculty will select the awardee based on the above criteria. 

ACS PolyEd Organic Chemistry Undergraduate Award – This award recognizes a student that excels in the majors organic chemistry sequence (CHM 245/246/247/248). The student must be a declared chemistry or biochemistry major and have completed the CHM 245-248 sequence by the end of the academic year.  The student is selected by the instructors for these courses. 

ACS Organic Division Undergraduate Award – This is an ACS Sponsored award. This award is given to a graduating chemistry or biochemistry major that has excelled in a combination of organic chemistry courses (CHM 441/442/447) and research and has a desire to pursue a career in chemistry. The Organic faculty will select the awardee based of the above criteria. 

ACS Physical Chemistry Division Undergraduate Award – This award is given to a declared chemistry or biochemistry major that has excelled in the upper level physical chemistry sequence (CHM 356/358). The student must have completed CHM 358 during the current academic year. The Physical Chemistry faculty will select the awardee based on the above criteria. 

American Institute of Chemists (AIC) Award – This award is given to a senior chemistry major and a senior biochemistry major who meet all or most of the criteria for the Outstanding Senior Award.  The Chemistry faculty will select two awardees from the eligible students (one for chemistry and one for biochemistry). Eligible students will include all those eligible for the Outstanding Senior Award and any others that the faculty deem eligible.

GVSU Chemistry Department Service and Research Awards

Outstanding Service Award – This award will be given to a declared chemistry or biochemistry major that has made significant contributions in service to the department.  Nominations for the award can be submitted by any faculty/staff in the department (e.g. stockroom supervisor, the Chemistry Club advisor(s), etc.).  The award winner(s) will then be selected by the Scholarship and Development Committee.

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award – In order to be eligible, the declared chemistry or biochemistry major must show outstanding skills, motivation, and progress in undergraduate research.  This award is reserved for students that display exceptional abilities to a) thoroughly understand their research project, b) think critically and creatively in the research processes, c) work independently, and d) make significant progress in their research.  In addition to participating in multiple CHM 499 and/or summer research opportunities, this student should also demonstrate the ability to disseminate their work to the scientific community either at regional/national conferences or through publications.  Nominations for the award will be submitted by the students’ research advisors in the form of a written research activity summary.  The award winner(s) will then be selected by the Scholarship and Development Committee.

University Awards

Excellence-in-a-Discipline awards – To be eligible, a senior, presenting in CHM 491 this academic year, must be a declared chemistry or biochemistry major and have an overall GPA of 3.5 or greater. The Chemistry faculty will select an awardee from the eligible students for both the Excellence in Chemistry and the Excellence in Biochemistry awards. The students should be selected based upon the following criteria: 

  • Research participation.
  • Service to the department, including tutoring, grading, and stockroom assistance.
  • Extracurricular activities, especially chemistry related activities (such as Chemistry Club, Science Olympiad, etc.)
  • General attitude, enthusiasm, interest, and cooperation.

Glenn A. Niemeyer Student Award - Students selected for the Niemeyer Award are well-rounded individuals with demonstrated excellence in both the classroom and extracurricular activities. Nominees should excel in the classroom and demonstrate a joy of learning as part of a community of scholars. Along with intellectual achievements, nominees participate in activities outside the classroom that serve to enrich their lives and the lives of others. Niemeyer Student Awards are presented at the Student Awards Convocation. Recipients receive an academic gift and an individual award. Undergraduate students should have a 3.70 or higher cumulative GPA and earned a minimum of 90 credit hours.  The Chemistry Department can nominate one student per year. A letter of support must be submitted along with the nomination. The Scholarship and Development Committee will solicit nominations from faculty, decide who the nominee will be, and oversee the submission of the nomination materials. The nominating faculty member will write the letter of support.

Thomas M. Seykora Award for Outstanding Contribution - The Seykora Award recognizes seniors who, through their involvement, have made significant contributions to the GVSU campus Community.  Criteria for candidates:

  • Must be a senior enrolled Fall and/or Winter Semester;
  • Must be in good academic standing; and
  • Must demonstrate a significant contribution to the University through their involvement.

Nomination materials are available on the Dean of Students Office website under the Awards and Ceremonies tab (gvsu.edu/dos). A letter of support must be submitted along with the nomination. More than one student can be nominated from the department. The Scholarship and Development Committee will make faculty aware of this award, but will not coordinate nominations for it.

Kenneth R. Venderbush Leadership Award - The Venderbush Award recognizes one senior who has demonstrated an exceptional blend of academic achievement and leadership efficacy while making significant contributions to the campus community.  Criteria for candidates:

  • Must be a senior enrolled Fall and/or Winter semester;
  • Must demonstrate a significant contribution to the campus community through their involvement; and
  • Must excel academically and show that they have been able to balance course work with extracurricular involvement.

Nomination materials are available on the Dean of Students Office website under the Awards and Ceremonies tab (gvsu.edu/dos). A letter of support must be submitted along with the nomination. More than one student can be nominated from the department. The Scholarship and Development Committee will make faculty aware of this award, but will not coordinate nominations for it.