Student Awards

Biological research is important in preparing students to achieve higher levels of scientific scholarship and to be competitive in future academic or career goals. As such, the Biolody Department offers academic awards to promote scientific excellence and achievement and provide outstanding students with the opportunity to design and conduct research independently or under the mentorship of Biology faculty or other research mentor.

These awards currently are offered on an annual basis. Selection of recipients is based on GPA, faculty recommendation, academic/research experience, long-term academic and career goals, and the ability to collaborate with a research mentor to propose or design a biological research project.


Ruth Bricker Painter Award

Support for this award comes from an endowment established by Ruth Bricker Painter, who was a 1928 graduate of Radford College and a high school science teacher.

A competitive award to fund a research project submitted as a proposal by an eligible student. The award includes $2,000 payable directly to the student and up to an additional $1,000 to be used for supplies needed to carry out the project or for research related travel or transportation expenses. 

Requirements for consideration: 

  1. Application cover (provided by the department)
  2. Proposal: Eligible students should submit a maximum 5-page research proposal which describes the independent research project that they would be conducting as a recipient of the award. The proposal should include pertinent background research, a full description of the protocol and timeline for completing the project, and a line item budget for supplies and other expenses. The proposed project should be able to meet the requirements for BIOL 492 credit.
  3. Two one-page letters of support from faculty, one of which must be from the faculty mentor for the project
  4. A copy of the applicant's Curriculum vitae
  5. Minimum GPA: 3.2

Past RBP Award Winners

2024: Hannah Farmer. Assessing the prevalence of the pathogenic fungus Chytridiomycosis from amphibians in the Southwest Amazon

2023: Luc White. 
Cross-dating death: Applications of dendrochronology for early detection of emerald ash borer invasion and tree mortality

2022: Trey Harris and Justine McLaughlin. Surveys and habitat preferences of newly-designated salamander species, Plethodon jacksoni, at Selu Conservancy

2021: James Utt. The effects of artificial light and sound pollution on the feeding habits of the giant salmon pink bird-eating tarantula

2020: Isabella Brothers. Are probiotics effective in treating alcohol-Induced gut microbiota depletion and immunodeficiencies?

2019: Taylor Hawkins. Effect of royal jelly and juvenile hormone on growth and immunity of Gromphadorhina portentosa

2018: Dharmindra Dulal. Exploring natural plant sources for potential anti-cancer molecules

2017: Skyler Carrell. Exploring the role of juvenile hormone as a potential regulating factor in the multidimensional sociality of spiders

2016: Nate Pirino. The study and use of natural bacteriocins against arsenic-mobilizing bacteria from the Brinton arsenic mine

2015: Emily Guise
. Ecologically relevant multi-generational effects of trenbolone on behavior, physical appearances, and foraging efforts of Gambusia holbrooki

2014: Jordan Hamden. Development of a bacterial assay to determine immunocompetence inter and intraspecies

2013: Dylan McDaniel. Stress as a modulator of immune function and sickness behavior in Passer domesticus

2012: Kimberly Filcek. Characterization of prohibitin amino acid sequences necessary for dengue virus binding

2011: Clinton Lexa. The effects of population density and presence of mature conspecifics on growth and behavior of Gromphardorhina portentosa


Biology Research Award

Competitive academic awards to provide outstanding students the opportunity to design and conduct research under the mentorship of a Biology faculty member or other mentor. The $1000 award will be paid directly to the student.

Requirements for consideration:
1. Application cover (provided by the department)
2. A recommendation form completed by the faculty research mentor
3. A copy of the applicant’s Curriculum vitae
4. Minimum GPA: 2.5

Dean's Scholar Award

Each year, the faculty in the college nominate one of their graduating seniors to be named the Dean's Scholar for their academic program.  This graduate has demonstrated success in the classroom, laboratory and other activities related to their chosen discipline. The selections for the Biology Department are listed below.

2023 Camryn Williford
2022 Haley Howerin
2021 Drew Meyers
2020 Aubrey Marshall
2019 Conner Philson
2018 Kristy Clark
2017 Annie Rudasill
2016 April Tingle
2015 Daniel Metz
2014 Dylan McDaniel
2013 Kimberly Filcek
2012 Kiersten Newtoff
2011 Justin Drake
2010 Melissa Jayne
2009 Brian Prall

Those in our Biomedical Sciences Major are below.

2023 Aminata Yarmah
2022 Binuk Samarasinghe
2021 Kara Bowman