Student Research Awards

In conjunction with campus and community partners, the Arthur Olsen Student Research Symposium offers research awards to students who present at the 2023 symposium. Five $50 awards will be given to students presenting a poster.

All poster presenters are eligible to win an award, and posters will be judged as they are presented on the day of the symposium. Students doing an oral presentation are able to apply for one of the following $250 research awards: Keynote Speaker's Early Influence Award, Award for Interdisciplinary Research & Collaboration or the Lifelong Learner Award.

Student Research Awards

Dr. Esther Ngumbi

Keynote Speaker's Early Influence Award

This award is sponsored by the biology department in honor of Dr. Esther Ngumbi, assistant professor in entomology and African American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and senior food security fellow with the New Voices Fellowship at the Aspen Institute. Ngumbi's research is focused on understanding the multifaceted uses of chemical signals by herbivores, natural enemies, plants and their associated micro-organisms. In addition, her research studying beneficial soil microbes seeks to find microbial-based solutions for improving crop production, alleviating flooding and drought stress in crop plants and sustainable pest management and agriculture. Believing that issues like hunger and food insecurity affect all of us, Ngumbi works as a food security researcher and has continued to demonstrate visionary and inspirational leadership in the pursuit of a sustainable future where hunger and food insecurity are eradicated. Correspondingly, this award will recognize research that emphasizes leadership, food security, science policy, climate change, agricultural development or sustainability.


Professor Carolyn Ly-Donovan discusses research strategies with students.

Award for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration

Sponsored by an Augustana alumni, the Interdisciplinary Research & Collaboration Award will go to a student who has done research involving more than one academic discipline and/or requiring collaboration between multiple parties. Students must be able to demonstrate how they synthesized ideas and concepts from multiple disciplines, drawing connections between multiple subjects, and/or demonstrate how they collaborated with additional individuals or groups to create a cohesive research project.  

students studying notebook

Lifelong Learner Award

The Lifelong Learner Awards — sponsored by the Board of Trustees and President's Cabinet — will recognize students who exhibit the spirit of Dr. Arthur Olsen's yearning to be a lifelong learner through their research or scholarship. Olsen chaired the committee that created Augustana's five core values: Christian, Liberal Arts, Community, Excellence, and Service. In keeping with Augustana's grounding in the liberal arts tradition, these awards will recognize projects that do one of the following: enhance community through the understanding of humans and human interactions, enrich lives through aesthetic and creative expressions, or develop knowledge that is critical for understanding and caring for our changing world. Three Lifelong Learner Awards will be presented.