GRADUATION WITH DISTINCTION IN BIOLOGY
First-semester seniors are invited to apply for nomination as distinction candidates. Distinction is open to seniors who have achieved a GPA in biology of 3.50. The pre-application materials below are due in Tory Borovsky’s office, RNS 360, by noon on Friday, October 12, 2012.
- A detailed writing project proposal (for a formal project characterized by critical/reflective analysis, extensive reading and a significant research question), including an abstract and a plan for completing this major paper
- A detailed curriculum vitae (C.V.) which highlights significant biology-related activities and answers the question “How have I become a biologist?” Examples of relevant experiences may include: summer research, work as a student naturalist, seminars of note, leadership activities in Biology Club or Tri-Beta, classes or class projects, etc.
- A signature from a biology faculty member who has committed to mentoring you on the writing of the paper. An email from the faculty member to the Biology Department AAA expressing the faculty member's intent to mentor the student will serve as the signature.
- An unofficial transcript
In mid-October a committee of biology faculty will review the distinction pre-applications and officially nominate the year’s candidates for distinction.
The thesis is a major piece of work that is written for an audience of general biology faculty. It is not a publication-ready manuscript. It includes significant background information and literature research, in depth analysis, critical reflection and clearly emphasizes the significance of the research questions and results to the general field of biological knowledge. Any biology faculty member who reads the thesis should be able to determine why the question is interesting and important, whether or not the methods used to test the hypotheses were appropriate, whether the analysis and interpretation was reasonable, and to identify the broader significance of the research.
It is expected that the distinction candidate and mentor will have frequent meetings throughout the course of the year (from the middle of October on) involving multiple rounds of drafts and revisions of the thesis.
The thesis and updated C.V. is due Wednesday, April 3, (changed from April 1) 2013. Please email both documents to Associate Professor Kevin Crisp.
Public Presentation of the Scholarly Work:
In addition to composition of a thesis, the research project must also be presented in oral form, either at a poster session or during a biology department seminar. The student should be prepared to justify their work and field questions.
The thesis, along with the transcript and updated C.V., will be evaluated by two biology faculty members for each candidate, and the mentor and two reviewers will present the student as a candidate to the department at a departmental faculty meeting prior to Honor’s Day.