The Small World Initiative (SWI) is pleased to announce the following awards to recognize SWI Partner Instructors, current/former students, support staff, and others who made outstanding contributions to help further SWI's mission and goals. To view past winners, please click here.

Open Awards:

  • Excellence in Scientific Persistence Award (for students)
  • Joseph P. Caruso Award for Excellence in Mentorship (for SWIPIs and support staff)
  • SWI Support Person of the Year Award (for SWIPIs, support staff, volunteers)
  • Best-in-Session Student Poster Award (for students)
  • Award for Excellence in Pedagogical Innovation (for SWIPIs)
  • Excellence in Scientific Discovery Award (for students and SWIPIs)
  • Excellence in Leadership Award (for students)
  • External Supporter Awards (for partners and sponsors)

Please consider nominating a colleague, student, mentor, or contributor for one of these prestigious awards, and they will receive special recognition at SWI's Annual Symposium and online. Please note that any nominees must be from institutions that submitted a class reporting form during the current academic year. The class reporting form is available here. Nominated students and faculty must be active in SWI during part of the current academic year (summer-spring). 

The next deadline will be announced in 2018. Winners will be announced at SWI's Annual Symposium.

Please click here to submit a nomination.

Any questions should be sent to the Chair of the Symposium Committee, Mustafa Morsy – mmorsy (at) uwa (dot) edu.

Excellence in Scientific Persistence Award (for students)

The Excellence in Scientific Persistence Award recognizes students who demonstrate exceptional endurance for research and learning goals of the Small World Initiative. The recipient devoted significant commitment and effort to SWI project goals and/or displayed noteworthy perseverance in overcoming setbacks or hurdles during the SWI experience. The recipient displayed a high degree of tenacity and stamina for the SWI project in one or more of the following ways:

  • Exceptional time commitment to the SWI course learning outcomes and/or research goals
  • Exceptional intellectual commitment to SWI research goals
  • Exceptional attitudes, mindsets, and behaviors that positively impacted the SWI classroom community
  • Exceptional constancy and commitment to SWI in spite of significant challenges or circumstances
  • Other attributes not described above that are especially deserving of recognition and exemplify persistence

The nomination should include a description of specific examples that illustrate how the nominee embodied the qualities described and an explanation of context. This award is open to all SWI students who have taken the course within the current academic year (summer-spring). Nominations are solicited from faculty mentors and/or student peers. Awards will be announced on at the annual SWI Symposium. The recipient will receive a monetary gift of $100 and recognition at the Symposium. In addition, the recipient will be profiled on SWI’s website.

Joseph P. Caruso Award for Excellence in Mentorship (for SWIPIs and support staff)

"I'd like to be able to show non-major students how much fun discovery-based science is and why it's important for everybody." – J. Caruso

The Joseph P. Caruso Award for Excellence in Mentorship is presented to a SWI Partner Instructor (SWIPI) who embodies a passion for teaching and mentoring undergraduate students in discovery-based science curriculum and/or mentoring other SWIPIs. The award pays tribute and remembrance to the qualities of scientist-teacher Dr. Caruso and recognizes individuals who go above and beyond the basic expectations of an advisor or mentor:

  • Exceptional commitment to teaching and personally mentoring SWI students in scientific inquiry
  • Commitment to mentoring endeavors that integrate SWI students with the broader scientific community, through presentation or publication venues, funding opportunities, facilitating professional development opportunities, etc.
  • Outstanding support for SWI Partner Instructors or new trainees
  • Exceptional leadership and service to SWI programming in support of students success; genuine concern for and commitment to SWI student and instructor success
  • Support for the establishment, achievement, and/or revision of individual or community SWI goals
  • Outstanding contributions that challenge and motivate SWI students to excel and succeed
  • Commitment to improving attitudes, retention, and persistence in STEM
  • Other contributions not described above that have made a positive impact on SWI’s mission, programming, student success, and faculty development

The nomination should focus on a nominee’s efforts as either an advisor or a mentor and include a description and illustrative examples of ways in which the nominee embodies the characteristics above to positively impact SWI students and faculty. This award is open to all SWI Partner Instructors and support staff. Nominations are solicited from faculty colleagues and current/former students. Awards will be announced at the annual SWI Symposium. In addition, the recipient will be profiled on SWI’s website.

SWI Support Person of the Year Award (for SWIPIs, support staff, volunteers)

The SWI Support Person of the Year Award honors SWI Partner Instructors, support staff, and volunteers who have gone above and beyond and given significant time, talents, and resources in the past year to advance SWI’s success.

Individuals meriting recognition may include teaching assistants and instructional support staff, administrators, committee leaders, and volunteers. The recipient is recognized for extensive contributions to support and advance SWI programming and teaching/learning or for extending SWI’s reach, reputation, and success. Nominations should include a description of the level of involvement with specific examples to illustrate the ways in which the individual has shared time, talents, and resources to benefit SWI. Awards will be announced at the annual SWI Symposium. In addition, the recipient will be profiled on SWI’s website.

Best-In-Session Student Poster Award (for students)

The Best-in-Session Student Poster Award is presented to SWI students who exhibit exceptional scientific communication skills during the annual SWI Symposium. The recipient will have demonstrated outstanding achievement presenting scientific work with confidence, eloquence, and ownership. Judges to the poster session will select the recipient based on mastery of:

  • Scientific argumentation – Claims were clearly presented and supported by high quality data. Presentation of data was clear, thorough, and logical and used excellent visual representations. 
  • Project ownership – The significance of research findings was clearly explained and connected to original SWI research purpose. Follow up experiments, improvements to research, and future directions were masterfully articulated. Terminology was used eloquently and professionally, and led lively and engaged discussion about research project. Demonstrated command of the subject matter, and answered questions thoroughly and confidently.
  • Visual appeal – poster components were clearly organized and easy to follow. Text is concise, background unobtrusive, white space was well utilized; fonts and use of color were well balanced. Photographs/tables/graphs and/or models improved understanding, and enhanced visual appeal. 

Judges at the annual symposium will review the poster presentations using a scoring rubric. The highest scoring posters will receive a monetary gift of $100 and recognition at the SWI Symposium. In addition, the recipient will be profiled on SWI’s website. Posters will be judged in person during the SWI Symposium, and recipients will be announced during the award ceremony the following day.

For information on how to submit your poster abstract, please click here. The deadline to submit a poster abstract is the same as the deadline to submit nominations.

Award for Excellence in Pedagogical Innovation (for SWIPIs)

The Award for Excellence in Pedagogical Innovation is presented to a SWI Partner Instructor (SWIPI) who builds upon SWI’s innovative curriculum. In particular, it recognizes outstanding contributions to advancing the quality, development, and/or reach of SWI’s curriculum. The award honors SWI's Founder, Jo E. Handelsman, whose forward-thinking, evidence-based educational research and passion for microbiology led to SWI’s creation.

This award is presented to SWI Partner Instructors who made significant contributions to SWI’s curriculum in one or more of the following ways:

  • Exceptional design and structuring of student learning experiences, including course architecture and scaffolding of SWI’s curriculum
  • Development of new course materials shared with broader SWIPI community
  • Exceptional application of evidence-based teaching practices to implement SWI’s curriculum
  • Development of effective measures for assessing efficacy of SWI’s learning and/or program outcomes
  • Exceptional achievement in developing and extending SWI’s curriculum to reach diverse learners

The nomination should describe the teaching and learning contributions to SWI’s research agenda and articulate the significance of these contributions. This award is open to all SWI Partner Instructors; nominations are solicited from faculty and students (if applicable). Awards will be announced at the annual SWI Symposium. In addition, the recipient will be profiled on SWI’s website.

Excellence in Scientific Discovery Award (for students and SWIPIs)

The Excellence in Scientific Discovery Award honors a SWI student-faculty pair who contributes new scientific knowledge, data, or methodology to advance SWI’s scientific mission of antibiotic discovery and development. The recipient of this award showed exceptional original thinking or productivity in SWI scientific outputs, including one or more of the following:

  • Innovation of technique, methodology, or assay development
  • Optimization and adaptation of existing SWI protocols or methods, including statistical or qualitative analyses, modeling, others
  • Creative expansion of the SWI scientific agenda, including experimental design, interdisciplinary collaboration, characterization of novel bacterial isolates and/or compounds, others
  • Other scientific contributions not listed above that are especially deserving of recognition

The nomination should describe the scientific contributions to the SWI research agenda and articulate the significance of these contributions. This award is open to all SWI students and faculty; nominations are solicited from faculty mentors and students. The recipient team will receive a monetary gift of $100 and recognition at the Symposium. In addition, the recipient will be profiled on SWI’s website.

Excellence in Leadership Award (for students)

The Excellence in Leadership Award is presented to current or former SWI student who exemplifies leadership by making a significant positive impact on the SWI community through initiatives, interactions, and contributions to SWI’s mission. The award recognizes individuals who advanced SWI’s mission in one or more of the following areas:

  • Exceptional commitment to the greater SWI community through student-led organizations, initiatives, fundraising, or relationships
  • Spreading awareness of antibiotic resistance, including organizing activities during Antibiotic Awareness Week, contributing extensively through communications (e.g., social media, blog, print), or leading other efforts
  • Commitment to endeavors that integrate SWI’s mission into the larger campus community
  • Other contributions not described above that have made a positive impact on SWI’s mission, and/or significantly build or enhance the SWI community

The nomination should include a description of demonstrable examples of how the nominee led and/or participated in one or more of the activities listed above, the nominee’s general engagement with the SWI community and mission, and explanation of impact on the broader SWI community. This award is open to all current and former SWI students who have exemplified leadership within the current academic year (summer-spring) whether or not they were taking the course at the time, and nominations are solicited from faculty mentors and/or student peers. The recipient will receive a monetary gift of $100 and recognition at the Symposium. In addition, the recipient will be profiled on SWI’s website.

External Supporter Awards (for partners and sponsors)

External Supporter Awards honor partners and sponsors who have gone above and beyond and given significant time, talents, and/or resources in the past year to advance SWI’s success. Recipients are recognized for extensive contributions to support and advance SWI's overall success and reach, STEM education efforts, and/or drug discovery pipeline. Nominations should include a description of the level of involvement with specific examples to illustrate the ways in which the partner or sponsor has shared time, talents, and/or resources to benefit SWI. Awards will be announced at the annual SWI Symposium. In addition, the recipient will be profiled on SWI’s website.

    Thanks to Paula Soneral and her excellent leadership of the Recognition and Opportunities Committee in helping to establish awards that align with SWI's pedagogical and scientific goals. In addition, we want to thank ASM for making the Travel Awards to ASM Microbe possible.

    Please click here to submit a nomination.