Department Scholarships & Awards

Jeffery Boettcher PhotoThe Jeffery Boettcher Fund

Past Boettcher Winners.

Deadline: April 15, 2016

The Jeffrey Boettcher Fund makes multiple awards of $300-$1000 each year to help undergraduate students undertake field study, especially off-campus field study. Financial assistance is available to engage in formal courses, independent study, or original research carried out, partly or fully, in field settings, including Kellogg Biological Station. Students in any department or program are eligible.  Although preference is given to off-campus field study in marine biology or invertebrate biology, other field study is eligible and encouraged. 

Supportable expenses include travel, tuition, room, board, and costs of educational or research materials.

The Fund honors the memory of Jeff Boettcher, who attended Michigan State University and wanted to become a professional biologist. The purpose of the Fund is to help other students have the benefits of the travel and field experiences he so much enjoyed.

Application materials, including a description of the types of projects that are eligible, are available from the Department of Integrative Biology, 203 Natural Science Building. Applications must be on the form provided.

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Richard Hill ( 

Dr. Marvin Hensley PhotoDr. Marvin Hensley Endowed Scholarship Fund in Zoology

Past Hensley Winners.

Deadline: March 15, 2016

The undergraduate award of this scholarship is for students who are majoring in Zoology. Its goal is to further the disciplines of zoological and biological science by providing financial support for students pursuing education in vertebrate zoology with an emphasis on field study. 

Undergraduate recipients shall be selected on the following basis:

  • Enrolled in undergraduate studies in the Department of Integrative Biology throughout the proposed project period
  • An outstanding academic record
  • Studying a topic related to vertebrate biology and/or vertebrate zoology with emphasis on field research
  • Financial support may be considered

Selection of the recipient normally will be made in the spring of the year with the award being paid for the upcoming fall. One scholarship is awarded each year. The amount of the award in 2015 was $6,000.

Application Packet Should Include:

  • Copies of all university transcripts
  • Maximum two double-spaced pages describing research project including duration of project
  • Letter of recommendation from faculty/advisor who will supervise the project
  • Copy of proposed budget including requests for travel, equipment, lodging, service costs, software, etc.

All application materials must be submitted by 5 pm on the date indicated in order to be eligible for consideration. This includes transcripts, forms and supplementary materials as well as letters of reference. Applicants are responsible for assuring that writers of letters of reference know and meet the deadline.

Submit application materials to:
Hensley Scholarship Submissions
Department of Integrative Biology
203 Natural Science Building
East Lansing MI 48824

Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise in Zoology Award

Past Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise in Zoology Winners.

Requires nomination by Integrative Biology faculty, graduate students or graduate assistants.

This award recognizes two outstanding graduating seniors in the zoology program who show an interest in the subject as a career and academic credentials to back it up. The applicants will be judged on achievement, passion for zoology and a commitment to academic goals. The awardees names will be included in the Spring Commencement program book and read by the Dean during program ceremonies. A certificate of commendation is issued by the department.

Karl A. Stiles and James W. Butcher Award

Past Stiles & Butcher Winners.

Requires nomination by Integrative Biology faculty, graduate students or graduate assistants.

In 1990, an anonymous benefactor established the Karl A. Stiles and James W. Butcher award to recognize outstanding undergraduate students and faculty in the Department of Zoology (now the Department of Integrative Biology). This award is administered as part of the All-University Awards Program. Annual selection of a recipient is by a committee appointed by the department chairperson.  A plaque, placed in the Department of Zoology, records the recipients each year. On June 14,1990, Katherine F. Crowley was given the first Karl A. Stiles/James W. Butcher award.

This award honors academic potential in undergraduate students. Selection is usually made from among sophomore year students who show promise through scholarship and career development
in some aspect of zoology. Academic achievement is the foundation of this award, but demonstrated evidence of zoological accomplishment is considered.  

The recipient of this award receives a sum of $550.00 in their university account to help with academic costs.

The award is named for two former professors in the Department whose research and leadership accomplished much for this field:

Karl Stiles PhotoKarl A. Stiles, Professor and Head of the Department of Zoology.
Dr. Stiles was born in 1895. He received his B.A. degree at Battle Creek College in 1927, and took his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Michigan in 1931 and 1935. From 1934 to 1945 he was professor and head of biology at Coe College in Iowa. In 1945 he joined the Biological Science Department in the Basic College at Michigan State College. He became full professor in 1946 and then Head of the Department of Zoology in January of 1948. In 1966 Dr. Stiles received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Ferris State University. He was the author of 20 books and manuals, and 47 professional papers. Dr. Stiles was known for his studies on human heredity, in particular genetic basis of Down's Syndrome. He died on May 16, 1968 in Battle Creek at the age of 72.

James W. Butcher, Professor and Chairman.
Born in 1917, Dr. Butcher received his B.S. degree in 1943 at the University of Pittsburgh. After serving in World War II, he received his M. S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1949 and 1951 from the University of Minnesota. He joined the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University in 1957, and became full professor in 1965. Because of his administrative skills he was appointed Assistant Dean of the College of Natural Science in 1969; later, in 1972, he was promoted to Associate Dean of the College. During 1974, he became Chairman of the Department of Zoology. From 1966 to 1967, Dr. Butcher studied in Vienna, Austria on a Fulbright Research Fellowship. He is the author of numerous papers on forest insects, pesticide side-effects and soil zoology. He was listed in Outstanding Educators of America in 1971. Dr. Butcher retired July 1, 1982 to St. Augustine, Florida.  He died May 12, 1996 at the age of 79.