The Center for Careers, Life, and Service administers a portion of the internal fellowships and prizes on campus. Since some internal awards are administered by other offices and departments, please contact Steve Gump if you are looking for a specific opportunity and do not see it on the list below. He is also happy to answer questions about any of the fellowships and prizes detailed below. Students with general financial aid needs should contact the Financial Aid Office.  International students should consult the list of scholarships for international students.

Frederick Baumann Essay Prize

Application deadline: Monday, February 16, 2015, at 5:00 p.m.

The Frederick Baumann Prize recognizes excellence in education by encouraging Grinnell college students to explore ideas and society in an interdisciplinary and historical context. Established in 1993 and funded by David '51 and Audrey Lowe '52 Hammer, the prize distinguishes the dynamic classroom contributions of Frederick Baumann, professor of history at Grinnell from 1927 to 1954. The prize is awarded each spring to the student who writes the best essay—taking an interdisciplinary and historical approach—on the general topic of "Ideas and Society."

Frederick Baumann

Frederick Baumann

Frederick Baumann joined the Grinnell faculty in 1927. He retired in 1954 but continued to teach one course each year until 1966. Born and raised in Elgin, Ill., Baumann received a Ph.D. in English and a M.A. in history from the University of Chicago, as well as a Ph.D. in history from Cornell University. He studied under noted historians at Chicago and Cornell: James Westfall Thompson, Preserved Smith, and Carl Becker. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Historical Society, the Iowa Historical Society, and the Far Eastern History Association. In May 1917, Baumann enlisted in a Red Cross ambulance unit. He served in Italy and in 1919 was awarded the Italian Cross of Merit. After the war, he taught at the New Mexico Military Institute and Carleton College before joining the faculty at Grinnell. He died June 30, 1967, of a heart attack.

The Award

It is appropriate that a $2,500 prize offered in Baumann's memory emphasizes the history of ideas. Baumann was particularly interested in the relationship of ideas to society. As a historian, he believed that every movement of ideas, every intellectual discipline, was rooted in changing social realities. His famous course, "History D10, Evolution of the European Mind and Society," which he taught until 1960, dealt with the social and historical basis of religious, political, and scientific ideas. Baumann's intellectual interest in the Renaissance—especially in the Utopian ideas of Sir Thomas More—reflected his concern with the changing role of religion in post-medieval European society. Baumann taught an interdisciplinary course, "Historical Studies," until 1966. His attention to the American historian Charles Beard—whose famous book about the economic interpretation of the constitution revolutionized American historical thinking—reflected his own belief that economic realities underlay most political ideas. Vivid speech and strong metaphors were Baumann's forte. One of his former students, Mike Alft '49, created a list of "Baumannisms" — Baumann's observations about many things. A few of his more notable epigrams are:

  • "I say what I think, and I say it emphatically."
  • "When you use a tool, remember the tool shapes you as much as the object upon which the tool is employed."
  • "Knowledge isn't appreciated until it is labored over. Read the book!"
  • "History is life, human life. You are nothing except as history has entered into you. Life is not rational or logical, but historical."
  • "Political institutions are nothing when confronted with economic realities."
  • "Seniors, hail and farewell. The world which you are about to enter is hard, crass, selfish, and brutal, and most of you aren't prepared for it."

Although humor embellished his classes, Baumann challenged students and pressed them to do their best. He maintained a lasting concern for honesty, integrity of spirit, and vigorous intellectual discipline. Baumann was determined to teach students to think, more than once observing that most people thought they were thinking when they were merely conscious. A strong individualist, Baumann believed it was important to shake his students into examining things apart from an inherited perspective.

Application and Selection Criteria

Students from any department and any class may compete for the $2,500 prize which is awarded to the student who writes the best essay on the general topic of "Ideas and Society," taking an interdisciplinary and historical approach. The prize is awarded each spring if, in the opinion of the judges, there is an entry of prize-winning caliber. For the purposes of this contest, an essay may be defined as a prose discourse on a well-defined subject that presents in a stimulating, entertaining, as well as informative way the personal view of the author.  Essays can be based on course work or independent study but should not be work previously submitted in connection with a course. Essays should be 15 to 20 double-spaced pages.  All applicants are encouraged to take their essays to the Writing Lab for assistance.

Students who wish to enter an essay in this competition should submit the following to the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, 1127 Park St., by the application deadline noted above:

An interdisciplinary committee of three faculty members will judge the essays.

Past Baumann Essay Prize Winners

Examples of past winning essays are available online.

  • 2012-13: Micah Nelson '14: "The Social Appropriation of Legacy : A Symptom of Elite Control in American Society"
  • 2011-12: Laura Stamm '12: "'Personal Problems are Political Problems': The Gendered History of Disordered Eating"
  • 2010-11: Erica Seltzer-Schultz '12 and Michael Goldfein '12: "Zionism, Liberalism, and Young American Jews: How Redefining the American Zionist Could Help Bring Peace to the Middle East"
  • 2009-10: Joseph Maloney '12, "Managing the Faithful: The Internal Labor Market of the Roman Catholic Church"
  • 2008-09: Katherine Lee '09, "Transcendence and Myth in Science and Religion"
  • 2007-08: Nathan Redman '09, "Assaying Our Western Inheritance: Enlightenment Ideals and the Case of Haiti"
  • 2006-07: Alexandra Kieffer '08, "Music and Metaphor: Legacies of Representation in Abstract Instrumental Music"
  • 2005-06: Desire Takawira '06, "Speaking Without Fear: How Did Zimbabwe Come to This?"
  • 2004-05: Uday Chandra '06, "On Ethics and Economics"
  • 2003-04: Elizabeth Allan '04, "The Monumental Shift: Poetry, Politics, and the New Aesthetic Order in American Memorial"
  • 2002-03: Rachael A. Copland '05, "On the Necessity of the First Amendment: The Possibility of Progress in Society Today"
  • 2001-02: Joseph C. Hansen '05, "The 'Unwieldy and Overgrown Establishment': The Lack of Aristotelian Moderation in 21st Century America"
  • 2000-01: Melissa Yates '01, "Between Poetry and Positivism: Alexis de Tocqueville's 'Social Science'"
  • 1998-99: Michal Dziegieliwski '99, "The Rwandan Genocide: Historical Narratives and Ethnic Violence"
  • 1996-97: Thomas Taylor '98, "Memetics: A New Model of the Evolution of Ideas"
  • 1993-94: Jill Cetina '94, "Public Discourse and Social Tolerance: New Ideas for Russian Society"

Ethical Guidelines

All applicants are expected to adhere to these ethical guidelines.


Sarah Boyer '08 Community Service Fellowship

Application deadline: Monday, April 6, 2015, at 5:00 p.m.

The Sarah Boyer '08 Community Service Fellowship is given to one or more currently-enrolled students each year in order to fund a community service project in the community of Grinnell. The fellowship is designed to allow one or more students to carry out a project to serve the common good. There are no restrictions on the class year of applicants, and the purpose of the fellowship is defined broadly so as to encourage student creativity about how they can best use their particular skills, talents, and interests to serve their community. In 2014-15, the fellowship amount will be $3,300; fellowship recipients may be able to pay to live in college housing, but it is considered a taxable benefit if taken. Fellows will submit either a final narrative or presentation after their summer, reflecting on what worked well; the impact that this summer had on them and their community; and what they learned, along with a final financial accounting of how the funds were spent.

About Sarah Boyer '08

"Grinnell for me was more than an outstanding liberal arts experience where I made friends with people my age from all over the world, read books, discussed theories, and made arguments it was also an opportunity to build myself a home in small town Iowa. Here, where Midwestern friendliness is the reality, my tendency to conversation led me to all kinds of characters: Homer, a 97 year old retired United Church of Christ minister, Doris who lives next door to the Phoenix, Lucille who used to do all the cosmetic work for the local funeral home, Dewy and Jo who moved here about five years ago, or Betty who spent much of her life teaching and working on the west coast and has now moved back to the home in which she was raised. When returning to Grinnell as an alumna, I not only find a host of college friends but also a community in the larger fabric of this unique Iowa town."

Application Process

Students interested in applying for the Sarah Boyer ’08 Community Service Fellowship should submit the following to the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, 1127 Park St., by the application deadline noted above:

  • A completed Scholarship Nomination Permission Form and Waiver.
  • A 3-4 page essay, double-spaced and printed single-sided, describing the project itself, whether or not there is already a perceived need in the community for what you will be doing and who perceives this need, a list of community members/organizations with whom you have consulted and how they have shaped your project idea, whether or not you will partner with any of these people/organizations for your project, desired outcomes, why you wish to undertake the project, and what this project means to you.  At the top of the first page, please list the names, class years, and email addresses for all project applicants. One of these applicants should be designated as the "Principal Applicant;" further correspondence about the project will be with this person.
  • A one-page proposed budget for using the fellowship funds. Students may pay for their living expenses (rent, food, etc.) from the project budget.
  • If your project requires you to partner with a local organization, please provide a letter from that organization stating their support for your project. Applicants are strongly encouraged to work early with organizations, since many organizations may need board approval (and some boards may only meet once a month).
  • One letter of recommendation, which can but does not have to come from a Grinnell College faculty or staff member. If multiple students are involved in the project, please have the letter written about the "Principal Applicant," named above.

Please ensure that all application materials conform with these submission guidelines. Priority will be given to projects that help establish connections, promote community, and begin conversations in the community of Grinnell; to those applicants for whom this project is their primary engagement; and to those projects that keep their applicants in Grinnell for a majority of the summer. The selection committee will interview finalists for the Sarah Boyer '08 Community Service Fellowship in mid- to late-April, and will name awardees soon thereafter.

Ethical Guidelines

All applicants are expected to adhere to these ethical guidelines.

Fischlowitz Travel Fellowship

Application deadline: Monday, February 9, 2015, at 5:00 pm

Visit the Fischlowitz Travel Fellowship page for details.

President's Medal

Application deadline: None (by nomination only)

The President's Medal is awarded annually during Commencement to the senior who exemplifies the ideal Grinnell student. To be considered for the award, a student must:

  • Reach and maintain superior scholarship while a Grinnell student
  • Demonstrate leadership in activities that credit the student and add to the College's stature
  • Display the moral and human attributes of a compassionate and sensitive human being
  • Conduct matters with poise and maturity
  • Be fair and willing to accept responsibility
  • Think before acting and understand before judging

The President's Medal was redesigned in 1993 by Sheena Brown Thomas '71, a designer/goldsmith with Elements Ltd. in Des Moines, Iowa. The previous medal was designed by the late Louis Glenn Zirkle, professor of art.

Thomas also designed the first Archibald Prize Medal (given for highest GPA in the senior class, and also awarded during Commencement), which is compatible in design with the President's Medal. Both medals are adaptations of the President's Medallion, which is work by the president of the college as an emblem of office at all Grinnell academic ceremonials and when the president officially represents the College at academic occasions elsewhere.

Cast and fabricated from silver, both medals are formed in a soft triangular shape and include the Grinnell College seal.

The seal uses a modified oval design enclosing four laurel leaves and the founding date: 1846. Raised letters surrounding the laurel leaves proclaim, "Collegium Iowense Grinnelli" and "Veritas et Humanitas" — Latin for "Truth and Humility." The honoree's name is engraved on the back.

The President's Medalist is determined annually by the college president, based on the recommendation of a committee comprised of faculty and staff.

Past President's Medalists

  • 2014 Remy Ferber
  • 2013 Noah Most
  • 2012 Eric Ritter
  • 2011 Ragnar Thorisson
  • 2010 Hart D. Ford
  • 2009 Brian Perbix
  • 2008 Olajumoke "Jumy" Adekeye
  • 2007 Megan K. Straughan
  • 2006 Eli Zigas
  • 2005 Anik Gevers
  • 2004 Randy Martinson
  • 2003 Lise-Marie Monroe
  • 2002 Kendra Young
  • 2001 Nicole Nelson
  • 2000 Ilana Golin
  • 1999 Brandie J. Christie
  • 1998 Erin Childress
  • 1997 Alice Gates
  • 1996 Jeffrey Lake
  • 1995 Scott Newstrom
  • 1994 Guen Gifford
  • 1993 Katrina Knight
  • 1992 Annamma M. Alexander
  • 1991 Marjorie Hrbek
  • 1990 Jon G. "Jake" Kosek
  • 1989 Katherine E. Furnish
  • 1988 Elisabeth Shelley Reid
  • 1987 Meghan E. Hays
  • 1986 Robert R. Rollins
  • 1985 Ian A. McLean
  • 1984 Sandra L. Laursen
  • 1983 Jennifer M. Jones
  • 1982 Eric E. Johnson
  • 1981 Lori A. Llewelyn
  • 1980 Nathaniel S. Borenstein
  • 1979 Brent C. Williams
  • 1978 Susan E. Duffey
  • 1977 Robert D. Sheeler
  • 1976 John A. Haigh
  • 1975 Frances Cutler
  • 1974 Deborah M. Van Horn
  • 1973 Carolyn Ashbaugh
  • 1972 Gregory L. Vranicar
  • 1971 Richard A. Deyo
  • 1970 Carol L. Martinson
  • 1969 Grant F. Crandall
  • 1968 Ronald M. Cogswell
  • 1967 Anne Sprague
Lori Ann Schwab ’95 Prize for Community Service

Nomination deadline: Monday, February 2, 2015, at 5:00 p.m.

Application deadline: Monday, February 16, 2015, at 5:00 p.m.

The Lori Ann Schwab ’95 Prize for Community Service is a $1,500 award given annually by Grinnell College to one senior to recognize that student’s service to the campus and local community during his or her time in Grinnell. Although there are no restrictions on the use of the award, the recipient will be strongly encouraged to donate at least $500 to an organization that he or she volunteered with in Grinnell. The recipient is announced during the commencement weekend Baccalaureate program, and the recipient’s name is added to a plaque on permanent display at the Center for Careers, Life, and Service.

The Lori Ann Schwab Memorial Fund recognizes the spirit and memory of Lori Ann Schwab ’95 and her commitment to making the world a better place by helping others Lori died from a tragic illness during a study-abroad program in London. Lori, whose home was in Berkeley, California, was an art major and was especially active at the preschool and in women’s advocacy.


All graduating seniors are eligible for consideration for the Lori Ann Schwab ’95 Prize for Community Service. Seniors and other members of the college community will be invited to nominate individuals for the prize in late January 2015. Self-nominations are also allowed. To nominate a current senior for this prize, e-mail Steve Gump by the nomination deadline noted above.

Selection Process

Nominees will be notified by e-mail of their nomination shortly after the nomination deadline. Students who are not nominated will not be allowed to apply. Complete applications, which will consist of the following elements, are due at the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, 1127 Park St., by the application deadline noted above:

  • A completed Schwab Prize for Community Service Application Form.
  • A list of volunteer activities, leadership positions, or other relevant experiences either at Grinnell or elsewhere during the last four years. Please provide details on the extent and length of these experiences.
  • A short statement (1–3 pages) reflecting on your community service experiences over the last four years. This statement can describe what you’ve accomplished, what your service has meant to you, the lessons you’ve taken from your service, and/or how this service has impacted your goals and future plans.
  • A completed Scholarship Nomination Permission Form and Waiver. Because this form requires a signature, if you are off campus you may fax or mail this form separately from your other application materials.

Please ensure that all application materials conform with scholarship application submission guidelines. Applications may be submitted in person at the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (1127 Park St.), by e-mail to Steve Gump, or by fax at (641) 269-4508.

The Lori Ann Schwab ’95 Prize for Community Service Committee is composed of members of the college community who have ties to community service work or who knew and worked with Lori Ann Schwab ’95. The committee will meet before spring break to review applications and select a recipient (with the recipient being notified soon thereafter).

Ethical Guidelines

All applicants are expected to adhere to these ethical guidelines.

Elsie Stouffer '24 Fellowship

Application deadline: Monday, February 9, 2015, at 5:00 p.m.

The Elsie Stouffer '24 Fellowship provides funding for graduate study leading to a career in public service in Latin America. For the purposes of this fellowship, "public service" is interpreted broadly, and includes work in the non-profit, government, education, health, and other sectors. This year, there is approximately $18,000 to be awarded for graduate study; this graduate study does not need to be undertaken immediately following graduation.

Conditions of Eligibility

In order to apply for the Elsie Stouffer '24 Fellowship, you must meet the following conditions of eligibility:

  • A member of the current fourth-year class.
  • A woman.
  • Fluent in French or Spanish.
  • Committed to a career in public service in Latin America.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following elements to the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, 1127 Park St., by the application deadline noted above:

  • An unofficial transcript, obtained from the Registrar's Office.
  • A one-page resume.
  • A three-page essay describing their interest in Latin America, their preparation for their chosen career, graduate study plans, and career goals.
  • A Scholarship Nomination Permission Form and Waiver.

Please ensure that all application materials conform with these submission guidelines. In addition, applicants must arrange to have two letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf, at least one of which must be from a Grinnell College faculty member. Letters should address the applicant's academic ability and potential contributions to public service in Latin America. There is no application form.

Ethical Guidelines

All applicants are expected to adhere to these ethical guidelines.