2017 Recipient

Congratulations to Larry Molnar (Astronomy), the recipient of the Student-Faculty Research Award!

Nearly fifteen years ago, Larry Molnar applied for the National Science Foundation grant that would establish the Calvin-Rehoboth observatory. He spearheaded the team that designed and built the observatory at Rehoboth and replaced the old telescope here at Calvin. Since that time, Larry has mentored dozens of students on astronomy projects that utilize these telescopes, including the recent discovery of a Red Nova candidate that has launched Larry (and Calvin) into the spotlight of science news.

Purpose of the Award

This award recognizes a Calvin faculty member with an outstanding record of working with student collaborators in his or her professional research and scholarship.


Any full-time or reduced-load member of the teaching faculty may be nominated for this award.

Selection Criteria

The recipients of this award will be Calvin faculty who have maintained exemplary programs of professional research and scholarship, provided opportunities for students to participate as collaborators in these programs, and mentored students seeking skills and understanding in specialized fields of study.

Nominations for this award will be sought from all divisions of the Academic Affairs Division of the college. Preference will be given to nominees whose collaborative research has led to publication and/or presentation of research results naming a student or students as co-author(s) or co-investigator(s). Award recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Regular oversight of students involved in research.
  • Joint publications with students.
  • Helping students to prepare presentations for disciplinary conferences.
  • Applications for and receipt of grants that support student researchers.
  • Inspiring students to go on to research careers.

Selection Process

From September through October, the provost will solicit letters of nomination from students, individual faculty, and department chairs. The academic deans and the dean for research and scholarship will also review faculty activities reports and state of the department reports and, based on their review, may make their own nominations. The dean for research and scholarship will take the lead in considering the nominations and, in consultation with the provost, will decide on up to three nominees to present to the Professional Status Committee. There is no restriction regarding how many nominees may come from a single department or division. The Professional Status Committee will select the award recipient by December 1.

Past Recipients