Fred Seward Award Undergraduate Requirements

Fred Seward Award

The award was established by the George E. Archer Foundation in 2014 to honor the memory of Fred Seward—an Indiana University alumnus, track star, and local businessman.


Any undergraduate who has a declared major in the IUB Department of Biology and who works in ecology, environmental biology, or in sustainable forestry or gardening through curricula, research, or outreach. Another Seward Award of equal value is open to graduate students.


Undergraduates must be of at least sophomore standing and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Graduating seniors may not apply. Graduate students must be in good academic standing.




A review committee of two Biology faculty members in conjunction with representatives of the George E. Archer Foundation will select each year’s recipient.

Briana K. Whitaker, 2015 Seward Award Recipient

Briana Whitaker, a member of Keith Clay’s lab, is the first recipient of the Fred Seward Award. Briana’s research involves an ambitious project studying genetic and environmental controls of the fungal microbiome of switchgrass. Her work explores nature vs nurture. She has obtained thousands of fungal isolates and will soon begin sequencing for further characterization. The fungal symbionts associated with switchgrass may have potential applications for biofuel production and ecological restoration.

Whitaker also received the George W. Brackenridge Fellowship and the Indiana Daffodil Society Scholarship.