02:25 AM

Ohio State to offer President’s Prize for students committed to social change

The Ohio State University will select two graduating seniors as recipients of the first-ever President’s Prize, the highest recognition the university bestows on exceptional students committed to social change.

Applicants must submit an idea for a project that has the potential to make a meaningful impact on society, and that furthers the university’s mission of addressing some of the world’s most important and pressing challenges.

Each President’s Prize scholar will receive a $50,000 living stipend and $50,000 in startup funding, access to the mentorship of accomplished experts and the opportunity to share their innovative idea with Ohio State’s global community of alumni, friends and partners.

The prestigious prize honors Ohio State’s founding purpose of offering an excellent education while elevating society through research — and is the latest step in re-committing the university to its motto of Education for Citizenship.

“Ohio State is focused on helping to solve the critical issues of our time,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “I look forward to seeing the incredible innovations of our newest alumni as they harness the power and knowledge of Buckeye Nation for change.”

There are no limits to the types of projects students can propose. Projects need not be within their field of study, and the problems they wish to solve may be local, national or global. Recipients are selected for the boldness of their ideas, their capacity to champion change and their commitment to the global community. The first two President’s Prize recipients will be selected in December 2016. Full-time graduating seniors who will receive their first undergraduate degree in Autumn 2016, or Spring or Summer 2017, are eligible to apply. Information sessions will be held April 18, 21 and 26.

The annual prize is funded solely through existing and new donor contributions.

Community engagement is a key part of Drake’s vision for the university. Additional Ohio State initiatives in this area include:

  • Hiring new faculty through the Discovery Themes initiative to build on current expertise and address food security — bringing Ohio State’s commitment to this issue to nearly $125 million in the next decade.
  • Establishing the Teacher Preparation Pipeline Scholarship program, which will allow 100 early childhood educators in Columbus to obtain a bachelor’s degree for free.
  • Convening hundreds of alumni, volunteers, faculty, staff and students at Ohio State on April 14 for the first Buckeye Summit, focused on food security at home and throughout the world.

For more information on the prize, see https://presidentsprize.osu.edu/.