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About the Award

The Graduate School begins accepting nominations on December 1 for the Mary Elizabeth Gutermuth Award for Community Engagement. This award honors graduate students who have demonstrated excellence and dedication to community-engaged research. Unlike many of the other Graduate School awards, students must self-nominate for this award. Nominations are due the second Monday in March (March 11, 2024). A committee that includes students, faculty, staff, and community members will review nominations and select an awardee. 

Mary Elizabeth Gutermuth completed her Master of Arts and Ph.D. at MU with an emphasis in French and Spanish Literature. Her endowment to the University of Missouri, funded through her estate gift, is directed to support a graduate student who has a history of and interest in community service through engaged scholarship. Community engagement, or engaged scholarship, represents a collaboration between higher education scholars and their community for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and/or resources in a framework that is cooperative and reciprocal. Scholars collaborate with practitioners in the public and/or private sectors to enrich their own scholarly and creative activities while addressing a critical societal issue or contributing to a community need or public good. 

Defining community-engaged scholarship: Community-engaged scholarship is directly related to your discipline and always associated with community partnerships in your academic field. Community represents groups of people who share commonalities, including geography (local, global); identity; affiliation or interest; circumstance; profession or practice; faith; and/or family/kin. Engaged means the work can be described as systemic, collaborative, asset-based, mutually beneficial, capacity-building, and for the public good. Scholarly means the work is based on existing scholarship and best practices and will generate new understandings and scholarly products for academic and public audiences. All scholarship, including community-engaged scholarship, requires a high level of disciplinary (or interdisciplinary) expertise and uses an appropriate methodology. 

Winners of the Gutermuth Award will be recognized in our spring semester awards celebration in late April. The award consists of a $4000 summer fellowship and a keepsake recognizing the honor. The summer fellowship is in recognition for the awardee’s community service through engaged scholarship. Although students may still be involved in community-engaged scholarship; the fellowship recognizes previous work completed by the student rather than a proposed project.  

All nominations will be made through the MU Graduate School’s InfoReady site.  

Eligibility Requirements

Submissions due: March 11, 2024
Students must self-nominate for this award.


Nominees for the Gutermuth Award may be any MU graduate student in good standing who will still be enrolled in a degree program during the summer following the receipt of the award. 

Candidates will be evaluated on the following:

  • clarity and quality of application materials
  • commitment to community engagement
  • connection between scholarship/creative work and its impact on society
  • relationship between community engagement and professional goals

Awardees will be selected by a committee that includes students, faculty, staff, and community members.


Call For Nominations Goes Out: December 1
Nominations Due: March 11

Minimum Requirements for Nominations

Nomination packets must be submitted through MU Graduate School’s InfoReady site.  Students must self-nominate for this award.

Nomination Materials:

  1. Completed application in InfoReady
  2. Two-page résumé or curriculum vitae highlighting community engagement (upload as a PDF)
  3. Description of the community-engaged scholarly and/or creative activity in lay terms. Include information (or evidence) that clearly documents the reciprocal and cooperative relationship with the community served and how this activity fosters your research/scholarship (250 words or less, upload as a PDF). This description should include many of the following items.
    • Societal or community issues addressed
    • the purpose(s) of the project you completed, methods, and actions taken;
    • the duration and length of the project;
    • community and scholarly partners and their roles;
    • sources of funding, if any;
    • evaluation methods;
    • creation of intellectual property, if any; and
    • the outcomes of the project you completed.
  4. A personal reflective statement on the impact of your scholarly and/or creative activity to the community or society and its influence, if any, on you personally, and on your future professional goals (250 words or less).
  5. Nomination letter from your faculty advisor or academic mentor for this project. The letter should address your role in the project, efforts to date, and potential impact.
  6. Nomination letter from a community partner that addresses your role in the project, the value and impact of the project to the community, and any future potential for the collaboration.

No additional materials may be submitted.