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Funke Medal of Excellence

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We have been recognizing the top graduating senior in our Microbiology BS program since 1985. In 2018, the award was renamed the Berdell Funke Medal of Excellence in Microbiology to honor our longtime colleague and friend.

Dr. Funke was a professor in our department from 1964 to 1997. He taught several courses throughout his career, including Introductory Microbiology, General Microbiology, Soil Microbiology, Pathogenic Bacteriology, Food and Dairy Microbiology, and Clinical Parasitology. He also had a research program focused on nitrogen-fixing soil microbes. However, Dr. Funke is probably best known as a co-author of the #1 bestselling microbiology textbook, Microbiology: An Introduction. Since its first publication in 1982, Microbiology: An Introduction has been used by more than one million undergraduate students of microbiology. It has been translated into more than twelve languages and is currently in its thirteenth edition. Dr. Funke remained a steadfast friend of our department until his death in 2020, visiting every week to talk about microbiology and life. Dr. Funke was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by NDSU in 2019.

The Berdell Funke Medal of Excellence in Microbiology is awarded to a graduating senior in the Microbiology BS program who best exemplifies the spirit and character of Dr. Funke. Selected by the Microbiological Sciences faculty, the winner will excel in academics, contribute to our research and/or teaching mission, and be active in extracurricular activities.


The NDSU Department of Microbiological Sciences Celebrates Abigail Bartholomay's Achievement: Awarded the 2023 Berdell Funke Medal of Excellence in Microbiology

image announcing Abigail Bartholomay being awarded the 2023 Berdell Funke Medal of Excellence in Microbiology
Photo Credit:
Marley Lund-Peterson

We are thrilled to announce that Abigail Bartholomay, a remarkable student at NDSU, has been honored with the prestigious 2023 Berdell Funke Medal of Excellence in Microbiology! This incredible achievement highlights Abigail's exceptional dedication, passion, and contributions to the field of Microbiology. 

Abigail's journey in academia has been nothing short of extraordinary. Having been accepted into medical school at UND, she will embark on the next chapter of her educational journey this summer. Abigail's heartfelt aspiration is to become an internal or family medicine doctor, focusing on serving North Dakota or Minnesota rural communities. Her dedication to making a difference in the lives of those in underserved areas is truly inspiring.

Throughout her time at NDSU, Abigail has been actively involved in groundbreaking research. She worked in Dr. Schuh's lab and on Dr. McEvoy's COVID-19 Wastewater Project, showcasing her commitment to addressing critical real-world challenges. This project exemplifies Abigail's passion for leveraging microbiology to improve public health and contribute to our understanding of infectious diseases.

In addition to her research accomplishments, Abigail's leadership qualities shine brightly. She served as the President of the Biotechnology and Microbiology Club, playing a pivotal role in fostering a vibrant community of aspiring scientists. Her dedication to collaboration, knowledge sharing, and inspiring her peers is truly commendable.

Abigail's selection for the Berdell Funke Medal of Excellence is a testament to her outstanding achievements and the impact she has already made in the field. We are immensely proud of her accomplishments and excited to witness the bright future that lies ahead.

Please join us in congratulating Abigail Bartholomay for this remarkable achievement! Her hard work, perseverance, and passion have truly set her apart. We are confident that she will continue to make significant contributions to the medical field and beyond.

Past Winners

2022 - Rylie Elvers*

2022 - Kathleen Ruff*

2021 - Garrett Levin

2020 - Jordyn Ritnour*

2020 - Destiny Smith*

2019 - Prajakta Warang

2018 - Ryan Callahan

2017 - Austin Hewitt*

2017 - Mady Arneson*

2016 - Francis Landman

2015 - Chelsie Manton

2014 - Morgan Hemme

2013 - Rachel Anderson

2012 - Alyssa Jo Breuer

2011 - Erin Wenzel

2010 - Rebecca Laube*

2010 - Jennifer Wadeson*

2009 - Leah Gustafson*

2009 - Brittany Jelsing*

2008 - Vicki Riveland

2007 - Carolyn Schneider

2006 - Justin LeBlanc

2005 - Kara Hoverson

2004 - Kelly Johnston

2003 - Melissa McClure

2002 - Rebekah Oliver

2001 - Jeffrey Anderson*

2001 - Jessica Dinham*

2001 - Jerod Skyberg*

2000 - Thomas Foley

1999 - Jessica Ebert

1998 - Corey Martin

1997 - Bethany Alley

1996 - Christen Richard

1995 - Rachel Zent

1994 - Jason Moe

1993 - Hugh Smith

1992 - Joan Vedquam

1991 - Joel Syvrud

1990 - Ann Forness

1989 - Renae Schuler

1987 - Renee Schwandt

1986 - Jacqueline Rude

1985 - Terry Lewis

*student was awarded joint winner