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Don and Jan O’Dowd Graduate Award

The Graduate School is pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for this prestigious award established in 2021 that honors Don and Jan O’Dowd.

Dr. Don O’Dowd was an integral part of the founding of Oakland University beginning in 1959, holding numerous positions, including Professor of Psychology, Dean of the University, Provost, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, and founding Dean of the Graduate School.

Dr. O’Dowd served as Acting Chancellor of MSU-O and then as the first President of the newly independent Oakland University for the next decade. The O’Dowds left an indelible mark on Oakland University that continues to this day.

This $1,000 award will go to a top graduate student annually, who has made outstanding contributions through exemplary leadership and/or service at Oakland University, and/or the surrounding community.

Nominations must be submitted no later than 5:00 EST on January 31, 2024.

Eligibility Criteria

In addition to exemplary leadership or service, students must satisfy all of these criteria:

  1. Graduate or professional student who graduated or will graduate in one of the following 3 semesters: Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Summer 2024 from an Oakland University masters or doctoral program.
  2. Grade point average of 3.5 or above.
  3. Exemplifies traits such as intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm, leadership, compassion, and dedication to their field of study.
  4. Has made outstanding contributions through exemplary leadership and/or service at Oakland University, and/or the surrounding community. 

Nomination Process

Step 1: Faculty/Staff Nominations

Any OU Faculty or Staff Member may nominate a student for this award. Student self-nominations are not permitted. 

  • Faculty/Staff Nominations
    • Upload a letter of nomination describing how the nominee meets the selection criteria
      • 500 words maximum
      • The faculty/staff member must have interacted with the nominee in a professional capacity while the nominee has been an OU student, and this should be described in the letter.

Step 2: Initial Graduate School Eligibility Review

The Graduate School will review the nominations for GPA. 

Step 3: Student Statement

Students who meet the criteria for minimum GPA will be asked to submit a 500 word statement describing how they meet the selection criteria, as well as to provide a copy of their curriculum vita/resume. Students who do this by 5:00 pm February 12, 2024 will move on to Step 4. 

Step 4: Graduate Council Review and Selection

The Graduate Council will review the nominations and determine a winner. At the discretion of the Graduate Council, this review may include interviews with a short list of award candidates. The final award winner will be determined by a vote of the Graduate Council, whose decision is final. 

Graduate School

O'Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2700

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.