Academically and Civically Engaged Scientists (ACES) Scholarship Program


The S-STEM: Academically and Civically Engaged Scientists (ACES) Scholarship Program is funded with a grant from the National Science Foundation.  This program funds 10 $10,000 scholarships each of the 5 years of the grant to high-achieving STEM students and includes those students in a year-long program with activities ranging from mentoring to community service projects.

The goal of this S-STEM scholarship program is to guide high-achieving STEM students in becoming Academically and Civically-Engaged Scientists (ACES).  As a result of this program, ACES students will be able to:

  • Actively engage with community issues by applying their scientific body of knowledge and skills
  • Lead science-related community engagement projects while in college and after graduation
  • Apply best practices in leadership and project management to their team interactions
  • Develop professional relationships with their peers and community partners
  • Articulate what it means to be a civically-engaged scientist to a variety of audiences

Scholarship Amount: $10,000/year renewable for up to 4 years (if eligibility is maintained)

ACES Activities and Expectations 

As part of the ACES program students will:

  • Be active members of a cohort of Academically and Civically Engaged Scientists that includes students from a variety of STEM majors, years in school, ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds who are all interested in applying their chosen vocations to provide service to their communities.
  • Participate in a service learning project each semester in which they apply their STEM knowledge to help a community partner.
  • Benefit from a peer-mentoring program where upper-class ACES student mentor their underclassmen peers.
  • Be paired with an alumni mentor in their field
  • Attend professional development workshops and guest speakers
  • Participate in the Scholars Program including a first year residential cohort and a senior year research project.
  • Earn a Leadership Minor
  • Complete a variety of reflections, reports, and other assessments necessary to gather data on the effectiveness of the project.

Flexibility in these expectations is welcome and can be achieved by proposing a change to the PI Team and demonstrating how the new activity meets the same learning objectives as the original activity.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Financial need as indicated by the FAFSA 
  2. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  3. Intention to be a full-time Wartburg student majoring in Actuarial Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics or the K-12 teaching option of any of these fields
  4. Successful completion of at least one science or math class each year of high school (and each semester at Wartburg for current students) 
  5. 3.0/4.0 GPA in all previous math and science classes (in high school or college) 
  6. ACT subject and composite scores 
  7. An application essay on the topic “How is your chosen STEM field used to the benefit of the (local, regional, national, or global) community?”.  Student selection will also take into consideration the goal of the project to create a strong cohort of students who come from diverse disciplines, years in school, ethnicities, socio-economic status, and parental education.  In making the final selection a campus or telephone interview may be scheduled.

Continued Eligibility Requirements

To remain eligible for future years students need to: 

(1) continue to be enrolled full-time and make progress towards a degree in one of the fields listed above 
(2) maintain a 3.0/4.0 overall GPA (including Wartburg and transfer classes) 
(3) meet the expectations of participation in the activities of the program and submission of all requested reports and documents in a timely manner 
(4) behave according to the ethical codes of the College and professions.

Students who drop below the GPA requirement may be granted a year of probation to bring their GPA back up to the required level.  


Dr. LeAnn Faidley, 319-352-8340, ACES Program PI
Dr. Christine DeVries, 319-352-8712, ACES Program co-PI
Dr. Mariah Birgen, 319-352-8565, ACES Program co-PI 

The S-STEM: Academically and Civically Engaged Scientists (ACES) Scholarship Program is funded by the National Science Foundation through DUE grant #1356028.

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