Kennesaw State biology professor wins national award

William Ensign
 William Ensign

Council on Undergraduate Research recognizes William Ensign

KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 22, 2018) — Kennesaw State University biology professor William Ensign has been honored with the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Biology Division Mature Career Mentor Award. The distinction is reserved for scientists with greater than 19 years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers.

The award, which recognized Ensign’s “long-term efforts in supervising undergraduate research students,” was presented recently during the Council’s annual meeting. The judges said his students found him to be an enthusiastic model of a successful scientist and one who “created a rich community of research groups to allow students to work to their strengths within a given project.”

In making its presentation, the group took note of Ensign’s multiple publications with undergraduates and that he regularly has had students presenting their work at regional and national conferences.

“To receive the 2017 Council on Undergraduate Research Biology Division Mature Career Mentor Award is a humbling affirmation of the efforts I have expended over the last two decades with my students,” Ensign said. “I have always had a deep respect for CUR’s mission and efforts, so to be honored by this organization is deeply meaningful to me.”

Ensign, who is the first KSU biologist to be selected for the award, joined Kennesaw State in September 1997 after working as a research scientist for the U.S. Forest Service and the Virginia Tech Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. His research broadly focuses on fish diversity, distribution and abundance in freshwater streams and rivers.

Bill Ensign

Ensign received his Ph.D. in fisheries science from Virginia Tech and his M.S. in ecology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also holds a B.A. in zoology from George Washington University.

Founded in 1978, The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is a national organization of individual and institutional members representing more than 900 colleges and universities. CUR and its affiliated colleges, universities and individuals share a focus on providing undergraduate research opportunities for faculty and students at all institutions serving undergraduate students. 

– Robert S. Godlewski

Photo by David Caselli



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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