Profiles in Curiosity

The McGraw Center Undergraduate Learning Program Cultivating Curiosity Campaign

Profiles In Curiosity “Un-Award”

Curiosity is a powerful yet invisible--even fragile--motivator for engagement and inquisitiveness. Our aim is to nurture and promote curiosity on campus by recognizing those students who embody it. To be clear, our aim is not to recognize high grades or other accolades nor exclusively academic learning. This campaign rests on the belief that curiosity is its own reward, and so no prize will be awarded. Nominated students are profiled in an on-line gallery.

Curiosity is essential to a thriving academic community. The desire to ask, learn, understand and know is the basis of deep intellectual engagement and fulfillment. It is the fuel that powers inquisitiveness and inquiry, the lifeblood of any healthy university community. It makes our moments and days and lives—and learning—surprising and meaningful. And it can be contagious.

Curiosity is one of the University’s most esteemed values. But there have been no formal means to recognize it. It’s not inscribed on students’ transcripts or diplomas—and perhaps it is best that it’s not. Curiosity needs to be cultivated and nurtured, but not necessarily rewarded with prizes; curiosity brings its own rewards.

This annual campaign seeks nominations from the campus community (we received 150 in spring, 2019). Nominees are then invited to respond to a set of questions about curiosity, its impact and challenges. From these submissions profiles are made and an online gallery is created.