SOL:  The Norse Goddess of Enlightenment
(Pronounced “Soul”)
Sol is the Norse goddess of enlightenment, she is the sun, and she is rebirth, wisdom, creation and enlightenment.  It is believed that Sol was adapted by the Norse from other pagan religions throughout northern Germany and Scandinavia.   It is not surprising that after long northern winters, the coming of light is a sign of spring, new beginnings, rebirth and renewed energy.  It is fitting that this deity be a woman; key to creation.
This is why we named the NKU award for outstanding research, creativity and scholarship after this Norse deity; she embodies the spirit of a new and better tomorrow.  The spirit of creativity and the search for knowledge is a constant force at NKU, like the sun it is ever present, ever burning, ever renewing, with inexhaustible energy.  Irresistible strength, focused on the pursuit of the discovery and creativity; that is who she is and that is who we are.
SOL Awards - Corbett Trio

Where did Spotlight on Scholarship come from?

A note from Dr. Brian Hackett, Chair of the University Research Council


I have spent several months trying to think of the right word to describe what we are doing when we say research, scholarship or creative activity. Words like innovating, creating, exploring, studying, learning, expanding, or detecting are all good words but these, like so many others, just do not seem to be enough. Somehow what we do when engaged in research, scholarship or creative activity, is so much more diverse, rich, and important, than a collection of everyday adjectives and verbs. Maybe the problem is that what we do is more of a reflection of part of our lives’ purpose and not just an activity in which we engage. Somehow, when we are in the act of researching or creating, or expanding the pool of knowledge, we are, in fact, closer to our human purpose. Maybe our condition, and in some cases our spirits, are somehow ennobled by our work. Learning to appreciate what we do, and what others are doing makes our world a better place.

This is where the idea of the Spotlight on Scholarship event developed. The idea that we celebrate each other, and the truly amazing work that we are doing to make this world a little better (and in some cases a lot better). We want to enhance the image of our institution and the people who work here, to show (or rather dazzle) our community the magic that is happening at NKU. Let them burn their eyes on our greatness....


2019 Spotlight on Scholarship

Northern Kentucky University

October 24, 2019

Are you engaged in research, scholarship or creative activity that can be shared with the university community? If so, we invite you to submit your work to the NKU Spotlight on Scholarship through the portal.

Submissions can include any research, scholarship or creative work that is aligned with your discipline. All faculty and staff are encouraged to participate and showcase their work. The goal of this event is to share the interesting and important work being done by faculty and staff at NKU and to foster collaborations across disciplines. The presentations should be in an oral format, but may include demonstrations or multimedia. Presenters may be chosen to present as spotlight speakers (~20 minutes), in short spots (~10 minutes), or on inter-professional panels. The event will conclude with an awards ceremony where the Sol (Norse goddess of enlightenment) award will be given to recognize academic excellence and community impact. Lunch will be provided, and a reception will follow the awards ceremony.

Submission details: Submissions can be made through the portal provided below. On the submission site you will be asked to provide the title of your project, author contact information, an abstract (300 words or less) and 3-5 key words associated with the project. Projects may include: research and creative works in progress, work recently presented at other conferences, work recently published, standalone projects, and updated work presented last year. If you submitted an abstract last year and were not selected to participate you are welcome to resubmit, however we recommend you revise your abstract with an eye toward writing to a diverse audience and alignment with the abstract rubric.

Please write your abstracts using language that can be understood by those outside your discipline. All submissions are due April 1, 2019 by 11:59 pm. Presenters will be notified by email by June 1, 2019. If your abstract is selected, you will be asked to confirm that you agree to be part of the Spotlight on Scholarship program. All submitted abstracts will be published on the NKU Spotlight on Scholarship website.  

We hope to see you there and look forward to learning about the exciting work being conducted by faculty and staff at NKU. For more information please contact Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh, Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Research and Outreach at or x7567, or any University Research Council member

Faculty present at 1st Annual Spotlight on Scholarship
Kirsten Swartz
Dr. Kirsten Swartz
"Strategic Depaving in Newport's Urban Core for Community and Environment"
SOL Award - Winner
Sara Drabik
Sara Drabik
"Women in Coffee Project"
SOL Award - Runner-up

Previous Programs