βββ (or otherwise known as Tri-Beta) is a national biological honors society. It is dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research. Since its founding in 1922, more than 200,000 persons have been accepted into lifetime membership, and more than 626 chapters have been established throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. This organization offers many different grant opportunities for research to apply for. In addition, this organization holds both district and national conferences, giving students the opportunity to present their research in several different settings. More specifically, there are scholarships to apply for at Gannon for students who are thinking of going to a national conference. The requirements for this club are having a grade of a B or higher after taking the first two biology classes and labs that Gannon offers (molecular cell biology and lab, and animal form and function and lab).
Research has been something that I have been heavily involved with starting my sophomore year. After traveling to several different research conventions and talking with other students from other schools, I realize how lucky I am. At most other schools, research is very difficult to get into and is usually just reserved for upperclassmen. I got to start early, and found my passion for it. I’ve also been able to travel to different district research conferences to present our findings. In addition, I’ve had the chance to get to know my faculty adviser for research, Dr. Aoh, better. She’s an amazing role model and honestly the perfect professor for research. I’ve learned a lot, and I won’t lie when I say that I learned some things after making mistakes in the lab. Dr. Aoh understood that, and always said how she remembered what it was like when she first started in research as a student. We joke about how I was obviously very nervous my first day and messed something up. Now, I feel a lot more comfortable in the lab setting and even have the opportunity to work with and mentor a student that has been assigned to the project. Last year, I had a peer mentor in research and her and I became good friends.
There are also several different volunteer opportunities to the club relating to STEM. I’ve gotten to participate in an event where I explained different aspects of synthetic biology to children ages 4-12. I’ve also had the opportunity to present about our research behind this event at Celebrate Gannon. Celebrate Gannon is an opportunity where Gannon University students get to present their various research projects and present to judges. There are both oral presentations and poster presentations. Tri-Beta is typically very involved in this event as several of its members in research do many presentations there. My research project was presented through a poster presentation by my research partner. There are also several different opportunities not related to STEM, as Tri-Beta requires hours of service and event credits. An example of an event credit is going to a corn maze in the fall with several other members in the club. Our adviser bought us fudge after it as well. There was also an ice cream social with biology faculty just a couple of weeks ago.
Dr. Ropski is our adviser for the club, and also the national president! I’ve gotten to know him really well throughout my years here, especially since this last summer I got to go on a faculty lead course to Yellowstone with him. He’s always been very passionate about Tri-Beta and has made it both a fun and rewarding club to be involved in. I reached out to him to ask him to elaborate on what the club means to him, and this is what he said,
“Tri-Beta has been a part of my life since 1977 when I joined as a member as a student at Gannon College. Now I am the national president and have so enjoyed watching GU undergrads become leaders, conduct quality research, and do significant service as a result of Tri-Beta. We are especially proud that we have been named the most outstanding chapter in the country 5 times in the past 15 years.”- Dr. Ropski.