Gannon Biology Honorary Chapter Named Nation’s Best

Posted: May 30, 2017

 One of the duties of Gannon University Professor of Biology Steve Ropski, Ph.D. took on as president of Beta Beta Beta, the national biological honor society, is writing a letter to the winner of the annual Lloyd M. Bertholf Award as the outstanding chapter in the country. This year, Ropski knew just where to send the letter to the winning chapter's adviser. He sent it to himself.

Winning the national society's greatest honor was certainly a gratifying milestone in Ropski's term as head of the organization, which has more than 6,500 members in 670 chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. While the award was momentous, it wasn't unprecedented.

Gannon's Theta Omega chapter has now won Tri-Beta's highest honor seven times in the last 20 years, the last coming in 2010-11. The award is given to the Tri-Beta chapter that best promotes the society's three aims of scholarship, dissemination of scientific information and promotion of biological research.

"The Bertholf Committee bases the award upon member activity in conducting and publishing research, participation in district and national conventions and other scientific meetings, chapter programming and activities, and orderly record keeping and communication with the national office, Ropski said. He added that Theta Omega has hosted the national convention twice and the district convention five times.

Founded in 1922, Beta Beta Beta is a society for students, particularly undergraduates, who are dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending the boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research. The Bertholf Award is named for Lloyd M. Bertholf, the society's third president.

Jared Wilczynski, the chapter's student president, said. "The participation of the students is really what leads to our success. Winning this award means that we had an amazing, interactive year with our members and the community. We were able to show the excellence of our chapter, and complete multiple social and service events, as well as contributing a lot of our time and resources to undergraduate research and conferences."

And it goes without saying that Theta Omega chapter made its adviser-and his University-very proud.