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Biology Honor Society Named Top Chapter in the Nation

March 12, 2019

For a record ninth time, Angelo State University’s Epsilon Sigma chapter of the Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta) national biological honor society has been named the recipient of the Lloyd M. Bertholf Award as the top chapter in the nation for the 2017-18 academic year.

ASU Tri-Beta members at the 2018 South Central Regional ConventionASU Tri-Beta members at the 2018 South Central Regional ConventionThe ASU chapter is the first nine-time winner of the award out of the more than 600 Tri-Beta chapters in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. No other chapter has won the award more than six times. The Bertholf Award will be presented during the Tri-Beta South Central Regional Convention April 5-7 at the Mt. Lebanon Retreat Center in Cedar Hill, Texas. The ASU chapter will also be recognized at the Tri-Beta National Convention in June.

The Bertholf Award has been presented since 1961 to recognize the chapter that best promoted the aims of Tri-Beta: scholarship, dissemination of scientific information, and promotion of biological research. Official criteria for the award includes chapter 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 Tri-Beta National Office. The winning chapter is chosen each year by a selection committee of college and university biology faculty from across the nation.

Tri-Beta CrestTri-Beta CrestDuring the 2017-18 academic year, ASU Tri-Beta members made numerous research presentations at nine campus, state, regional and national scientific meetings – and won seven awards at the Tri-Beta regional and national conventions. They also won Tri-Beta’s national Chapter History competition for compiling the best record of chapter activities during the year.

On campus, Tri-Beta members participate in Homecoming activities, New Student Orientation sessions, Earth Day, Experience ASU and Rambunctious Weekend. They also help organize the ASU Biology Department’s annual BioBlitz, identifying and cataloging all the flora and fauna found on two area ranches.

In the community, Tri-Beta members participated in SAFE Recycling Center events until it closed in April 2018. They continue to participate in Discovery Night at STEAM Central, Santa Rita Elementary Science Night, Girl Scouts STEM Conference, HEB Feast of Sharing, Spring Chicken Affair, Reach Out and Read at La Esperanza Clinic, Fort Concho Elementary Math and Science Night, San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Junior Robotics Competition and SAISD science fairs, among others.

Carla EbelingCarla Ebeling“The Tri-Beta students truly love biology research, outreach and service, and they hold themselves to very high standards,” said Carla Ebeling, biology instructor and Tri-Beta faculty advisor. “It is an incredible honor to be recognized for the hard work and effort that they are doing and will continue to do, with or without the recognition. Winning the national award for the ninth time I think serves as validation that they are upholding the legacy of students, faculty and advisors before them.”

In addition to the 2017-18 Bertholf Award as top chapter in the nation, the ASU group was also named the top Tri-Beta chapter in the South Central Region for 2017-18 and won the 2018 E. James Hindman Award from the ASU Student Government Association as the top student organization on campus.

Since 1986-87, ASU’s Tri-Beta chapter has won the Bertholf Award nine times, has been a top-three finalist three times, and has been named an Outstanding Chapter five times by the national Tri-Beta organization.

ASU’s Epsilon Sigma chapter of Tri-Beta was formed in 1970. There are currently 36 members, and the chapter president is Marisa Negley of San Antonio. Previous presidents during the 2017-18 academic year were Marisa Thompson of Mansfield and Kelli Schaedel of Big Spring.

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