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Beta Beta Beta

TriBeta was founded in 1922 at Oklahoma City University by Dr. Frank G. Brooks and a group of his students. The idea of an honor and professional society for biology students spread rapidly and by 1925, the society was a national organization. Biennial national conventions of students and faculty members began in that year.  In 1930, the society journal, BIOS, began publication of student research, articles of interest to biologists, and society news. As the society grew, it was divided into regional and district groups, each of which holds a convention annually. At the heart of every district and national meeting are student research papers and posters presented in the style of professional meetings. Awards are given for outstanding individual and chapter accomplishment.

The Local Chapter

The national constitution provides a framework for chapter activities, but each chapter is free to function in accordance with its own needs and school philosophy. A national officer visits each prospective chapter as part of the application process. Chapter programs typically include guest speakers, reports of research by members and departments faculty, field trips, maintenance of collections, community service and social gatherings. A faculty advisor provides continuity and experience to the student members.

The University of Tulsa proudly supports a TriBeta chapter, Pi Alpha, which has been a part of the Beta Beta Beta organization since April 4, 1979. This chapter competes every year in the Southcentral Regional Tri-Beta conventions.

Application for the TriBeta chapter at The University of Tulsa.

Tri-Beta SouthCentral Regional Convention: TU’s Pi Alpha Chapter Wins

Four of TU’s student members of the Pi Alpha Chapter of Tri-Beta (the national biological honor society) and the chapter’s faculty advisor attended the Southcentral Regional Convention held April 4th – 6th  at the University of Oklahoma’s Field Biology Station located on the shores of Lake Texoma.  Twenty-two chapters from colleges and universities in District 1(OK, LA, AR) and District 2 (TX) and over 170 members and faculty advisors attended. Undergraduates presented their research in biological science in either poster or oral competitions.

Pi Alpha members, the title of their presentation, and research advisor who represented TU  at the Convention were:

Jordan Hendrickson, Sodium Preferences in Tropical Ants (Advisor: Dr. Glen Collier)

Stephanie Hice, Characterization of Switchgrass Degrading Thermophilic Actinomycetes for Biofuel Production (Advisor:Dr. Mohamed Fakhr)

Nathan Miller, Heliconia latispatha Phytotelmata as Models for Succession (Advisor: Dr. Glen Collier)

Caitlin Pegg, The Protective Effect of Fake-Eyespots in Lepidopteran Caterpillar Models (Advsior: Dr. Glen Collier)

south central regional convention 2014 Caitlin Pegg Nate Miller Stephanie Hice Jordan Hendrickson

Pi Alpha also entered the Chapter Activity Competition with a scrapbook detailing the last year of activities (speakers, community projects, fund raising,   etc.) for the Pi Alpha Chapter. Historians Lynna Van and Danya Majhoub prepared the scrapbook.

Stephanie Hice, who is the current President, also gave an oral presentation about TU and the Pi Alpha Chapter at the introductory meeting of the chapters Friday night.

Stephanie Hice won the Frank G. Brooks Award of First Place in session one of the oral presentations. With this award, Stephanie receives a $750 travel grant to present her research at the biennial national convention which will be held this year at Gannon University, Erie PA in June. Cailtin Pegg placed second in session three of the oral competition.

Congratulations to All! Biological Science is proud!
Respectfully submitted,
Karen A. McMahon

Pi Alpha Chapter Advisor

Research Grant Scholarship Awarded

Casey Bramwell, Biological Science Major, was awarded a $300 Research Scholarship Grant from Tri-Beta, the National Biological Honor Society to pursue a research project (Investigation of Atta cephalotes after Pheromone Trail Modification) at La Selva Biological Research Station in Costa Rica under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Collier.


Title: Karen McMahon, Faculty Advisor, Instructor of Biological Science
Office: College of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Address: Oliphant Hall 230
Phone: (918) 631-3129
National Web site:
Local Organization: