One of the perks of college and Kean University is the ability to be involved in various activities. Some activities include Greek life, student employment, clubs and honor societies. Kean University is host to 22 honors societies and one of them includes the TriBeta National Honors Society.
The TriBeta National Honors Society is home to undergraduate biology majors that are interested in learning, understanding and improving the boundaries of biological studies. Beta Beta Beta was established in 1922 and is still standing strong as an organization with more than 200,000 memberships and 626 chapters within the United States and Puerto Rico. Kean University is the Chi Mu chapter of Beta Beta Beta, which was established in 1981.
The formal definition for TriBeta is “an honor and professional society for students of biological sciences.” The goals of the national organization are publishing the basic input/output system (BIOS) journal, holding the national convention and recognizing individual members and chapters.
The eboard consists of advisors Dr. Maria Shumskaya & Prof. Li Lin Ong, president Victor M. Suarez, vice president Zainab Ismail, secretary Amaani Faizal, treasurer Claudia Barbosa Costa, historian Michelle Saavedra, director of public relations Linda Yarfi and induction & membership coordinator Andrew Southern.
Victor Suarez, a senior studying molecular biology, wants students to understand that TriBeta is committed to offering activities and experiences to enrich its members.
"Our main chapter goal is to improve understandings of biological study and increase involvement in research. In addition, this year we aim to give back to our community by donating to Imagine Scholar which will aid in the education of children in Africa," said Suarez.
Suarez emphasizes the honor and professionalism involved when joining this honors society which allows students to research.
"TriBeta was founded in 1922 at Oklahoma City University (Alpha Chapter) 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 student and faculty members began in that year and in 1930, the society journal, BIOS(Basic Input/Output System), began publication of student research, articles of interest to biologists and society news," Suarez continued. "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 presented in the style of graduate meetings. Awards are given for outstanding individual and chapter accomplishments."
Claudia Costa, a senior studying biology, notes that the TriBeta honor society recognizes students who excel in their science courses.
"We are committed to networking with other science clubs on campus to create a more cohesive scientific community," Costa mentioned.
The Chapter Chi Mu of the TriBeta Biological Honor Society is dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of the biological studies and expanding one's boundaries through research and networking opportunities.
Alongside research and internship opportunities, TriBeta also hosts events where students can learn what biological professors at Kean have experienced in their career.
"For instance, in the 2017 fall semester the biotechnology club collaborated with TriBeta to host an event called ‘Sandwiches with a Scientist’. The event showcased various professors who shared their career and explained how they ended up at Kean University. By allowing students to learn how one can expand their career in the biological sciences, students can gain confidence and assurance that nothing is impossible," Suarez explained.
Angela Valle, a junior studying biology with a concentration in cell and molecular biology, explained the requirements in order to join and become a part of the honors society.
"In order to join TriBeta, you must be majoring in the school of natural sciences. In order to be an associate member, you must obtain a 3.0 GPA. In order to be a regular member, you must have a 3.5 GPA and have 12 credits in biology. There is also a fee to join the honors society that gets sent to the national chapter," said Valle.
Other requirements include:
- $45 for associate membership and $55 for regular membership
- Must attend at least three meetings and three events during the semester
Joining TriBetaallows a student to join a community that allows them to serve others. One of their main goals is to raise awareness in the science community. It also allows students the chance to connect with others and to enhance the understanding of professions within STEM.
"You get to attend talks by professionals in the science fields and those in graduate, medical, dental and Allied Health schools who come to give you advice and share their journeys with you. You get to know mentors, advisors and faculty who will guide and advise you through your own journey to whichever scientific, biomedical or allied health career that you are pursuing. You get to know about research and internship opportunities at research institutes and pharmaceutical companies. Also you get to have fun with your peers and enjoy networking," Suarez explained.
TriBeta allows students the opportunity to connect on a national level and gives them a chance to network with potential employers who could be a valuable connection. By joining the TriBeta Biological Honor Society, students are joining a national organization of biologists who strive for academic achievement and progress in the field.
"Students who are committed to being a part of the society will gain tangible skills for graduate school. They will also be able to further their education through scientific writing, presentation skills and networking with professionals in their field. We hope to inspire and promote educational growth and a passion for science," said Suarez.
The members of TriBeta are proud and dedicated to their chapter. Those who make it a point to come to chapter meetings leave with new knowledge. It is a wonderful opportunity to make new friends that are just as determined to succeed.
TriBeta Biological Honor Society welcomes and encourages students who want to continue on striving to achieve their goals, such as obtaining internships or research projects to become part of their honor society family.
Students can contact TriBeta at anytime via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any suggestions, comments or questions can also be placed by our board in the entrance of the science building. They also are on Facebook at ChiMuChapterKeanUniversity.
If students have any questions about events and general body meetings, they are on Cougar Link and on the Kean University webpage. For general information about TriBeta, students can go to the national site at tribeta.org.