Biology fraternity Tri-Beta brings in a speaker to talk to students every other Thursday.
Beta Beta Beta began in 1922 at OCU. Biology professor Dr. Frank G. Brooks and a few of his students started the first chapter. Over time, new chapters began at various colleges around the country.
Cassandra Velasco, cell and molecular biology senior, has been an active member of the group since her sophomore year.
“We’re interested in having a speaker series that presents students with a myriad of career options in science. We want to show people that there’s more out there than going to medical or dental school,” Velasco said. “We try to show them that there are a lot of jobs out there.”
The speaker series is designed to inspire students, she said.
Last semester, Dr. Ryan Dennis came to speak about his passion for entrepreneurship and how he started a business in biotechnology. Speakers like him help give students bigger ideas about the biology work world, Velasco said.
“We’re trying to tell students that their life doesn’t have to be set right now. Things are going to change, and they need to go with the flow,” she said.
Laura Jardine, biology senior, has been president of Tri-Beta since January. Jardine said these talks give students more ideas about what is possible with an education in biology.
“Students come in wanting to do one thing, but then they have the exposure to different opportunities. They may seek out internships or shadow within other fields of biology. It gives them more diversity with what they’re exposed to,” Jardine said.
Dr. Laurie Kauffman, associate professor of biology, shares the sentiment.
“I think these talks give students ideas for things they can do with their degrees that they hadn’t thought of,” Kauffman said.
Anyone can come to the talks, biology major or not, Kauffman said.
For a student who isn’t in Tri-Beta or the biology department, he or she will still learn something new, Kauffman said.
“Everyone is involved in medicine,” Kauffman said. “You go to the doctor. So, it might be interesting for you to hear what it’s like to have that job or get to that job.”
Mindy Windholz, director of university counseling, spoke this semester on mental health and how important it is to maintain it.
The talks are at 12:15 p.m. every other Thursday in Room 100 in Sarkeys Science and Math Center.
The remaining speakers for this semester are
– Dr. Nancy Letassy, pharmacist and PA adjunct faculty member, on Oct. 5;
– Jackie Hjelmstad, physician assistant at Mercy Health System, on Oct. 19;
– Dr. Katie Marshall, assistant professor of biology at University of Oklahoma, on Nov. 2; and
– Dr. Matlock Jeffries, scientist at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, on Nov. 16.