For a record eighth time and for the fourth time in the last nine years, Angelo State University’s Epsilon Sigma chapter of the Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta) biology national honor society has been named the recipient of the Lloyd M. Bertholf Award as the top chapter in the nation for the 2012-13 academic year.
The ASU chapter is the first eight-time winner of the award out of the more than 560 Tri-Beta chapters in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.  No other chapter has won the award more than four times.  The award will be presented during the Tri-Beta South Central Regional Convention April 4-6 at the Oklahoma University Biological Field Station in Kingston, Okla.  The ASU chapter will also be recognized at the Tri-Beta National Meeting June 2-6 in Erie, Penn.

The Bertholf Award has been presented since 1961 based on 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.

Over the last year, ASU Tri-Beta members made 21 research presentations at seven professional meetings; were co-authors of five scientific publications; completed 13 significant community service activities; and participated in more than 20 campus volunteer activities, including Science Days, Supplemental Instruction, New Student Orientations, and recycling and museum collection efforts.  Also, 14 members received research grants; three members served as officers for various scientific organizations; and the ASU chapter organized the 2013 Tri-Beta South Central Regional Convention.

“I have been advisor to our chapter of Tri-Beta since 1979, and this is easily one of the strongest performances this group has ever demonstrated,” said Dr. Crosby Jones, professor of biology.  “It is important to recognize last year’s student president, Ashley Hampton, as she was very much the driving force behind this achievement.  We had over 100 new members registered at ASU last year, a figure that only five other universities in the nation also attained.”

In addition to the 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 2012-13 and won the 2012-13 E. James Hindman Award from the ASU Student Government Association as the top student organization on campus.  It was the group’s fifth Hindman Award in the last six years.

Since 1986-87, the ASU group has won the Bertholf Award eight times, has been a top 3 finalist three times, and has been named an Outstanding Chapter five times by the national Tri-Beta organization.

“When I addressed our chapter 35 years ago as its new faculty advisor, I informed them that my goal for the organization was to make Tri-Beta an indispensible experience for the ASU biology student,” Jones said.  “A quality organization is instrumental in achieving that, and the Bertholf success is evidence of that.  Our alumni also understand and appreciate that because they have experienced it themselves.”

The Beta Beta Beta organization emphasizes undergraduate research and scholarship in the biological sciences.  Its national office is located at the University of North Alabama in Florence.  ASU’s Epsilon Sigma chapter was formed in 1970.  ASU chapter president is senior biology major Jazmin Humphreys of San Angelo, who also serves as parliamentarian for the South Central Region.