As a chapter we have worked to develop relationships both within formal meetings and also by building friendships among members and other prospective students. Our meetings have taken place both on and off campus and have constituted discussion about official Sigma Zeta matters, how to sustain our chapter on campus and recruit new members, about the research our members are completing and social activities to encourage bonding among members. As we have a very diverse group of students one of the primary things that we stressed was working to include everyone in a way that they were comfortable. This led to a lot of informal activities to build friendships in ways that could encourage and assist the members of our chapter in the areas that interest them or that they are researching.
To the Alpha Gamma chapter sustainability at the community level has allowed us to reach some of the biggest needs in the area surrounding our University. The City of Canton, located just 5 minutes from campus is currently the eighth largest city in Ohio. Notably, our chapter has helped revitalize and redevelop the community gardens in the Summit Neighborhood. The Summit Neighborhood accounts for approximately 11% of the city’s square mileage and yet it is home to more than 70% of the city’s crime. Moreover, more than 40% of students within the neighborhood do not partake in regular meals outside of those provided to them at school. To help counteract this growing problem the community has begun to plant gardens that provide food to families in need. The massive community gardens that have been reinvigorated over the past few years have afforded the Alpha Gamma chapter the ability to contribute towards a new after school snack and meal program for students affected by the lowered quality of life within the neighborhood. Although we are one of many who have contributed to the success of the garden and although we may never receive any thanks from the students who participate in the program, we count it as joy to see the impact that our actions can and do have on the surrounding community. As a chapter we were also given the opportunity to work for a weekend at Skyview Ranch. While at the camp we were able to serve more than 450 middle school students and their respective church staffs. Our time there allowed us to develop relationships with a number of these students and to help foster a level of respect for science and mathematics among them. It also gave us the chance to answer questions about what we majored in and the topics that we are researching in the hopes to encourage those students to consider pursuing the majors that Sigma Zeta covers. We also had the opportunity to work at the academic camps that Malone University held this last summer which reached out to more than 100 students interested in computer and natural sciences. Members of our chapter also have worked in various churches and social groups in the community that help underprivileged individuals in a variety of ways and have helped tutor students on our campus and from local schools. Our outreach into the community is the most significant impact that our chapter has had.
The alpha gamma chapter has received accommodation from both Skyview Ranch as well as the City of Canton. From the Mayor's Proclamation: "In Recognition of Malone University's Sigma Zeta Alpha Gamma Chapter Whereas, Malone University's Sigma Zeta Alpha Gamma Chapter requires its members to meet rigorous academic criteria in order to be eligible for acceptance into the society. Student members must major in any of the natural sciences, computer sciences, or mathematics, have completed 25 semester hours, attained a 3.0 GPA, demonstrated leadership characteristics, and demonstrated willingness to work with and foster students of all ages in a love for the sciences and mathematics; and Whereas, The Alpha Gamma Chapter students have achieved many accomplishments in the community such as helping maintain the gardens in the Summit Neighborhood, working with more than 100 students who attended summer camps at Malone, worked with over 600 students at Skyview Ranch, completed a camp service project, tutored Malone students for over 600 hours during the 2014-15 school year and middle school students more than 400 hours, committed more than 100 hours to research and development in the natural science and computer sciences; and Whereas, Alpha Gamma students also coordinated the Student/Faculty Research Symposium at Malone University, and volunteered more than 1,000 hours at outside community events and service projects; and Now Therefore, be it resolved that I, William J. Healy II, Mayor of the City of Canton, Ohio, by the virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby recognize the Sigma Zeta Alpha Gamma Chapter and urge all families and friends to join me in according the Sigma Zeta Alpha Gamma Chapter with the respect, honor, and admiration they truly deserve for their unwavering commitment and exemplary guidance in Canton."
The Alpha Gamma Chapter was honored to have a Special Agent from the FBI speak to our members about his current position within the FBI and how math and science can directly impact future career choices. He also talked about the significance about math and science in the community and how everyone's daily lives are directly impacted by the people working in those fields.
As a chapter we reached out to local organizations of any type (not just math and science related) to help encourage the love of math and science among all people and not just those previously interested in the subject matter. We also directly partnered with the City of Canton and the University to reach out in ways that we normally wouldn't see. It provided many great opportunities to encourage sustainability of interest in math and science and allowed our members to see how they could use their skills in many diverse ways.
This year we are proud to have significantly increased the number of our members attending the national convention. We have almost doubled the number of students who attended this year as compared to last year. We also worked to promote attendance across all majors and classes with great success this year.
Unfortunately this year we do not have any presentations. We do have a number of members who are working on multiple year research projects with the hopes of presenting in the next few years at the convention. To our members the most important thing about math and science is developing good and sustainable tests and results and accordingly their research is taking more time than anticipated.
With both the National President and Treasurer in our chapter we have done everything that we can to cooperate with what is expected. We have also presented any ideas/problems that we have as a chapter to the President so that our work can possibly start discussion and help other chapters in the Sigma Zeta family.
Although we have not added any new chapters we have worked to encourage Walsh University to be a more active participant in Sigma Zeta. It is our hope that through our relationship with them they will begin to attend the national convention again and promote math and science on their campus.
As was mentioned above we have had a large number of activities and opportunities as a chapter to work together and promote each other's research and academic pursuits. Although our membership is composed of many students across multiple majors we have always found ways to assist each other using our own unique skills. We are also always working to bring new students into the chapter and show them what Sigma Zeta is and what it can offer them in their academic and personal pursuits.
As was mentioned previously we have reached out to Walsh University to encourage the growth of their chapter on campus. We, as members, have also maintained friendships with students from other chapters across the country. To us Sigma Zeta is just as much about networking as it is about promoting research and so our friendships are some of the best things we have.
We hold 4 meetings on average per semester, 8 per year. Meetings include information on upcoming events and presentations. One or two student members present on current science topics during each meeting. These topics include senior research projects, topics discussed in classes students are taking, or subjects pertaining to a future field or career choice. Our last meeting of every semester is initiation. For this event, we rent a room in the conference center on campus and have refreshments and desserts served. At this meeting we go over the historical background of our honorary and its goals. We typically have around 30 attendees at each meeting. We also design, vote on, and order t-shirts for club members to wear on campus and promote the honorary. We are currently in the process of amending the constitution of our chapter to incorporate more rigorous guidelines for being in good standing for cords. We currently have 68 members in our chapter.
Our chapter is involved with the biology club bonfire, raising awareness on campus, and participating in the honorary colloquium. Through the encouragement of the officers, many members volunteered at the Region 9 Science Olympiad hosted at Hillsdale College. The biology club bonfire is hosted at Hayden Park on campus and brings together all of the members of the biology clubs and faculty members for a social event. Our chapter also put up posters all over campus, designed by club officers, that promoted energy saving tips. Sigma Zeta also partners with the conservation club on campus to coordinate recycling around campus. Club members were also involved with assisting in improving the Arboretum on campus.
Our chapter was invited to participate in Lyseum Colloquium on campus.
Recently we brought a speaker from the Michigan DNR Wildlife Disease lab to give a presentation and many of our members attended.
We think that our student presentations are an extremely valuable contribution to our chapter. It allows us to learn and gives presenters an opportunity to perfect their speaking skills. In order to promote this year's national motto, two of our officers took an environmental stewardship class this past semester. At initiation, these officers presented about what they learned in this class to the members of our chapter.
We have 7 people attending the national convention this year, which is about 10% of our total membership.
Of those 7 people, 5 are presenting oral presentations of their senior thesis research projects.
Students who are presenting oral presentations sent in abstracts to the nation chapter. Students have applied for sigma zeta research funding and communicated with the national convention about the time table of applications.
We hold bi-monthly officer meetings and monthly chapter meetings. The first officer meeting of the year was a BBQ at our advisor’s home where the entire first semester dates and events were planned for our chapter. A very similar officer meeting was conducted at the beginning of the 2016 year that set all of the dates for second semester. Shortly after planning, semester calendars were handed out to members. Bi-monthly officer meetings took place throughout the semester to take care of details for events and the research process. Our first chapter meeting took place the third week of school on a Sunday evening at a local park. We hosted a departmental picnic for faculty and any students interesting in joining Sigma Zeta where we talked about our vision for the year and possible research opportunities. In addition, we handed out applications and passed out completed first semester calendars of important dates and events. Our September chapter meeting was also our induction ceremony. We had the Director of Agriculture at Convoy of Hope come to speak about the research process and how undergraduate research can be applied to real-life situations. We also went through the details of applying for the research awards through the National Office. A checklist was handed out to members to help guide them in beginning their research and to encourage as many members to turn in proposals as possible. At the November chapter meeting, we opened up T-shirt designs to the chapter with hopes of fundraising. We talked through National Convention and gaged the interest level. Our chapter president gave a presentation about the research she did this summer at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. Our December chapter meeting consisted of a Christmas party at our advisor’s home. We did a white-elephant gift exchange, and it was a fun time for all. At our January chapter meeting, we handed out a calendar for the first half of the second semester. One of our members gave a poster presentation about the research she conducted through her summer internship at the University of Michigan. We took a chapter photo at our February meeting and went through final details for convention. We did not have a March chapter meeting, but we communicated heavily through email as deadlines for convention approached. Our April chapter meeting will consist of sharing about National Convention, presentations from the three groups that presented at convention, the announcement of new officers, and the passing out of graduation cords.
Beta Eta has participated in many local activities within our campus and the community. On our campus, we had a booth at the Club & Organization Fair the first week of classes where we were able to increase awareness of Sigma Zeta on our campus and recruit potential members. We sponsored a Chili-Cook Off Fundraiser among our department faculty and staff which was open campus-wide to students and faculty, increasing awareness of Beta Eta on our campus. Additionally, we cooperated with Kappa Mu Epsilon, Evangel’s Math Honor Society, in a Pi Day Fundraiser. We sold cream pies to students who had the opportunity to pie six of their favorite department professors and our university Provost. In our community, Beta Eta, along with Evangel’s Pre-Healthcare Society, co-hosted our semi-annual University Blood Drive. The two blood drives were open to the community and facilitated by Springfield’s Community Blood Center. In addition, Beta Eta members volunteered and served as judges for the Ozark Science and Engineering Fair. We enjoy being able to give back to our local community.
We have been recognized by the following groups on our campus and in our community: • Kappa Mu Epsilon: Pi Day Fundraiser • Evangel's Pre-Healthcare Society: Blood Drive • Springfield Community Blood Center: Blood Drive • Convoy of Hope: Speaker & Research • Dickerson Park Zoo: Research
We had the Director of Agriculture for Convoy of Hope speak at our October meeting where he discussed the research process and the importance of the application of our research. Some of our members did research that will be used by Convoy and implemented in developing countries like Haiti in hope to better their agriculture. This group will be presenting their progress at convention titled the Effects of urine and biochar on the emergence and biomass of cow pea. Another research group from our chapter is working alongside Dickerson Park Zoo. Their presentation is entitled Developing Partnerships for Research: The stakeholder tightrope. A third research group is working in collaboration with Dr. Robert White at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Dr. White came to our university and gave a presentation of his research to our interested members this past fall.
This year we created a new officer position called the Vice President of Research Extension and Outreach. This position focuses on collaborating with outside resources and application of our findings. Our officer was able to contact Convoy of Hope, a non-profit humanitarian organization that distributes food, water, additional resources, and help internationally to areas in need. Our officer also reached out to Sustain Hope, an organization that focuses on international community development. This is a position we hope to develop more in the recent years to come.
Six students and one faculty members will be attending National Convention. This is double the number of participants we have had the last couple of years.
Beta Eta will have three groups presenting, two of which were awarded Sigma Zeta grants. • Joel Manzi & Rachel Baines (Poster Presentation): Determination of the Crystal Structure and Kinetics of the Human Airway Trypsin-like Protease • Quinton Barnes & Cheyenne Parker (Oral Presentation): Developing Partnerships for Research: The stake holder tightrope • Maria Donnay (Oral Presentation): Effects of urine and biochar on the emergence and biomass of cow pea
Beta Eta has been in good contact with the National Chapter throughout the year. Forms submitted by their deadline include: Chapter Officer List Report Form, New Members Report Form, Student Research Award Form, Convention Chapter Registration, Presentation Abstract Submission Form, and Travel Reimbursement Request Form. We will also be submitting our Chapter Annual Report Form at the end of the year. We have also expressed interest via email in hosting National Convention possibly in 2018 or 2019.
Beta Eta is working on reaching out and recruiting new chapters, specifically Drury University (Springfield, MO).
Beta Eta set up an event with Gamma Kappa (Southwest Baptist University) for an inter-chapter social that was called Grand Challenge Conversation - A Round Table Discussion on Sustainability. We loved that the event tied in this year’s theme. However, communication fell through and a date was not set, so unfortunately this event never happened.
We reached out to Gamma Kappa, but the event did not end up working out. We would like to work on developing a relationship with their chapter in the future.
We have on average three meetings a month. At two of these meetings we have 5 officers there – our President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and University Student Government Senator – our two faculty advisors, and all other members are invited. These meetings often have events and activities, such as those described below, and Marian University Math and Science faculty are free to attend, as their experience and expertise may make those activities and the discussions more thought-provoking. If our meeting is partnered with other organizations, interested members of the other organization are also present. The other monthly meeting is officer-only, though members who are interested in officer roles can come to certain meetings.
We’ve had events partnering with faculty, from other universities and our own, giving presentations on topics ranging from novel drug discovery to the chemistry of beer-making. We’ve hosted speakers and panels from outside universities and our own that inform students on possible graduate career choices, from medical school to research programs to how to effectively join the workforce. We also often use the resources of our medical school to provide useful information and host activities for prospective medical students. We’ve had plenty of fun activities that can be as simple as an ice-cream social, where the ice cream is made from raw ingredients and liquid N¬2, and fun events that help our community, like hunkering down in an officer’s house or classroom and writing get-well cards to children at St. Jude’s hospital. We take great joy in service opportunities that engage members with the community and help its inhabitants. This includes: volunteering for our university to serve in the annual Gala, which benefits our university tremendously and honors graduating seniors from all university departments; volunteering to clean up our Eco-Lab and the campus, an effort that aids our environment and rids it of land pollution; volunteering to aid staff in science fairs, competitions, and events like Celebrate Science Indiana, the Central Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair hosted by Marian University, the Hoosier Annual Science and Engineering Fair hosted by IUPUI, and the Louis Stokes Midwest Center for Excellence convention hosted by Butler University; we also encourage all of our members to actively pursue other volunteering options that are hosted by other organizations off and on campus.
Our group has partnered with several on-campus groups, both to aid their projects and for aid in our own. These groups include sustainability clubs, crafting clubs, peace and justice clubs, and educational clubs (e.g. political science, emergency medicine, etc).
As stated in 1B, we love working with outside speakers, faculty, and locations. We believe that exposing our members to as much of the Indianapolis community and academic world brightens their horizons and opens their minds to new ideas. We’ve utilized a tour of the local brewery Sun King as an addition to the beer-making presentation (of course, only members 21 and older were allowed to attend, and we always emphasize safe drinking practices). We participated in the 2nd annual Eco-Summit for the second time at IUPUI. We’ve had a multitude of speakers come from various universities and programs such as the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED, Indiana University - Bloomington, and University of Indianapolis, as well as our own medical school and college faculty.
Our chapter utilizes our university CANVAS client software to easily notify them when an event is coming up. It also allows officers to keep track of member activity, which expedites many vital chapter processes. We can inform members when their participation is not high and work with them to become more involved. We can honor individuals who have great participation.
We have 5 members presenting 2 papers at the convention. 4 of our members banded together to present their research on ROS triggering mitochondrial biogenesis, and another member flew solo to present her research on the antibacterial effects of rose Bengal and green light.
We file all necessary paperwork, answer email, and communicate diligently with the National Chapter.