SWOSU Biology Students and Tri Beta Chapter Earn Awards

Tri Beta Awards

SWOSU’s Tri Beta Chapter was awarded the Outstanding Chapter for District 1 of the South Central Region. Accepting were (front from left): Bradley Burke, Moore; Mazie Earl, Sentinel; Rukajat Idris, Weatherford; Brendon Hines,  Woodward; Ashna Dhoonmoon, Mauritius, East Africa; Lindsey Hendricks, Cordell; Southcentral District I Director Dr. Terry Cluck; Tyler Mitchum, Minco; Rebecca Gaglia, Shawnee; Melanie Knisley, Elk City; Allison Statton, Oklahoma City (PC); and Tosha Williams, Mustang.  Also in attendance but not pictured are Ashley Powers of Loco and Dr. Andrea Holgado, chair of the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences.


Five Southwestern Oklahoma State University biology students in Weatherford recently won regional honors at the 2016 Beta Beta Beta (National Biological Honor Society) South Central Regional Convention held at Mt. Lebanon, Cedar Hills (TX).

Nineteen universities from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas sent students to the annual regional convention.

SWOSU’s Ashna Dhoonmoon of Mauritius, East Africa, and Tosha Williams of Mustang won third place for Outstanding Poster Presentations; Ashley Powers of Loco and Tyler Mitchum of Minco won third place for Outstanding Oral Presentations; and Rebecca Gaglia of Shawnee won first place in the Outstanding Graduate Student competition.

Dhoonmoon’s presentation was “Cost of Courtship: Effect of Male-male Competition on Harm Experienced by Females in Hyalella Amphipods.” Her mentor for the work was SWOSU  Department of Biological Sciences Assistant Professor Dr. Rickey Cothran.

Williams’s presentation was “The Effects of VSM-1 Expression in Mitochondrial Localization in C.elegans.” Her mentor was Dr. Andrea Holgado, chair of the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences.

Power’s presentation was “Autophagy and BEC-1 play an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous system.” Her mentor was Holgado.

Mitchum’s presentation was “Induced Autophagy and Lanthionine Ketimine Show a Neuroprotective Role in C. elegans.” His mentor was Holgado.

Gaglia’s presentation was “Manipulation of Autophagy Increases Axonal Development and Function.” Her mentor was Holgado.

SWOSU’s Delta Sigma chapter was awarded Outstanding Chapter for District 1 of the South Central Region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Holgado said the Delta Sigma chapter dedicates these awards to the memory of Dr. Gary Wolgamott, a pioneer and strong supporter of the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society and the SWOSU Delta Sigma chapter.