Student Organizations

The Illinois State Biology program has many ways for you to get involved not only with research, but with the community as well. These organizations exist so that students can learn and grow together during their time at the university.

See our webpage for upcoming events!

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BSSA is a Registered Student Organization open to any interested Biological Sciences majors.

How to join

Send an email to faculty advisors Dr. Tom Hammond or Dr. Bill Perry to get signed up!

For more information and to get involved see our chapter's website.

Visit our facebook page.

Phi Sigma Crest

Phi Sigma Society is a national non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of scholarship and research in the Biological Sciences. Our Chapter of Phi Sigma works closely within the School of Biological Science and is a sponsor of the weekly seminar series, the fall picnic, the holiday party, and the annual research symposium. We hold an annual grant competition to provide research funds to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Executive Board for 2020-2021 (academic year)

President: Austin Calhoun Email:

Vice President (and membership chair): Elyse McCormick Email:

Treasurer: Omid Zare-Mehrjerdi Email:

Social Chair: Cassidy Kessinger Email:

Secretary: Elliot Lusk Email:

Business Manager: Bryan Sierra-Rivera Email:


Graduate and undergraduate students must rank (or have ranked) in the upper 35 percent of their class in general scholarship.

Undergraduate students majoring in biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, or clinical laboratory science who have at least junior status (60 or more credit hours) with a GPA of 3.4 or above are eligible for membership. For more information see the national Phi Sigma website .

How to Join

Our Beta Lambda Chapter of Phi Sigma currently conducts two (one each during the fall and spring semesters) membership drives each year.

Spring membership drive is now until February 5th at 4:30pm
Initiation of new members will occur during the spring semester.  If you are interested, complete the Phi Sigma Membership Application Spring 2021.pdf.  Return the application with the $50 fee to a drop box outside the School of Biological Sciences Office, 210 Julian Hall or email to Elyse McCormick
$50 fee can be paid via Venmo (@PhiSigma-BetaLambda) or checks are accepted; checks must be made out to Phi Sigma Biological Society Beta Lambda Chapter.  

For more information contact the current vice president Elyse McCormick or check out the national website for Phi Sigma

Research Awards

Cheung/Brown Publication Award

Nick Rhoades

Robert Gray Ecology Scholarship

MS - Madi Rittinger

Undergraduate Researcher

Abe Martinez

Borst Scholarship

Kennadi LeDoux

Phi Sigma Awards - Outstanding Students

MS - Kylie Hampton, PhD - Maggie DeMaegd 

E.L. Mockford and C.F. Thompson Summer Research Fellowship Awards

MS - Josselyn Gonzalez and Elyse McCormick, PhD - Logan Sauers

R.D. Weigel Research Grant Recipient


Phi Sigma Travel Awards


Barb Bathe Award

Tim Linden


Krutil Patel


Not Awarded

Dr. Fred Gletten Memorial Scholarship

Jennifer Miller

Rilett Scholarship Awards Recipients

Not Awarded

Teaching Awards

Tak Cheung/Joni St. John General Education Teaching Assistant Awards

Outstanding Biology Lab Instructors:  Natalie Burrell, Jaclyn Everly, Laurel McGinnis, Liisi Vink-Lainas

Outstanding Biology Teaching Assistants

MS- Brad Smith, PhD-Ashley Waring

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

Rachel Eggleston

Charlena Wallen Award

Paige Farchmin

Service Awards

Jack Ward Service Award

Ashley Waring

Undergraduate Service Award

Amanda Klingler