Marian University Hosts 2017 Sigma Zeta National Chapter Annual Convention

by Susan Sullivan | Mar 29, 2017

About 170 students and faculty representing colleges and universities from across the United States visited Marian University March 23-25 for the 2017 Sigma Zeta National Chapter Annual Convention.

Sigma Zeta is a national honor society for undergraduate students majoring in the natural sciences, computer sciences, or mathematics.

The 2017 convention was hosted by Marian University’s Gamma Eta chapter, which has nearly 60 members and is one of the most active student organizations on campus.

Marian University students at Sigma Zeta convention

Attendees participated in a full slate of convention activities, including research presentations (both oral and poster sessions), executive council and committee meetings, a dinner banquet featuring keynote speaker and Marian University board member Raul Zavaleta, and an awards ceremony.

“Sigma Zeta’s national conference is an opportunity for students to share with and learn from their peers across the country,” explained Steve Dougherty, assistant professor of biology and one of two faculty advisors for Gamma Eta.

Convention participants included students from Campbellsville University, Stonehill College, Eureka College, Our Lady of the Lake University, Anderson University, Concordia College, Evangel University, Millikin University, Southwest Baptist University, University of Pikeville, Olivet College, Malone University, Bethel University, and the University of Indianapolis.

Marian University’s Gamma Eta chapter also hosted off-campus field trips to local attractions including the Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Social events featured a performance by a nationally recognized comedian.

Established in 2012, Gamma Eta was recognized by Sigma Zeta as the nation’s most active chapter in 2014 and was presented with the society’s Founders Cup in recognition of their efforts.

Students who become members of Gamma Eta participate in numerous activities. “We bring in outside speakers, provide opportunities for science outreach across campus and in the community, and encourage interdisciplinary student research,” Dougherty reports. “Many Gamma Eta members, especially those who are applying for graduate programs, use the experience as an integral component of their student portfolios.”

There are more than 80 Sigma Zeta chapters in the U.S. Members must have a minimum GPA of at least 3.00, both overall GPA as well as GPA in the sciences.

For more information about Marian University’s Sigma Zeta chapter, contact Assistant Professor Steve Dougherty at or Assistant Professor Joyce Horton at

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