Student Committee Builds Community Spirit Among Biology Majors

By Elizabeth Jacobsen ’16

It’s an exciting time to be a biology major.

This year the Biology Majors Advising Committee (BMAC) is redefining what it means to be a Biology major or prospective Biology major at Williams. BMAC hopes to build a unique sense of community among those interested in biology through an academic year of biology-related social events.

BMAC is a group of eight junior and senior biology majors who work with both students and faculty to ensure students are getting the tools they need to be successful biology majors. Their duties include direct advising of students considering the major, assisting with the hiring process for new professors, and organizing social events to build a sense of community. Many departments have advising committees with similar duties, but the collaborative nature of scientific work makes these especially strong in the science departments.

This year, BMAC is placing a special emphasis on building community through social events and enthusiasm. To help keep track of events, they have set up a Facebook group and have created a point reward system called BASH: Biology’s Awesome Scavenger Hunt. Students who attend biology-related events—or who show the most enthusiasm—will receive points. The student with the most points at the end of each semester and Winter Study will receive a laser-cut trophy and a spot in the display case.

The intensive focus on community this year is intended to create a sense of pride for biologists, and give students a space discuss ideas with others who share their interests. Questions BMAC can address include: How much work is Genetics? What are the pros and cons of writing a thesis? How can I buy a biology T-shirt? What do you find so interesting about cellular respiration? Are you free on Tuesday evenings and want to study together?

Now is the perfect time to gain access to the immense resource of your peers—and have fun while doing it.

Here are some of the regular events BMAC will be hosting throughout the year:

BMAC Snacks  All are welcome to join for a study break every Wednesday at 8:30pm. At special advising snacks sessions, students can ask upperclassmen questions about theses, concentrations, or courses.

BASH – Check the Facebook page or Biology listerv for updates on activities.

Social Events These will range from mixers to volleyball games to movie nights.

Academic Events – The Biology Department holds colloquia, Senior Thesis talks, and other academic events weekly throughout the semester, typically Fridays in TBL 112 at 1:10. These are great opportunities to get a sense of the kind of research students and scientists are doing.

Above image: BMAC. From left to right, back row: Jacob Kim ’16, Candice Dyce ’17, Elizabeth Jacobsen ’16, Aubrey Kenefick ’16, Katie Bennett ’16. From left to right, front row: Joyce Lee ’17, Kiki Landers ’16, Roya Huang ’17. Photo by Alexander Meyer.