Biology Student Information

Student conducting experiment biology


Our faculty strive to nurture an appreciation for basic research. All biology students at Rockhurst are encouraged to become involved in a research project, either independent or faculty directed. Furthermore, all majors are required to take the course Introduction to Research.

Please visit our faculty page for information on specific research projects with which our faculty are actively involved.

Freshmen in Science

  • The Benefits of the FIS program
  • Student Centered Courses & Faculty
  • Academic Advising
  • Supplemental Instruction Tutors
  • Coordinated Exam Dates
  • Science Service Projects
  • Master Calendar
  • Social Activities

Freshmen in Science Seminar (FIS)
This seminar is designed to increase students' success in the sciences. Some activities are designed to help students become familiar with the faculty and each other; others instruct the student in practical subjects such as course selection, studying science and time management.  Weekly journal entries help faculty stay in contact with the students. The journals tell us when students are doing well or struggling, either in the sciences or just in coping with their first year of college.

Freshmen in Science Faculty
Faculty meet weekly to discuss alterations or additions to the seminar experience. We are constantly seeking new ways to help students succeed in the sciences. We evaluate the success or failure in the curriculum, based largely on the feedback given to us by students taking the course.

Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society Pi Epsilon
Tri-beta was founded in 1922 by Dr. Frank G. Brooks and a group of his students at Oklahoma City University. The original intent of the organization was to create an honor and professional society for biology students. This idea took hold, and by 1925 a national organization was founded.

In the Pi Epsilon chapter of Beta Beta Beta, we maintain the intents and purposes of the national organization through yearly inductions of new members, regular meetings, and frequent fun nights and activities. Most of all we stress the importance of member participation. Visit the national Tri-beta organization for more information.

Field Trip
All biology students have the opportunity to participate in an annual 10-day ecology field trip which rotates between the following sites: desert southwest (including the Grand Canyon), montane biology (including Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons), temperate deciduous forests (including the Smoky Mountains) and coastal biology (including the Everglades and the Keys of Florida).

Barbara Wynne Award (Given to the Outstanding Biology Student)
Barbara Wynne was a young woman who graduated from Rockhurst in 1980 with a major in Biology. Immediately after graduation she went to work for Marion Laboratories (now Hoechst, Marion, Roussel), where after a short period of time she became involved with protocol writing for drugs and directing the human subjects testing with medical personnel around the country. It was on a trip to West Virginia to check on one of these studies that she was tragically killed in an automobile accident, when, typical of Barbara, she swerved to avoid hitting an animal.

As an undergraduate, Barbara was one of the truly talented students to graduate from the College. She was working on her master's degree at the time of her death. More importantly, Barbara was an amazingly giving and caring human being. She tutored her friends and acquaintances. She willingly gave of herself. She worked with pre-collegiate students, and actively helped with various departmental outreach projects. She was both a brilliant student and a very altruistic woman.

Barbara's parents established a memorial in her honor, and each year the department selects one or more outstanding biology students as recipients of the Barbara Wynne Memorial Award.

The Department gives the award very carefully, and in fact chooses not to award it in some years, unless a truly deserving student is evident. The basic criteria for selection are that the student be like Barbara herself, a combination of being both a scholar and a giver to others. The faculty of the department meet and choose the awardee(s); a consensus is required for selection. The award is announced at the University's Annual Honors and Awards Day in the spring of the year. The awardee receives some token of appreciation from the faculty (most commonly an appropriate book), a personal plaque, and has their name inscribed permanently on the plaques on display in the Biology Department. For more information please contact the Chair of the Biology Department.

1990-Jennifer Doll
1991-Christy Parham
1992-Michael Talken
1993- Leigh Raymond
1994-Norm Banber, Angie Edminston and Maureen Maceluch
1995-Angela Ellebracht, Riza Ernest and Christa West
1996-Melanie Allen, Jennifer Huesing and Melissa Martinez
1997-Brian Freund and Christa Sweeney
1999-Laurie Kertz and Jessica Stoltz
2000-Adria Edwards
2001-Lindy Huntington and Sheena Gleason
2002-Laura Dun
2003-Faith Mompati and Andrea Winemiller
2004-Vivian Fongue, Becky Wimbish and Frida Arrey
2005-Stephanie Bui
2006-Gretchen Dunford
2007-Natalie Kurowski and Liana Wages

Our graduates have been very successful in finding careers after graduation. Below is just a partial list of employment opportunities our graduates have chosen.

Pharmaceutical companies: Hoechst, Marion and Roussel
Research Institutions; Midwest Research Institute;
Scientific Instrumentations Companies; Labconco Hospitals

For more information on career opportunities for our graduates, please contact the Career Services.

Internships/Practicums/Fieldwork Sites
Rockhurst biology students have participated in a wide variety of summer programs, including (but in no way limited to)

  • Belize, Central America
  • The White Mountains of New Hampshire
  • Woods Hole Research Laboratory
  • Gulf Coast Marine Station
  • UMKC Chemistry Department
  • Kansas University Biology Department as well as on the Rockhurst Campus.

Please contact Career Services for a complete list of opportunities.

Post-Graduate Educational Opportunities

Graduate Schools
Stanford, Cornell, Princeton, Harvard, Iowa State, University of Kansas, KU Medical Center, Oklahoma State, UC-Berkeley, UCLA, UC- Davis, Michigan State, Johns Hopkins, University of Missouri-Columbia, Saint Louis University and Creighton University

Medical Schools
University of Kansas, University of Missouri-Columbia, Loyola University of Chicago, University of Colorado, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Georgetown University, Saint Louis University and Creighton University.

Other Professional Schools
Rockhurst University College of Health and Human Services, University of Nebraska - Omaha Physician's Assistant Program, as well as area dental and veterinarian schools,

Missouri Academy of Sciences
The Academy strives to promote the advancement of science in "any and all ways which prove feasible," to professionals and public audiences.