The IB Honors Biology recruiting program is entering its fourth year. This is one of the most crucial times for us because our future depends on the success we have in recruiting top students.Obviously, this is a bit of a circular process. The students we want to attract look at the students we already have, at how they have done, at how enthusiastic they are, and at where they are going after they graduate.
In our first year, the "old" honors biology program was just ending, after a run of nearly 40 years. Without models to look at, the class graduating this year, 2009, really didn't have much to go on, other than the idea that this experience would be a really good one. In the second year, potential students were hearing that independent research was a reality, not just an experience to hope for, and that it was turning out to be really exciting. But there still wasn't much of a track record to show in all those other required courses... and still no history of grad and med school admissions.
By our third year, this one, there were enough "experienced" students around to offer encouragement, and it was beginning to look good for post-graduation success... overall GPAs were good, visibility of IB Honors students across the campus was good, and IB Honors TAs were identifying students from the IB150 sections they taught in other semesters. IB Honors RAs were recruiting. IB Honors TAs in Chemistry were recruiting. Students began finding us even without advertisements. Based on their experience with us, all the biology advisors have been more than helpful, pointing lots of good students our way and really working with the ones we have to get them where they need to go.
So far this year, nearly a dozen potential students, at least one who is still in high school, have come to see me. The class of 2009 has been applying to graduate and medical and pharmacy schools, and prospects look good. Professors have been telling me wonderful things about their research students, and coming to me asking if there are any others that they could have in their labs.
Things are looking good but, no, we are not there yet. So settle down back there; enjoy the view. We are not turning around and going home.
IBH students travel the world, publish research papers, and do all sorts of amazing things