Biology Education Success Teams (BEST)

B.E.S.T. is a first year learning community designed for incoming freshmen in the Biology major. The activities and opportunities are intended to engage students socially and academically. We hope after participation in B.E.S.T., students will feel a strong connection to the Biology Program, more comfortable approaching and interacting with faculty and staff, know and utilize ISU resources, and be academically successful.

Upperclassman peer mentors provide advice and direction, and are involved in leadingactivities in the Biology orientation course. Our social program increases opportunities for interaction between students, faculty and staff at picnics, dinners and events.

Students are encouraged to participate in our service-learning component, the Skunk River Navy (SRN). The SRN does community service in the form of environmental improvement and is directly tied in with biodiversity education in the BIOL 211 course. Students interact with faculty, staff, graduate students, members of the Iowa DNR, and concerned citizens in this endeavor.

Freshmen are also provided the option of enrolling in a biologically-themed communication course (ENGL 150 or 250) for the fall semester.


How to sign up

Sign up for the learning community takes place at summer orientation for incoming freshmen who are ISU Biology students.



Lauren Ramos,, 515-294-1068, 105A Bessey Hall


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