Activity Ideas

The following were pulled from the Student Chapter Annual Reports.  While by no means a definitive list of ideas, these are merely suggestions meant to stimulate your own activities.  Contact information is included so you can discuss with the Faculty Advisor of the participating Chapter.


Boston Area Chapter

See directory contact information


We planned a Career Development Day that consisted of a Career Panel discussion with panelists representing intellectual property law, public health/clinical microbiology, scientific writing, teaching at an academic institution, and research at a biotechnology company.  Over 50 students and postdocs from over 5 institutions were in attendance. 

Encouraged attendance at the Northeast Branch Dinner and a Lecture series.

Brigham Young University

William R. McCleary, Ph.D.


Organized a trip to Yellowstone National Park to discuss thermophiles and for students to bond with faculty. Organized a fundraiser in order to buy mosquito nets in Africa. The event, a comedy night with local student and faculty comedians, raised about $700, allowing us to buy about 70 nets.


CA State University, Northridge

Dr. Larry Baresi


Attended ASM General Meeting in Philadelphia. Attended Southern California Branch meeting in San Diego. Brewery field trip to Anheuser-Busch and had 3 speakers


California State University – Chico

Gordon Wolfe and Larry Hanne


Research assistance to Dr. Wolfe, helped school kids prepare for science fair, took Dr. Parales to lunch, judged science fair, attended NC ASM meeting, toured local brewery, toured local clinical lab.


Clemson University

J. Michael Henson, Ph.D.


Our students participated with the Graduate Student Microbiology Society to present research posters. While we have separate undergraduate and graduate student chapters, they work together at times to enhance both chapters. The undergraduates also participate in the local branch meetings as time allows. I will work with them to become more involved in developing separate poster sessions and with organizing branch activities.


Drexel University, Temple University and University of Pennsylvania

Simon Knight


The three main activities that the student chapter is involved in are: 1. Choosing and hosting a speaker for the December EPA ASM Branch Meeting. 2. Organizing a series of “Career Roundtables” in which Ph.D.’s who are now in full time careers speak about their job and how they obtained it. Careers range from science writers, lawyers, biotech, etc. 3. Organize the one-day Philadelphia Infection and Immunity Forum, which includes three invited speakers, student and post doc speakers, and poster presentations


Eastern Michigan University

Dr. Daniel Clemans


Our club held regular meetings to discuss future events and fund-raising. At these meetings every member tells about their current and past research and tells how research is going. Students offer advice and can solicit help from their peers. Some events we planned for the upcoming semesters are: a group outing to a local brewery and sewage treatment plant, a guest speaker on infectious diseases, reaching out to a local charter middle school and teaching them how to properly use microscopes.


Howard University

Eribo Broderick and Agnes Day


Wade Bell, Chair Student Membership Committee at ASM, addressed a gathering of biology students at Howard University.


Iowa State University

Bryan Bellaire


In 2009, MGSO brought in two guest speakers from outside the Iowa State Community. MGSO also participated in various outreach activities. The group hosted interactive microbiology workshops with students of all ages. MGSO hosted a summer “Work in Progress” seminar series in which graduate students were able to present their current research progress in an informal setting. Lastly, MGSO hosted a student social gathering each semester.


James Madison University, Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University (and others) combined

Louise Temple


We had a ½ day Saturday meeting in April with lunch, poster session, prizes for best poster presentation (judged by participating faculty), business meeting, presentation by alumni of our colleges on their career paths so far and a key note presentation by Jeff Elhai, Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University (also a James Madison University alumni) on “Regaining our connection to reality in an age of overwhelming information”.


Juniata College

Dr. Boyle


Our chapter held presentations at the beginning of the school year for students to present their summer research. We helped at the ABASM conference that was held at Juniata in November. Finally, we held a fundraiser of the Giant Microbes and are sending our funds made to the Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund


Michigan Technological University

Dr. Susan Bagley


Served as the Student Chapter hosts for the Fall Meeting of the Michigan Branch (at Lake Superior State University), including helping with meeting/poster session set-up and organizing the student mixer. Participated in a youth science fair for local middle and high school students. Organized a booth during Bio Week and presented microbiological topics to the public and students.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

David J. Westenberg


A new event the Helix club started this year is geared toward increasing undergraduate involvement in research. They host “Open Lab” events in which department faculty open their lab for students and talk with the faculty and the students in their lab.


Oklahoma State University

Robert Miller


Yearly picnic with biochem dept. students to meet them and exchange ideas. We invited D. David Wood to speak at our departmental seminar. We held a welcome back cook-out at the beginning of the fall semester. We had a student poster session within the department.


Oregon State University

Dr. Linda Bruslind


Social event with microbiology fraternity


Penn State University

Philip Mohr


Ten ASM student members traveled to Atlanta to build houses with Habitat for Humanity for three days and to visit the CDC’s Global Health Odyssey Museum. Chapter members represented the Dept. at “Open House” and “Spend a Summer Day” events. The Chapter held two potluck dinners during the year.


Rutgers University

Max Haggblom


Organized poster session at Annual Theobald Smith Society (Branch) meeting. Invited and hosted seminar speaker at Rutgers.


South Dakota State University

Dr. Volker Brozel


Annual club trip to For Collins, Boulder and Denver, Colorado. Visited New Belgium Brewery, CSI lab, Museum of Natural History, etc (16 students attended). Seven students went to North Central Branch’s annual meeting.


St. Louis University

John Tavis, Ph.D.


We are planning on organizing activities with the Missouri Branch as well as touring a local microbiology business.


Texas Medical Center

Drs. Millicent Goldschmidt and Heidi Kaplan


Using monies from the ASM Student Chapter Support Program, ASM_TMC began a monthly seminar series to highlight microbiology research being conducted with the TMC as well as to showcase ways in which microbiology affects our daily lives.


Texas State University

Gary Aron


TSU Student Organization Fair


Texas Tech

Randall M. Jeter, Ph.D.


Held the Texas Tech University Association of Biologists (TTUAB) Graduate Forum, April 7, 2009.


University of California, Berkeley

Stephen Lindow


Organized annual local Microbiology meeting.


University of Georgia

Wendy A. Dustman


Participated as a team in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life campaign to raise funds and awareness for research activities to fight cancer. The team raised over $1000 to contribute to the charity


University of Hawaii

Dr. Hongwei Li


Participated in the judging of Microbiology Science Fair projects at the Annual Hawaii State Science Fair.


University of Houston – Downtown

Dr. Poonam Gulati


We hosted a “Wonders in Microbiology” symposium for high school students. Over 150 students from 5 area high schools attended the day long session. We had invited 3 speakers from UT Medical School and Baylor Medical, a panel session with undergraduate, graduate and medical students, and hands-on activities.


University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

Brenda Wilson and Steven Blanke


Our main activities were a weekly seminar and annual department research conference. Each week two students from different labs presented their work in a presentation format. We also organized the departmental annual conference. Members from the microbiology dept. join and participate in talks, discussions and poster sessions. At the conference, we also invited a keynote speaker from outside of campus. These student activities were carried out under faculty supervision.


University of Iowa

Michael Feiss


Chapter is active in fundraising to cover expenses to the National ASM meeting. The chapter also meets for dinner with faculty several times a semester.


University of Kansas

Scott Hefty


Started an online community group.


University of Maryland

Ann C. Smith



1. Faculty Panels – Invited University of Maryland Research Faculty in groups of 3 or so to present on their current research;

2. “Diagnostic Events” – Co-sponsored with the Campus Pre-Medical Society. These events are trivia games where a clinical case related to infectious disease is presented and students work in teams to find a solution – or diagnose a disease;

3. This chapter also sponsors an honorary society that has existed since the early 1940’s. Undergraduates who excel in microbiology are honored each year with induction into this honorary society (Sigma Alpha Omicron);

4. Each year the ASM officers’ co-host the Dept. of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics Awards Ceremony. Officers to help with refreshments. The ASM group also presents the inductees of the SAO honorary society to the faculty and initiates new officers at this event;

5. UM-ASM participates in the annual University of Maryland “Maryland Day” by providing informative posters for the booth “MAKE A MICROBE”. At this booth students in the general microbiology course, help visitors decorate buttons that reveal characteristics of “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria;

6. Gram Staining activity – Group sponsored a gram staining activity. Gram staining various bacterial cultures and capturing images. These images will be submitted to Microbe Library when the image database is back online;

7. Pizza making event – Members made pizza from scratch and discuss how yeast and other microorganisms are important to our health, diet and economy


University of Massachusetts, Amherst

James Holden


Toured Mascoma, Green River Ambrosia, Berkshire Brewing Company. Student program in Springfield, Massachusetts. Meetings are every month. We discuss research, conferences, papers, speakers, local events and opportunities.


University of Minnesota

Christian D. Mohr


Microbiology Club table at the College of Biological Sciences new student and parent orientations and other university outreach events.


University of Texas at El Paso

Rosa A. Maldonado


We stimulate the participation of the students with awards and serving food in all our meetings. We are constantly advertising the Chapter activities and carry out member recruitment. We hold fundraisers in order to send students to ABRCMS – this year we sent 4 students. We help with career development by holding workshops on subjects like curriculum development, interview skills and how to navigate job fairs. We also bring one or two recruiters from other universities to speak about graduate and summer programs, as well as other opportunities for minority students. Organized trips to wineries and have plans to tour a water purification plant. The members are actively involved in the local school’s science fair and we intend to increase participation and offer an award on behalf of the chapter. Graduating members wore a sash during the ceremony indicating their membership.


University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Dr. Jennifer Anthony


University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Microbiology Club has invited a number of recent graduates to discuss future careers in industry and how to survive in graduate school. We also had students from two local schools participate in a laboratory experience involving hand washing and the spread of bacteria. Members of the Microbiology Club toured a local brewery where the brewmaster provided an informal presentation on the brewing process. Finally, the club had a number of events including pizza parties and a lab coat tie-dyeing party to meet other students. We also designed a club T-Shirt describing the top 10 reasons to study microbiology.


University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

Bonnie Jo and Sue Bratini and Anglehart


We rose over $1400 at Bowl for Kids’ Sake – a Big Brothers/Big Sisters fundraiser. Rose over $170 in Penny Wars with Biology and Chemistry for Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund. Both NCUR and the ASM Branch meeting were at UWL in 2009 – volunteered with logistics for both Tie-Dye Party to tie-dye lab coats. Had an intramural softball team.


University of Wisconsin, Madison

Karen Wassarman


Fundraising activities, invite faculty to speak, tutoring for undergraduate micro. classes


Wayne State University

Jeffrey Ram and Judith Whittum-Hudson


Members of the student chapter participated in several campus-wide events where chapters and clubs recruited new members at the beginning of the Fall and Winter Semesters. Several members participated in a fund raising event in the Fall. Activities were planned for the entire semester and coming semester.