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Haghighat accepted into biology program

Barry McNamara
April has been a busy time for Sahar Haghighat, a Monmouth College senior from Chicago.

Earlier this month, Haghighat interviewed on site for the University of Michigan’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program.

“This is an international competition, admitting only four students per year,” said MC faculty member, Mark Willhardt. “Sahar was flown up to Ann Arbor, along with students from across the U.S. and its territories, in order to interview for her position, and she was admitted into the program.”

The biology major traveled out of state a second time to discuss her senior research at the regional Beta Beta Beta meeting in Whitewater, Wis. Also known as TriBeta, BBB is the national honor society for biology students.

“Sahar began her ‘senior research’ when she was a sophomore,” said Kevin Baldwin, associate professor of biology, who reported that Haghighat brought home third place honors from the TriBeta competition. “She did an interesting study on the best way to eliminate a non-native invasive plant species from parts of the (college’s) LeSuer Nature Preserve.”

Following the removal of the species, Baldwin said Haghighat found “impressive increases in native biodiversity.”

Accompanying Haghighat to the TriBeta conference were associate biology professor Tim Tibbetts and two other students, sophomores Victoria Green of Pittsfield and Colleen Zumpf of Frankfort.

Green and Zumpf were also part of a four-student group that was inducted into Monmouth College’s Gammi Pi chapter of Beta Beta Beta. They were joined by Kendra Ricketts, a junior from Monmouth, and Taylor Koss, a sophomore from Manalpan, N.J.

The chapter is an active one, and it recently received the “Travel Gavel” award at the district convention for bringing the most delegates the greatest number of miles.