Biology Club ‘Mitochondria’ Under New Leadership This Year

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Like the powerhouse of the cell, the University of Indianapolis’s student biology club, Mitochondria, has been re-energized for the future under its new president, freshman biology major Reese Hoover. According to Hoover, Assistant Professor of Biology Mary Gobbett asked if she would be interested in taking on the role.

“I work for Mary Gobbett … and she came up to me one day and was like, ‘Hey, all of our leaders are leaving, and I think you’d be a good fit, so would you be interested in this?’And I was like, ‘Yeah, of course,’” Hoover said.


According to Hoover, UIndy offered a weekend class for biology students to help get them acquainted with college life. Particularly, Hoover said she is interested in environmental conservatism and was able to take a class on ecology.

“I did enjoy learning about all the species and their ancestry and how evolution has impacted them,” Hoover said. “I thought it was really interesting. It wasn’t hard for me to study that class because I liked it.”

According to biology major and Vice President of the club Sami Trahan, Hoover then reached out to her and others to see if they would like to be involved in the club. Trahan and Hoover work closely together, Trahan said, and plan the events the club hosts.

“I thought it would be good opportunity to get to know other people and try to recruit them for our club,” Trahan said. “We really want to help, especially biology majors. I know I would have liked help when I was a freshman. I think it’s good to have some type of collective for everybody.”

Trahan said she would like to see Mitochondria host talks or lectures that focus on what interests students. Both Hoover and Trahan said they are currently pre-med students, with the plan of attending medical school after they graduate from UIndy.

Hoover and Trahan said they plan to focus on hosting possible L/P credit talks with science professors, alongside social events such as their plant sale tradition and tote bag decorating. Trahan said during the 2024 total solar eclipse, the club held cookie decorating and mini-golf activities.

“We have some stuff planned for each month, we definitely want to meet each month, as a collective, to [find out] what people want to do,” Trahan said.

According to Hoover, Mitochondria has a live mascot, a frog named Marie. Named after Marie Curie, she belongs to Assistant Professor of Biology Greg Weber, and currently lives in the basement of Lilly Science Hall with her frog sisters.

“Our plan for the RSO fair, especially for freshmen, we’re going to use her as our little draw to our club and then we’re gonna try to encourage people to join no matter their major,” Hoover said. 

Trahan said being able to meet and socialize with other majors is beneficial to biology students. Mitochondria is also planning to collaborate with the chemistry club, so the club is open to students of all academic backgrounds. 

“But I think that would just be a fun club even if you’re not a biology major, or if you’re at least a little bit interested in biology,” Trahan said. “I think it would be really interesting to see what kind of things we’ll have planned especially with the chemistry club, and activities and things people may not know too much about certain things can get to learn.”

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