Triple-major Alex Bias makes the most of her time at OSU
Monday, December 12, 2022
Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 | firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not every day that you meet a student like Alexandra Bias.
Whether it be research, student government, Greek life or service, Bias exhibited her motivation to become involved as an undergraduate student. She holds the prestigious titles of Goldwater Scholar, Niblack Research Scholar and W.W. Allen Scholar.
Bias was raised in Orlando, Florida, and though she’s from over 1,200 miles away, she was no stranger to Stillwater. Her parents both attended OSU and Bias grew up as a member of the Cowboy family. She ultimately decided to follow in the footsteps of her parents.
“This always felt like a home away from home, but I did look at a lot of different options across the country and really I don’t know how anyone can come visit OSU without falling in love,” Bias said. “It’s such a home and OSU does a really good job at creating that environment.”
The people in Stillwater made an impression on Bias when she would visit. As a high school senior, an interaction with an Eskimo Joe’s employee stuck out to her.
“The cashier spoke to me and was like, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ and that doesn’t happen in other places,” Bias said. “People here really care about who you are and they want to know how you are doing.”
Bias began as a chemical engineering major and a mathematics minor. Her love for math attracted her to the minor, yet she quickly realized that with only five additional classes, she could major in the subject. Political science came into the equation for Bias after going home in the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 quarantine period.
She was able to pair prerequisites completed back in high school with course credits she obtained while attending nearby Florida Atlantic University in the summer of 2020 to make a noticeable stride toward a degree in political science.
Bias was quick to get involved as a freshman. She was a part of the President’s Leadership Council, Junior Greek Life and Freshman Representative Council. She also pledged as a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. Bias remains active in Tri Delta and has held leadership positions such as diversity chair, engineering homecoming director and director of financial operations. Her leadership experiences helped her earn election as 2021-2022 student body vice president.
In her time at OSU, Bias has also been involved in Alpha Phi Omega. This national service fraternity was rechartered at OSU by Bias’ parents in 1995. Her parents met as members of the organization at the University of Central Florida. After marriage, the two moved to Stillwater as Bias’ mother finished her bachelor’s degree and her father obtained his master’s degree.
The couple soon realized that there used to be an APO chapter at OSU and decided to bring the chapter back on campus. Bias grew up witnessing the lifelong friendships made between her parents and other members of the organization.
“I was certainly the only Oklahoma State fan I knew in Orlando growing up,” Bias said. “But every time I got to go visit those family friends, I got to see firsthand the Cowboy pride and family that OSU gives you.”
As a member of the organization, Bias has been able to carry on duties that were reignited by her parents. She enjoys completing hands-on service through the organization. Another way that Bias has been able to get that experience is through research.
As a high school junior, she became passionate about research. She has worked in four labs during her time at OSU. Most recently, Bias worked in a lab on computational chemistry alongside Dr. Christopher Fennell, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry.
Fennell has been at OSU since 2013 and has known Bias since the fall of 2020. She went to Fennell as an undergraduate student in search of research opportunities. Fennell noted the significance of Bias’ willingness and drive to get involved in research early on in her college career. Fennell described Bias as intelligent, adaptable and ambitious.
“Computational chemistry is usually something students may get involved with in a class later on,” Fennell said. “She was able to pick this up right away.”
Bias’ research within the College of Arts and Sciences assisted her in being named OSU’s 30th Goldwater Scholar. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is a prestigious award that was established by Congress in 1986 to further assist future generations of researchers. Out of 1,242 applicants and 433 institutions, Bias was selected as a recipient. The Goldwater Scholarship opens many doors to Bias as a researcher.
She first applied at the institutional level. Bias was then selected to attend a retreat in Taos, New Mexico, funded by OSU. Bias and her fellow OSU students who were selected to apply at the national level spent a few days working on applications. She was able to receive help and feedback from previous Goldwater Scholars or other members of OSU staff.
“I don’t think I would have been competitive for the scholarship if I would not have had that,” Bias said. “I think that is why Oklahoma State historically has such a good record of Goldwater Scholars.”
After graduation in the spring of 2023, Bias plans to attend the University of Cambridge on behalf of her W.W. Allen Scholarship. Bias will spend one year at Cambridge and become a Master of Philosophy. She plans to let her time abroad determine what the next steps in her career will be.
To utilize her three majors, Bias said that she would like to look at the way foreign policy is made through a lens with math and science. The idea of law school was mentioned, but Bias said she may just do research forever because of her love for it.
Most of Bias’ research has been completed through CAS. She said that the college has paired her with amazing faculty members to assist in her academics and research.
“They are so supportive, which is typical of the Cowboy family,” Bias said. “The professors are there for me as a human first and as a student second.”
Story By: Kalynn Schwandt, CAS graduate assistant | email@example.com