Jacksonville University recently welcomed the Marine Science and Atmospheric Honor Society Rho Rho Rho to its campus. JU is home to the Gamma chapter, becoming only the third establishment.
Junior marine science major, Founder and President of Rho Rho Rho, Brett Durda, had a simple vision for the organization.
“I want to give students the chance to grow and prosper whether they be a freshmen or a senior,” Durda said.
Durda initially contacted the Alpha Chapter at the University of Miami, home of the Rho Rho Rho headquarters, and the Beta chapter at Nova Southeastern University about beginning a chapter.
Durda, also a member of ECO/SOS and Beta Beta Beta, the biology honor society, wanted an environment where marine science students could flourish.
“We are committed to academic excellence as well as excelling in the community,” Durda said.
As president, Durda is joined by faculty advisor Dan McCarthy, Vice President Vincent Domena, Secretary Krystal Dannenhoffer and Public Relations Representative Alexander Traversa. Together they intend to work towards taking the honor society to a prestigious level. To date, Rho Rho Rho has 24 members. In order to become an initiate, one must first complete a year as a probationary member. Upon completion of that year, members have the chance to become initiated and attain a full membership. The first initiate class will be in August 2013.
Part of being a member is the pursuit of marine science excellence. That does not mean just achieving good grades and attending class regularly, it also means giving back. Rho Rho Rho has participated in community projects, river clean ups and the Right Whale Festival, as well as hosting an Ocean Awareness week. As a group, Rho Rho Rho partners with ECO/SOS and Dolphin Divers, the university diving club, for multiple projects.
Along with assisting other on-campus organizations, Rho Rho Rho plans to help at local fishing tournaments, as well as other marine events in the Jacksonville area.
“We’re not here doing this for ourselves,” Durda said. “We’re doing it for the environment and for the people.”