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About Sigma Xi » Leadership » Past Presidents » Colwell

Rita R. Colwell
University of Washington, 1991-92

Rita R. Colwell is director of the National Science Foundation and former professor of microbiology and president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. She was 1991-92 president of Sigma Xi and is past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Having earned a B.S. degree in bacteriology and M.S. in genetics at Purdue University, Colwell completed her Ph.D. in marine microbiology at the University of Washington. She has been a guest scientist at the National Research Council of Canada and has served as vice president for academic affairs for the University of Maryland system. A past president of the American Society of Microbiology, Colwell is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and of the AAAS and has served as a member of the National Science Board.


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