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Sigma Xi Members in the News for September 2008

Four Sigma Xi members were among those to receive 2008 awards from the Entomological Society of America. Tiffany M. Heng-Moss (SX 1996) won the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching. Consuelo M. De Moraes (SX 1996) won the Early Career Innovation Award. David R. Coyle (SX 2003) won the Student Activity Award. And Preston Brown (SX 2007) won the Student Certification Award.

Four Sigma Xi members were among the 25 MacArthur fellows announced September 23 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation:

Andrea Ghez (SX 2000) is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California at Los Angeles. Her work has opened important windows of galactic observation by overcoming previous limitations of ground-based instruments.

John Ochsendorf (SX 1998) is an associate professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a structural engineer and architectural historian who works to preserve historic structures and to reinterpret ancient technologies for contemporary use.

Adam Riess (SX 1992) is a professor of physics and astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University. His observations are taking us to the edge of the universe, telling the story of both its beginning and its end.

Marin Soljacic (SX 1997) is an assistant professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work on several aspects of electromagnetic waves holds implications for understanding fundamental principles of optical physics and for developing devices like switches for optical computers and wireless power transmitters.

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.

Grace Ann Spatafora (SX 1982) in the Department of Biology at Middlebury College has been elected to the Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering.

Stephen Henderson Scheck (SX 1979), dean of liberal arts and sciences at Western Oregon University, will receive an alumni achievement award from the Fort Hays State University Alumni Association for his outstanding, unselfish contributions in service to the community both through his career and through philanthropy.

Robert Boily (SX 2005) has been invested as a Knight of the Order of the Pleiade by the Parliamentary Assembly of French-Speaking Nations, an international institution representing more than 40 countries and regions. The official presentation ceremony was held July 5, 2008 at the Frontenac Castle, in Quebec City, in the presence of dignitaries from Canada, the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia. The honor was given for distinguished contributions to the development of a scientific culture in the society. Later this fall, Boily will receive Sigma Xi's 2008 John P. McGovern Science and Society Award at the Society's annual meeting.

Marten denBoer (SX 1982) has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Cal Poly Pomona (formally California State Polytechnic University Pomona).

Peter Salovey (SX 1985) has been named provost of Yale University effective October 1.

Sigma Xi Members in the News for August 2008

William A. Tramontano (SX 1979) has been named Brooklyn College’s new provost and vice-president for academic affairs.

William "Bud" Baeslack (SX 1999) has been appointed provost at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He currently serves as dean of engineering at Ohio State University.

Allen Sessoms (SX 1968) has been named president of the University of the District of Columbia. He currently serves as the president of Delaware State University.

Jan Yarrison-Rice (SX 1991), professor of physics, has been named Miami University's Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year for 2008. Her research focuses on the physics of nanostructures, investigating the fabrication and optical characterization of nanostructures and devices.

Michael P. Toglia (SX 1977) will retire August 31 after 30 years on the faculty of SUNY Cortland. He is considered to be at the forefront of research in the fields of human cognition and information processing. Toglia will earn the designation of professor emeritus of psychology. He plans to move to Jacksonville, Florida, where he will chair the Psychology Department at the University of North Florida.

Jeffrey Scott Vitter (SX 1983) has been named provost and executive vice president for academics at Texas A&M University.

Sigma Xi Members in the News for July 2008

Robotic pioneer Yoky Matsuoka (SX 2001) at the University of Washington in Seattle was the subject of a recent NOVA episode on public television. She is a leading researcher in neurobotics, an emerging field that combines neuroscience with building robots. Her lab is working to develop advanced artificial hands and other body parts that will one day use signals directly from the brain to enhance the motor skills of those who have suffered amputation, spinal cord damage and other traumatic injuries.

In the July/August issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, veteran science reporter Cristine Russell (SX 1987) lays out a strategy for deciphering the exceedingly complex subject of global climate change, in terms of what is happening, what will happen and what to do about it. Her feature is accompanied by a Web-only sidebar with links to "all the climate sites journalists need to know."

Christopher John Rourk (SX 1992) has been elected president of the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth. It's mission is to strengthen U.S.-Japan relations and encourage international understanding in the region.

Wanqiu Hou (SX 2007) in the Deptartment of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University has been recognized by the Cambridge Who's Who Executive, Professional and Entrepreneurial Registry for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in all aspects of scientific research.

Stephen H. Cobb (SX 1988) has been named dean of the College of Science, Engineering & Technology at Murray State University.

Send items for Sigma Xi Members in the News to Charles Blackburn at cblackburn@sigmaxi.org

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