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November 13, 2006
Media Contacts: Charles Blackburn, 800-243-6534 or 919-549-4691
Ann Williams, 919-843-4833
Ann Houston Williams Elected President of Sigma Xi
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Ann Houston Williams, field studies coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Human Studies Division in Chapel Hill, has been elected president of Sigma Xi, the international honor society of science and engineering. Her election came earlier this month at the society’s annual meeting and student research conference, held this year in Detroit.
Williams will succeed James Porter of the University of Georgia as Sigma Xi president in July 2008. A 31-year member of the honor society, she has served as a chapter officer, on the society’s board of directors and on the Sigma Xi staff as director of chapter programs.
A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Williams has a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in biological sciences from Duke University and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her doctoral research involved an experimental study of a coral reef community in Jamaica.
After teaching at Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) in Memphis, Tenn., she became head of Auburn University’s marine biology program and served as secretary of the Alabama Academy of Science. In 1990, she and her husband returned to North Carolina, where she joined the staff of Sigma Xi in Research Triangle Park.
A past president of the N.C. Academy of Sciences, Williams became project director for the Carolina Mammography Registry at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1999. She assumed her current position with the EPA in 2002.
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi has about 60,000 members and more than 500 chapters in North America and overseas. The society publishes award-winning American Scientist magazine and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering. More than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize.