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University of Nebraska Chapter 2006 Award Winners

The UNL Chapter of Sigma Xi, the science and engineering honorary society, has announced the winners of its 2006 awards for outstanding research, outstanding science librarian, and for outstanding science teaching. Four individuals are being honored this year, including three UNL faculty members and one high school science teacher. The award winners will be recognized at Sigma Xiís Annual Awards and Initiation Banquet on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, at the Green Gateauís Windsor Stables Reception Center.

David J. Sellmyer, George Holmes University Professor of Physics and Director of the NRI Center for Material Research, has been selected for an Outstanding Scientist Award for his international distinction in the study of magnetic properties of solids. His research has ranged form the elucidation of the properties of permanent magnets, to highly novel multilayered structures of great importance, to the development of high-density recording media, to nanoscale magnetic systems. He will present a brief after-dinner talk at the Sigma Xi Banquet on his development of new and novel methods in the fabrication of magnetic systems.

Donald Weeks, Professor and Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Director of the Center for Biological Chemistry, also has been selected for an Outstanding Scientist Award for his contributions to understanding the mechanisms underlying the carbon concentrating mechanism of algal cells, a mechanism that is essential for allowing over one-half of all photosynthesis on earth. His research includes the recent discovery and characterization of a molecule transporter of inorganic carbon that provides the photosynthetic apparatus with carbon dioxide to fuel stored energy production. Dr. Weeks will present a brief overview of his research at the awards banquet.

Leslie Delserone, Lecturer with the University Libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was selected for the Outstanding Science Librarian Award. She was cited "for her excellent leadership on the UNL Librariesí effort to integrate information literacy into the undergraduate curriculum of the School of Biological Sciences."

Susan Frack, North Star High School in Lincoln, NE, was selected for the Outstanding High School Science Teacher Award. She was cited in recognition of her contributions in a myriad of activities including service resulting in the creation of the Nebraska Earth Systems Education Network and as a research associate in the Sandhills Biocomplexity Project.

The Sigma Xi 2006 Award Selection Committee was chaired by Jack Morris, Professor of Biological Sciences. Other members of the committee were: Z B Mayo, Interim Associate Dean and Director of the UNL Agricultural Research Division; Anthony F. Starace, George Holmes University Professor of Physics, and James L. Van Etten, William B. Allington University Professor of Plant Pathology.

At the annual banquet, the winners of the 2006 Graduate Student Research Poster Competition, held on April 5th as part of the 2006 UNL Research Fair, will also be honored. Winning posters will be on display throughout the evening.

Sigma Xi is an international scientific research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. There are nearly 75,000 Sigma Xi members in over 500 chapters at colleges and universities, industrial research centers and government laboratories. The University of Nebraska Chapter was organized in 1897. For further information on the UNL Chapter, see its web page: www.sigmaxi.org/chapters/web/Nebraska.

For further information on Sigma Xiís Awards and Initiation Banquet on April 19th, please contact Merlin Lawson, Sigma Xi President: mlawson1@unl.edu or James Van Etten, Sigma Xi Past President: jvanetten1@unl.edu or P. Stephen Baenziger, Sigma Xi Secretary: pbaenziger1@unl.edu

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