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   Massachusetts-Lowell, University of Chapter

University of Massachusetts - Lowell Chapter of Sigma Xi Local Events

2008 Annual Sigma Xi Banquet

Tuesday, 29 April, 2008

Officers of the Local Chapter

Officers of the UMass Lowell chapter of the Society of Sigma Xi with Banquet speaker, Dr. Mike Morin. From the left: Dr. Aram Karakashian, Awards Officer; Dr. Art Mittler, Treasurer, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Hooker, At-Large (Health and Environment); Dr. Morin; Dr. Jim Whitten, Secretary; Dr. Bob Gamache, Vice President; Ms Elizabeth Fortin, Chapter Administrative Assistant; Dr. Gil Brown, At-Large (Engineering); and Dr. Bob Tamarin, President. Missing are Dr. Sandy McDonald, At-Large (Chemistry) and Dr. Rick Hochberg, At-Large (Biology).

The Venue

The banquet took place in the MIL Room of the Wannalancit Mill Building, a beautiful old Textile Mill.


Guests from Andover High School

Also visiting the Banquet were UMass Lowell Math Professor, Dr. Raj Prasad (center, back), and his Calculus III class from Andover High School. The students are, from the left: John Koo, Shir Lefkowitz, Prasad, Simon Ye, Ken Schumacher, and Amy Xiao.

Graduate Research Scholar Award

With local chapter President Bob Tamarin is the Sciences Graduate Research Scholar of the Year, Kate Tsui, who is working on her PhD in Computer Science. The award, a summer stipend of $5,000, is given to one doctoral student in each of the four colleges at UMass Lowell that grant doctoral degrees (Science, Engineering, Education, Health & Environment). Checks and certificates are presented at the Graduate Student Banquet in May.


Prof. Charlie Steele Memorial Scholarship

Ursula Steele (right), widow of Professor Charlie Steele, presents the Professor Charlie Steele Memorial Scholarship to Nguyen L. Nguyen (Electrical and Computer Engineering), standing next to her. On the left is Chapter President Bob Tamarin and to his left is Prof. Jie Wang, Chair of Computer Science. Prof. Steele was the founding member of the Computer Science Department.

LaTorre Family Scholarship

The LaTorre Family Scholarships are $1,000 scholarships funded generously by Don LaTorre, a 1960 Lowell Tech graduate in Textile Chemistry. Don is the past Chairman of the Sciences Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences, an alumni group that helps the Dean of Sciences develop resources for the Sciences. From the left in the photo above are: chapter President Bob Tamarin; Robert Romano (Junior, Chemistry); Elliott Moy (Sophomore, Computer Science); Bryan Crompton (Sophomore, Physics and Math); Thomas Harrington (Freshman, Physics); Kyle Anderson (Junior, Atmospheric Sciences); Thomas Cole (Sophomore, Biology); and Christopher Dietsch (Junior, Computer Science).

Kennedy Family Merit Scholarship

The Kennedy Family Merit Scholarships of $1,000 each are supported from a generous endowment donation by John Kennedy, a 1970 Mathematics graduate of Lowell Tech. John is also a member of the Sciences Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences. Shown above with chapter President Bob Tamarin (left) are (left to right): Bruce Malley (Freshman, Computer Science); Amanda Patti (Sophomore, Biotechnology); Caitlin Dolan (Junior, Biology); and Marco Bonett-Matiz (Junior, Physics and Math).


O'Connor Family Scholarship

The O'Connor Family Scholarships of $1,000 each are supported from a generous endowment donation by Tom O'Connor, 1977 B.S. and 1980 M.S. Environmental Sciences graduate of the University of Lowell. (In the past, we have been Lowell Tech, University of Lowell, and UMass Lowell, among others.) Tom is a founding Co-Chair of the College or Arts and Sciences Advisory Board. Shown above with local chapter President, Bob Tamarin, is the winner, Anne Laraia, a Sophomore Atmospheric Sciences major.

Edwin C. Sherburne Memorial Scholarship in Chemistry

This is the inaugural year of this scholarship, created by Betty Sherburne to honor her late husband, a Chemistry major with degrees at Lowell Tech in 1952 (B.A.) and 1954 (M.S.) From the left are local chapter President, Bob Tamarin; Betty Sherburne; Prof. Gene Barry, Chair of the Chemistry Department; and this year's award winner, Hank Kells. Betty traveled up from Pennsylvania to present the inaugural award.


High School Teacher of the Year

The UMass Lowell chapter initiated the High School Teacher of the Year Award in 2004 to honor an outstanding high school science or math teacher, one responsible for instilling in students an excitement about the sciences and technology. Shown above (left) is Jesus Hernandez, a physics teacher at the Math, Sciences, and Technology High School in Lawrence, our 2008 winner. Also pictured, at right, is Art Mittler, local chapter Treasurer.

Shown with Jesus Hernandez (center), our High School Math and Science Teacher of the Year, are colleagues, friends, and family. From the left: Alex Cruz and his wife Dianne, who is the Principal of the Math, Sciences, and Technology High School in Lawrence; Galadriel Hernandez and her father, Jesus; and Meghan, Mary Ellen, and Jordan Janiero. Mary Ellen is Jesus' friend and Meghan and Jordan are her daughters.


2008 C. Daniel Cole Undergraduate Research Award

Students competing for the C. Daniel Cole Undergraduate Research prizes must participate in the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at UMass Lowell. The winner is also inducted into Sigma Xi as an Associate Member. Shown are Dr. Aram Karakashian (left), Cole Award Officer of the local chapter and Marco Bonett-Matiz, First Prize Winner (Physics and Math majors).


Faculty Award for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning in the Sciences

This is the inaugural year of this award, created by Sciences Advisory Board member Susan Pasquale and her husband, Ron Boudreau. This award is designed to reward the scholarship of teaching. This year the award was jointly given to Dr. Jesse Heines of Computer Science and Dr. Jim Whitten of Chemistry. In the photo, from left to right: Jim Whitten, award winner and chapter Secretary, Susan Pasquale, Ron Boudreau, and Bob Tamarin, local chapter President.


Induction of New Full Members

New full members of Sigma Xi are shown above. From the left: Dr. Jim Whitten, Secretary of the local chapter, Mr. Berke Gur (Mechanical Engineering); Mr. Vijayendra Kumar (Chemistry), Mr. Lei Shi (Neurobiology, UMass Worcester), Mr. Marco Bonett-Matiz (Physics and Math), and Dr. Zhiyong Gu (Chemical Engineering), who recently transferred his membership to the UMass Lowell Chapter.

Guest Lecture

Our Banquet Speaker this year was Dr. Mike Morin, who received his B.S. in Biology from UMass Lowell, and his Ph.D. in Cancer Pharmacology from SUNY Buffalo. He did an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Yale and then joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology at Northwestern University. He joined Pfizer in 1991, eventually becoming the Vice President in Pfizer Global Drug Discovery. In his time at Pfizer, over 40 drugs were targeted for development as anticancer agents. Mike is an early member of the UMass Lowell Sciences Advisory Board. Currently he is leading a startup company, Oncovia Therapeutics, which will seek to bring effective therapeutics to childhood and adult cancers currently under-served by the drug discovery innovations of the past 10 years. His talk, giving career advice to both new and seasoned professionals, was entitled:

Lessons from Lowell (Musings of an Unemployed Alum)


Special thanks to our Secretary, Ms Elizabeth Fortin, for making all the arrangements for our Banquet.

Check back in the fall for information about the 2008-2009 awards competitions and the 2009 Banquet. Remember that 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of "The Origin of Species."

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