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Members » Emeritus & Life Member Newsletters » April 2011

April 2011

Sigma Xi Emeritus & Life Member Newsletter

We always welcome your news and contributions. Please send any comments or suggestions to development@sigmaxi.org.

N.B.: Dates in parenthesis after members' names denote their year of induction into Sigma Xi.


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Nominate Members for Sigma Xi's 125 Anniversary Awards
125 Fresh Faces: To recognize 125 members under the age of 35 that have shown promise in their respective field of study and dedicated contributions to Sigma Xi.

125 Elite Members: To recognize 125 members, age 35 years or older, that have shown loyalty and dedication to Sigma Xi through activities and contributions.

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125th Anniversary Merchandise
Show your support for Sigma Xi and its quasquicentennial by purchasing branded merchandise.

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125th Celebration Special Appeal
Please watch your mail boxes this spring for a special letter of appeal to donate to this year's 125th anniversary fundraising campaign. We are asking our members to dig a little deeper this year to help secure the future of Sigma Xi and plan for the next 125 years.

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European Regional Meeting & Research Conference
The Canadian/International Constituency Group and The Nordic Chapter of Sigma Xi invite all Sigma Xi members to the First Annual Sigma Xi European Regional Meeting and Research Conference on May 24, 2011, at Aalto University in Espoo (Helsinki), Finland.

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2011 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting & International Research Conference
SAVE THE DATE! On November 10-13, the 2011 Annual Meeting and International Research Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, will bring together students, professional scientists and Sigma Xi members from North America and abroad. The event features a Research Conference with presentations in all fields of science and engineering, science sessions on ethics, lectures by award-winning speakers and society governance at the 112th Annual Meeting.

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Chemical Ecologist Thomas Eisner Dies at 81
As a grad student, Thomas Eisner (SX 1954) received a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research that helped to launch his career, which later earned him Sigma Xi's William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement. The Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Chemical Ecology at Cornell University died at home March 25.

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A Few Notes About the Emeritus Dues Increase

Sigma Xi increased the Emeritus dues rate to $63 effective with the 2011-2012 membership year which begins July 1. Emeritus members are the largest group paying discounted dues in Sigma Xi. The number of Emeritus members vastly outweighs the number of other discounted groups such as students, combined memberships, unemployed and transitionals.

The discounted dues rates paid by these groups, including Emeritus members, are not high enough to cover the total expense of supporting Sigma Xi programs such as Grants-in-Aid of Research and providing member benefits including American Scientist magazine. That burden has traditionally fallen to the full dues paying member group.

However as Sigma Xi's older membership begins to retire and attain Emeritus status, the full dues-paying group has seen the reverse. The nomination of new members paying the full dues rate has not kept up with the increase in Emeritus members. As the Emeritus group has grown over the past several years, the full dues-paying group has steadily declined. The burden of paying for the Society's member benefits and programs can no longer be carried by the full dues paying members; their numbers are just too few.

Not wanting to raise the student dues rate, a motion was made and approved through the Committee on Finance to the Board of Directors at their last meeting in November during the Annual Meeting to raise the Emeritus dues rate. This was done in an effort to maintain member benefits, continue the production of American Scientist and provide ongoing support to the Society's programs. Students were not affected by a dues increase this year. We hope to maintain low dues for student members but the need to cover expenses incurred due to the increase each year in discounted member groups.

The solution to dues increases is a simple one. If each member would nominate a new member each year then membership would see an overall increase rather than the steady decline of the past decade. An ample number of new members, whether they pay reduced dues or not, would increase overall revenue so that all members benefit.

The increase in Emeritus dues touches on more than just a simple dues increase. It is representative of the decline in membership retention, a decline in members nominating new members and a growing lack of non-dues related donations to help cover programs.

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Sigma Xi Member News

Sherry J. Yennello (SX 1997), Regents Professor of Chemistry and associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Science at Texas A&M University, has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the American Chemical Society Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal in recognition of distinguished service to chemistry by women chemists. She received Sigma Xi's 2000 Young Investigator Award.

Stephen R. Carpenter (SX 1974), Professor of Zoology and Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will receive the 2011 Stockholm Water Prize. This global award was established in 1991 and presented annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute to an individual, organisation or institution for outstanding water-related activities. Carpenter was is recognised as one of the world's most influential environmental scientists in the field of ecology. According to the award citation, "By combining theoretical models and large-scale lake experiments he has reframed our understanding of freshwater environments and how lake ecosystems are impacted by humans and the surrounding landscape."

L. Evan Reddick (SX 2009) finished his Ph.D. in 2010 and recently joined a group at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "We have just published in Nature our research on pathogenic EHEC (O157:H7) - a study that revealed a secreted effector protein that is capable of dismantling the Golgi."

Parimal (Perry) Chowdhury (SX 1982), professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, has been inducted as a fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association. Fellowship is bestowed by the AGA for superior professional achievement in practice and/or research. Active in the Central Arkansas Chapter, Chowdhury has served as a permanent delegate to the national annual meeting for over 20 years.

Frank J. Dye (SX 1969), writes: "Just starting out, as a young assistant professor in biology, I applied for and received a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research. If memory serves it was for $250. That grant supported my research at what was then Western Connecticut State College (now Western Connecticut State University), in Danbury. That research resulted in a publication on "The effects of cytochalasin B and dimethyl sulfoxide on the outgrowth of cells" in the journal Developmental Biology (35:176, 1973). I have been teaching undergraduates at WCSU for 44 years (since 1967), but I have never forgotten that Sigma Xi grant.

Marjan Mujib (SX 2010), research associate in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham writes that his lead authored article, "Evidence of a 'Heart Failure Belt' in the Southeastern United States" (published in American Journal of Cardiology on January 19, 2011) was reported in Reuters Health News Headlines on February 2. http://www.reuters.com/news/archive/healthNews?date=02022011 http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/02/us-stroke-belt-idINTRE7119DO20110202

Raquel Sussman (SX 1950) published an articled titled "Serendipity" in the journal of Biological Chemistry 2009) Apr 17;284(16):10285-90.

William J. Schlitt (SX 1964), president of Hydrometal, Inc., writes that he and his sister, Mary S. Kostalos (SX 1989), professor emeritus, Chatham University in Pittsburgh, and are both long-time members of Sigma Xi. "She and I were discussing this recently and wondered how many other brother-sister members there are in the Society."

George Frye (SX 1958) has been elected vice chair of S3, the Acoustical Society of America's Standards committee on bioacoustics. The ASA has responsibility for handling the acoustics standards in the U.S. under the American National Standards Institute. "I have worked for years with group S3/48, which handles standards for hearing aids. Our company in Tigard has worked in this field for going on 37 years now. S3 is now looking at developing standards for hearing in animals. It has always been devoted to human hearing but is branching out."

Harold Geller (SX 2006) was quoted in a USA Today article on "Probing Odds of Alien Visitors" available online at http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2010-11-24-UFO24_ST_N.htm. He has also been elected to the advisory council of the Friends of Arlington Planetarium and treasurer of the Chesapeake Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers for 2011. Geller was quoted in February 2011 issue of GamePro magazine in an article titled "The Real Science of Dead Space 2" with respect to the feasibility of terraforming a planet (making it able to sustain human life).

Chris Tripler (SX 2009), treasurer of the Northshore Chapter of Sigma Xi, notes that in February, the chapter hosted their second annual research conference at the Center for the Arts at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Haijiang Cai (SX 2010), in the Division of Biology at the California Insitute of Technology, was awarded the 2010 NARSAD Young Investigator Award in January. http://www.narsad.org/?q=node/12077/press-release-details/12137

Matthew C. Mireles (SX 2002), president, Rice University-Texas Medical Center Chapter, and president and CEO of the Community Medical Foundation for Patient Safety in Bellaire, Texas, reports that the chapter recently sponsored a special evening of health, healing and art with longstanding member and prominent agronomist Eugene Brams (SX 1950). His art works have been generously donated and installed in a number of institutions of the Texas Medical Center and in private collections in Texas and elsewhere. "We have embarked on a unique project to document Dr. Bram's extraordinary talent as a self-taught sculptor," Mireles says. "This document will be preserved in our chapter's archive." www.comofcom.com

University of North Carolina anthropologist Carole L. Crumley (SX 2007) has been awarded http://college.unc.edu/features/February2011/article.2011-02-16.8457465644 an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University in Sweden. In April, she will receive the 2011 Johan August Wahlberg Gold Medal, awarded by the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography.

Mark L. Goldstein and Stephen J. Morewitz (SX 2000) are the co-authors of Chronic Disorders in Children and Adolescents (New York: Springer, 2011).

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Sigma Xi Affinity Programs
Your Society offers a number of affinity programs that include stimulating opportunities for travel and reduced rates on auto insurance and car rentals, among other benefits.

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Editor: Charles Blackburn
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