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Members » Member Newsletters » August 2011

August 2011

Sigma Xi 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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In 2011, Sigma Xi will mark our 125th year of service as the honor society of research scientists and engineers. To highlight this milestone we've planned several exciting events throughout the year. But we need your participation to help us showcase our quasquicentennial.

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Sigma Xi's new Member-Get-A-Member program gives all active Sigma Xi members a chance to earn a free year of membership by recommending five new members during a one-year period. Potential new members must list their Sigma Xi "Recommender" on the "Recommended by" line at the bottom of their nomination forms.

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Get a summary of each issue of American Scientist when it goes online by subscribing to American Scientist Update. This free e-newsletter contains abstracts of feature articles and brief descriptions of regular columns.

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This past year has seen several new efforts and the continuation of many important programs at Sigma Xi—from the launch of the new ethics initiative on peer review and authorship summit in June 2010 to the growing reach of our Science in the News e-newsletters.

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This past year, three donors helped create named funds within the GIAR Program. A gift from EDITH NIEMARK (SX 1953) will help sponsor grants in the social sciences. MIMI GOLDSCHMIDT (SX 1949)created a named fund in support of women scientists in the field of microbiology. An estate gift from JON GOSSER (SX 1964) will be used to support research in all fields of science. If you want to find out how you can create a special named fund or join your fellow members who support GIAR, please visit our website.

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MILLICENT GOLDSCHMIDT (SX 1949), a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School, has been selected to receive the 2011 Evan Ferguson Award for service to Sigma Xi. She has served the Society in a variety of capacities over the years.

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The progress of science and public trust in research depend upon ethical research practices. Sigma Xi believes that integrity is vital to all stages of research—from conducting experiments to discussing results with the media. This year, we explore scientific integrity from several angles in a series of special sessions, The Responsible Researcher: Conscience and Collaboration, November 11-12 at the 2011 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and International Research Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown in Raleigh, N.C. Confirmed speakers and topics are listed below.

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Nominations are being accepted for Sigma Xi's prestigious annual awards, including the William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, John P. McGovern Science and Society Award, Walston Chubb Award for Innovation, Young Investigator Award, Evan Ferguson Award for Service to the Society and Honorary Members. Visit link for award nomination guidelines and other information.

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We'd especially like to thank new student members for their renewals. You had a great renewal rate this year. Please encourage your fellow students to renew or join. As new students come in, check to see if they are members. If students have moved on to a new university, check to see if there is a Sigma Xi chapter there (let us know if you need help.)

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In recent years, a number of publications have appeared that are devoted to undergraduate research. American Journal of Undergraduate Education, a quarterly publication from the University of Northern Iowa, is one example, BIOS, the quarterly publication of Beta Beta Beta, the National Biological Honor Society is another. More examples

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This June, the Postal Service released a new stamp honoring MARIA GOEPPERT MAYER (SX 1930), a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and Sigma Xi member who worked at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in the 1940 and 1950s. The year also marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Women in Science and Technology organization at Argonne.

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Sigma Xi Member News

KELLY HOGAN (SX 2008), Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biosciences at Penn State University, was chosen as a 2011 AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellow. She spent the summer reporting and writing about science at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

MILTON J. ROSEN (SX 1949), an emeritus member from Great Neck, New York, presented a paper at a 2010 American Oil Chemistry Society convention titled "Transforming Surfactant Art to Surfactant Science."

WILLIAM W. BALLARD (SX 1955) and his wife Merilyn have received the 2011 Rocky Mountain College Philanthropist of the Year Award. The Ballards were part of two capital campaigns that raised $40 million dollars for the college. A leader in the petroleum industry, Ballard is CEO and chairman of the board of allard Petroleum Holdings LLC.

G. DONALD FREY (SX 1969), professor of radiology for the Medical University of South Carolina, has been appointed the American Board of Radiology's associate executive director for medical physics, effective January 1, 2012. A diplomate of the ABR in medical physics, Frey has been a member of the ABR Board of Trustees since 2006. He has served as an ABR examiner since 1996 and has been a member of many ABR committees, including the Physics Exam Restructuring Committee, the Physics Recertification Committee, and the ABR/ACR Committee on Competence. He is currently a member of the Medical Physics Exam Committee and the Physics Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Committee.

R. GRAHAM COOKS (SX 1979), Henry B. Hass Distinguished Professor, Analytical Chemistry, Purdue University, will deliver the Pittcon 2012 Plenary Lecture, “Ambient Ionization and Mini Mass Spectrometers: In situ MS for Everyone.” The lecture will be part of the Opening Session for Pittcon 2012 in Orlando, Florida, March 11-15, 2012. Cooks received Ph.D. degrees from the University of Natal (now QuaZulu-Natal) and Cambridge University. His interests involve construction of mass spectrometers and their use in fundamental studies and applications. His involvement in minimizing sample work-up and avoiding chromatography contributed to the development of the ambient ionization methods, including desorption electrospray ionization (DESI).

CLARENCE HICKEY (SX 1981) is an interpretive docent with the httpMontgomery County Historical Society’s (MCHS) Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine in Rockville, Maryland. Through the MCHS Speakers Bureau, he offer lectures, PowerPoint slide shows, and first person portrayals on Dr. Stonestreet, some in first person Chautauqua format and some using a Civil War soldier mannequin to discuss medical care during the Civil War. He also takes the historic doctor into the schools, and to public and private community events and organizations. His talks and demonstrations draw from his book "Send for the Doctor: The Life and times of Dr. Edward E. Stonestreet," published by the Montgomery County Historical Society in 2009.

A book is under preparation about the life and career of the late Dr. ARTHUR FISHKIN (SX 1958). He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Iowa in 1957 and subsequently pursued a 50 year career in higher education as a research biochemist, teacher and academic administrator. He passed away on his 80th birthday May 27, 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Creighton University. The book is being written by his son Charles, and will trace his life from his birth in New York City in 1930 through the schools he attended (Bronx Science, Indiana and Iowa) and the universities where he taught (Louisiana State, New Mexico State and Creighton). Charles is interested in hearing from other Sigma Xi members who have recollections of his father, letters from him or other documentation that would be relevant to his life and career. He can be reached at charlesfishkin@hotmail.com.

RALPH H. NIELSON (SX 1953) received ASTM International's H.R. "Russ" Ogden Award for Contributions to the Reactive and Refractory Metals Industry. A graduate of Oregon State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, Nielsen began his career at the U.S. Bureau of Mines, where he worked with Dr. W.J. Kroll on the original reactive metal reduction processes, and developed a process to produce zirconium oxide using sulfate precipitation versus the previous ammonium phthalate precipitation. The new process was more efficient and significantly cheaper and produced a pure oxide for the subsequent Kroll reduction process. This oxide was chlorinated for subsequent use in the Kroll reduction vessels.

MAY R. BERENBAUM (SX 1981), an entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has received the 2011 Tyler Prize for Environmental Advancement. Berenbaum was honored for her pioneering work in chemical ecology that "has led to an understanding of the relationships between insects and plants on a genetic level." Her research has also helped further understanding of the decline of bee popularions known as Colony Collapse Disorder.

TIMIR BANERJEE (SX 1973), a clinical professor at the University of Louisville, has written several books, including "A Day in Neurosurgery: Brain Plus Spine and a Lot More" and "The Cat and the Kids of Millbrae." http://www.spava.us/

GREEN T. WAGGENER (SX 1990), associate professor of exercise physiology at Valdosta State University and a member of the Japan Karate Association, reports using technology that measures left ventricular stroke volume via CO2 rebreathing. "We demonstrated the equivalency of karate training to jogging at 70 percent heart rate maximum," Waggener notes, "thus, achieving a cardiovascular training effect and justifying the efforts of the approximately 100 million people participating in this activity (martial arts) for the perceived health benefits."

J. LEE KAVANAU (SX 1947), a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Los Angeles, has posted his autobiography for friends with whom he has lost contact in recent years. Please let him hear from you at lkavanau@biology.ucla.edu.

KIMBERLY WARE ANDERSON (SX 1985), Gill Eminent Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky, was the 2011 recipient of the Henry Mason Lutes Award for Excellence in Teaching. Anderson received the award at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering's Tau Beta Pi Awards banquet in April.

DAVID J. ERNST (SX 1969) has been awarded the Distinguished Professional Mentor Award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

For more member news, visit: http://www.sigmaxi.org/about/news/mitn.shtml

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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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