Theodora Pinou

Theodora Pinou

Present Position

H. G. Dowling Herpetological Collection Faculty Curator and Full Professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Western Connecticut State University

Chapter Affiliation

Western Connecticut State University



Candidate's Statement

Pinou has been a member of Sigma Xi for 20 years. Today she serves as President of the Western Connecticut State University Chapter, an elected position that she has held for four terms. She has been the major force in invigorating the Chapter’s membership and activities. When she started the chapter membership included science faculty only. Today the chapter includes faculty and regional industry practitioners from math, computer science, psychology, physical anthropology, science education, and the sciences. Members come together for conversation on a regular basis, and students participate in research competitions with Sigma Xi rigor. She worked for 18 months with members of her chapter to organize the 2015 Northeast regional meeting which included over 300 research abstracts.

Sigma Xi is a collection of interdisciplinary scholars who practice scientific thinking and reasoning. Belonging to such an organization today is of paramount importance as scholars begin to realize the importance of reaching across disciplines to engage in scientific conversations that transcend traditional scholarly disciplines. Pinou was inducted into the Sigma Xi organization as a graduate student and recalls the special feeling of being nominated by her thesis advisor. She remembers that first sense of belonging and the impact it had on her sense of self, and her identity as a researcher. Pinou is an advocate of mentoring programs that support new scientists and scientific communicators. She directs STEM programs that serve to engage the underserved. She sees Sigma Xi as a leader in scientific ethics and cross-disciplinary communication that permits the public to gain a better appreciation of scientific reasoning. She looks forward to serving as Sigma Xi’s Associate Director NE Region and working with the Director to continue her legacy of organizing dynamic and engaging interdisciplinary regional research conferences.