Chapters of Excellence 2001-2002 Awards

Certificates of Excellence are awarded to chapters for overall outstanding activities during the past fiscal year. The activities highlighted below are among a wide range in which these chapters participated.

Alaska–The chapter supports a range of activities including providing resources for schools and working with Russian scientists. Especially noteworthy is the chapter's ongoing support for training undergraduate Alaska Native students in science, math and engineering.

Charlotte–The chapter spearheaded a drive to create a Charlotte Area Science Network to promote the value and fun of science to the public and the media. Initial events included a chemistry demonstration at Discovery Place called "Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri." Bassam Shakhashiri is a University of Wisconsin-Madison chemist renowned for his science-oriented shows.

Eastern New Mexico University–The chapter held a seminar series plus talks by two nationally-known researchers. The chapter also actively supported undergraduate and graduate student research day.

Howard University–Continuing its strong support of K-12 students, the chapter sponsored a Christmas Store, at which middle school students from predominantly deprived areas were given Sigma Xi dollars and allowed to purchase scientific gifts for themselves and family members. The chapter also co-sponsored garden projects for an elementary and middle school in order to strengthen hands-on science and math learning.

University of Illinois at Chicago–April was Sigma Xi Month for the chapter, which sponsored student research forums and a lecture series on "Science and the Common Interest." Speakers included former Congressman John Porter, who championed federal research funding, and epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll, who first linked cigarettes and lung cancer.

National Institute of Standards and Technology–The chapter's many activities included providing judges to area science fairs, recognizing a young scientist for excellence in scientific research and co-sponsoring a talk on "The Seven Warning Signs of Voodoo Science," aimed at helping the public separate science fact from fiction.

University of New Mexico–The chapter's long standing support of science and engineering talks on campus was highlighted by Kip Thorne's talk on "The Fabric of Space and Time: Exploring the Universe with Gravitational Waves." The talk, which was co-sponsored by the chapter, drew an audience of about 950 people of all ages.

Pace University–The chapter co-sponsored the Bioethics Forum VI: Society and the New Genetics, a presentation of key issues by six panelists followed by open discussion. Chapter members served as consultants to a local elementary school, as participants in the high school Mentor Program and as instructors in a biodiversity workshop for high school science teachers.

Quinnipiac–Efforts by the chapter to popularize science and inform the public have drawn quite a number of non-science majors to its annual seminar series. Some biology and chemistry professors even offered extra credit to students who submitted brief reports on the seminars.

Tifton–Eighteen weekly seminars sponsored by the chapter included a talk by Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer Tom Overbye on the "U.S. Power Grid." It was timely, since a proposed power plant in Tift County has generated heated debate. The chapter is also investing time and expertise in the Adopt-A-School program.

Washington College–Sigma Xi members gave demonstrations at area schools on brain function and why chemistry is fun. The chapter also supported a Women in Science lecture series.

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