December 15, 2016
Sigma Xi is happy to report that some chapters that had lost their good standing status are starting to return to the Society. Since January of 2016, approximately 10 chapters have begun the process to return to good standing and some have already completed it. Four representatives of such chapters attended the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting in Atlanta in November. They shared why they are interested in reactivating their chapters.
Lauber Martins of the Andrews-Whirlpool Chapter in Michigan said that a major reason he and others were interested in revitalizing their chapter was to be able to take advantage of the networking opportunities that Sigma Xi can provide to students.
“We have the focus of preparing these students for grad school,” said Martins. “And if you involve them in research and involve them in a network, their work will be better and it will be a plus on their application for grad school. It’s very important that they have good, quality research and are involved with people who do the same thing.”
Sarosh Patel of the University of Bridgeport Chapter in Connecticut also named networking as a critical reason to bring Sigma Xi back to campus.
“We wanted to give our students an opportunity to network,” he said, “and also to get them into the process of grant writing and getting seed grants so that they can establish their work and apply for higher levels of funding.” He also mentioned that membership is an honor.
Katharine Cammack, representing the University of the South Chapter in Tennessee, noted that networking through Sigma Xi is particularly valuable because it brings researchers from various backgrounds together.
“You get a lot of different types of researchers doing a lot of different types of things. And it’s one of the only times when you’re in a particular discipline that you get to branch out,” she said.
According to Daniel Gleason of Georgia Southern University, the goal of the chapter there is not to compete as the sole research society on campus, but rather to lend more funding and support to research initiatives.
“We wanted to reactivate our Sigma Xi chapter because we wanted to augment and advance existing programs within our institution that are involved with undergraduate research,” he said.
Pictured above: Sarosh Patel of the University of Bridgeport Chapter, on left, became a Sigma Xi member during the 2016 Annual Meeting. He is helping to return the chapter to good standing status.