Chapter Spotlight: Prairie View A&M University

April 23, 2018

Yolander Youngblood, president of the recently revitalized Prairie View A&M University Sigma Xi Chapter, shares news about the chapter’s research symposium, how the chapter helps to improve diversity in research, and how Sigma Xi can improve diversity within its membership. Prairie View A&M University is a historically black university in Prairie View, Texas. Youngblood is an assistant professor in the Biology Department.

Partnering with Biology Dept and Center for Computational Systems Biology for Science TalkWhat does the Prairie View A&M University Chapter do to promote and improve diversity in research?
Sigma Xi’s outreach is key to promoting diversity. Partnerships promote diversity better than anything else. By partnering with institutions and departments that have a commitment to diversity, all benefit. It is especially important to partner with minority institutions. 

Our chapter first partnered with departments who sponsor symposia. This is a way to promote excellence and to locally promote the chapter. For our chapter’s local event, the university’s associate vice president of research as well as the top undergraduate student researchers from chemistry, physics, and biology were present. Other larger schools looking to recruit these students for graduate school were also present.

What suggestions does the chapter leadership have for how the Society can improve diversity within its membership and within the scientific research community in general?
I like that the Sigma Xi president is making regional visits. I would continue that and make sure that historically black colleges and universities as well as other minority institutions are included on the stops. I would also make calls to the research vice presidents of minority institutions to encourage them to revitalize their chapters.

Photo caption:

The Prairie View A&M University Sigma Xi Chapter and the university’s Biology Department hosted a Scientific Research Symposium in November 2017. 

More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety