Student Researchers Awarded, Inducted at Sigma Xi Annual Meeting

November 09, 2021

awards_pledge_800 Sigma Xi leaders joined student award winners for a virtual induction ceremony on Saturday, November 6, 2021.

Media Contact:

Jason Papagan
Manager of Communications
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society inducted 56 students as new members of the Society during a virtual ceremony on Saturday, November, 6. The students were award recipients for oral and poster presentations at Sigma Xi's 2021 Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference. Cash prizes were given along with commemorative medals and membership to the Society, including one year of paid dues. 

Over 500 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students attended the conference with over 400 presenting their research in the virtual exhibit hall. A judging committee of Sigma Xi members evaluated the students on their scientific thought, method, and communication skills. In addition to specific scientific disciplines, this year's conference also included a special group of Interdisciplinary Awards for projects that addressed global research challenges, such as urban infrastructure, climate change, cybersecurity, and advancement of vaccines. In addition to the judges' awards, the DC chapter of Sigma Xi sponsored two Student Choice Awards, carrying additional monetary prizes and voted on by fellow participants.

Top Presenters at the 2021 Student Research Conference

Poster Presentations:

High School Division Awards

  • Agricultural, Soil and Natural Resources
    • Norman Christian, S. Candolita Senior High School within Bacoor Elementary School
  • Cell Biology and Biochemistry
    • Saahil Joshi, Crystal Springs Upland Schools
  • Chemistry
    • Krit Kasikpan, Mahidol Wittayanusorn School
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    • Aviva Segal, New Rochelle High School
  • Engineering
    • Charlotte Lenore Michaluk, Hopewell Valley Central High School
  • Environmental Sciences
    • Laya Damaraju, West Shore Jr./Sr. High School
  • Geosciences
    • James Chen, Kirby School
  • Human Behavioral and Social Sciences
    • Jack and David Duitz, SAR High School
  • Math and Computer Science
    • Ellen Xu, Del Norte High School
  • Microbiology and Molecular Biology
    • Samuel Lustig, University School of Nashville
    • Sravan Kodali, Christian Brothers Academy, Syracuse
  • Physics and Astronomy
    • Iona Xia, Monta Vista High School
  • Physiology and Immunology
    • Pratham Hombal, Buchanan High School 

Undergraduate Division Awards

  • Cell Biology and Biochemistry
    • Shania D. Day, University of California, Irvine
  • Chemistry
    • Antonia Sreya Gomes, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    • Jeri Tyler and Alyson Lucas, Longwood University
  • Engineering
    • Alexandria Brady-Mine, University of South Florida
  • Environmental Sciences
    • Lizeth Gutierrez, University of California, Irvine
  • Geosciences
    • Yamna Hussain Siddiqui and Taha Hussain Siddiqui, Quinnipiac University
  • Human Behavioral and Social Sciences
    • Tanvi Palsamudram, Brown University
  • Math and Computer Sciences
    • Lorand Cheng, University of Southern California
  • Microbiology and Molecular Biology
    • Katy Trampel, The George Washington University
  • Physics and Astronomy
    • Lauren Samson, SUNY Oswego
  • Physiology and Immunology
    • Kimberly Doan, Mission College

Graduate Division Awards

  • Cell Biology and Biochemistry
    • Sepideh Mohammadhosseinpour and Alexx Weaver, Arkansas State University
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    • Vitoria Abreu Ruozzi, Oakland University
  • Engineering
    • Kerry Brosnan, Manhattan College 
  • Human Behavioral and Social Sciences
    • Pamela Martínez Oquendo; University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    • Nicholas Pitaro and Logan Cho; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Math and Computer Science
    • Paul Mayer, Western Connecticut State University
  • Microbiology and Molecular Biology
    • Maryam Bonakdar, Brown University
  • Physics and Astronomy
    • Elissa Moller, University of Maryland
  • Physiology and Immunology
    • Jacquelyn Yarman and Madeline Balman, Case Western Reserve University

Oral Presentations:

High School

  • Larissa Ma, American Heritage High School 


  • Krupa Sekhar, Cornell University
  • Sydney Penrose, Oakland University 


  • Kanita Chaudhry, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Alex Suptela, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Interdisciplinary Awards:

  • Understanding the Universe (Astronomy and Space Sciences)
    • Amanda Hao, Aragon High School
    • Justin Hou, Henry M. Gunn High School 
  • Biology and Biotechnology (Understanding the Brain, Origins of Life (Assembling Tree of Life), Understanding Biological Systems)
    • Jeri Tyler and Alyson Lucas, Longwood University
  • Environmental Challenges (Providing Access to Clean Water, Mitigating Climate Change, Food Security, Managing the Nitrogen Cycle, Sustaining Clean Air, Preserving Biodiversity)
    • Ishika Nag, Oviedo High School 
    • Chelsea Hu, BASIS Independent McLean
  • Human Health (Advancing Drug Design and Limiting Drug Resistance, Advancing Health Informatics, Advancing Vaccines, Preventing Pandemics, Cancer Detection and Therapy)
    • Pravalika Putalapattu, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
  • Advances in Computation (Cyber Security, Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence)
    • Ashwin Parthasarathy, American Heritage School of Boca/Delray
  • Design, Construction, and Manufacturing (Improving Urban Infrastructure, Innovations in Manufacturing, Advanced Materials)
    • Patricia Moore, Suffolk County Community College
  • Tools for Science, Education, and Personalized Learning
    • Sanskriti Chitransh, University of Chicago
  • Human Sciences and Policy
    • Mia Torres, University of South Florida

Student Choice Awards

  • First Prize
    • Akshay Unnikrishnan, Plano East Senior High School
  • Second Prize
    • Samer Elhoushy, American Heritage School of Palm Beach County 

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