Sigma Xi at Prairie View A & M University

Yolander Youngblood, president of the Prairie View A & M University Sigma Xi Chapter and an assistant professor in the Biology Department on campus, discusses the work and role of the chapter at this university, which invests in issues and challenges affecting the diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population of Texas and the larger society. Youngblood has served as the chapter's president since July 1, 2017. 

Scientific Research Symposium Sign
What does the Prairie View A & M University Chapter do to promote and improve diversity in research?

VP of PVAMU Chapter and Students

Sigma Xi has maintained its commitment to excellence. As an honor society this is important. 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 as well, all benefit. It is especially important to partner with minority institutions. For our chapter we partnered first with departments who sponsor symposia. This is a way to promote excellence and the chapter locally.

For the PV Chapter of Sigma Xi, headquarters was key in providing resources to revitalize our chapter. The membership services director (Eman Ghanem) was especially helpful and prompt. The initial funds that headquarters provided showed commitment and importance. For our local event the 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 them for graduate school were also present, such as Michigan State University (the university is developing a partnership with them).

In short a commitment to excellence coupled with a sincere and helpful attitude go a long way.

Scientific Research Symposium Nov13

Does the chapter leadership have suggestions for how the Society can improve diversity within its membership and within the scientific research community in general? Do they have ideas about how to improve the Society’s outreach as it promotes the public understanding of science?

Going forward, I like the regional visits that the president is making. I would continue that and make sure that historically black colleges and universities and 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. For us the fact that the National Science Foundation recognizes the importance of Sigma Xi helped.  Most science researchers are seeking funds from NSF.  Having a VP promote something encourages others to participate.  Making the ties between honor societies and tenure is always good for young faculty.

Scientific Talk

Photo captions

1st photo: The Prairie View A & M University Sigma Xi Chapter partnered with the campus's Biology Department to host a Scientific Research Symposium and Scientific Talk on November 13, 2017.

2nd photo: Vice president of the chapter Audie Thompson talks with students Chonique Long and Frank Garcia.

3rd photo: Students and faculty engaged during poster presentations.

4th photo: The chapter partnered with the PVAMU Biology Department and the Center for Computational Systems Biology to provide the scientific talk.