Linda H. Mantel

Linda MantelLinda H. Mantel is the 2019 recipient of Sigma Xi’s Evan Ferguson Award for Service to the Society

She received a BA in biology from Swarthmore College and a PhD in physiology and biophysics from the University of Illinois, where she was inducted into Sigma Xi as an associate member in 1964. Mantel spent three years as a research fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, after which she joined the biology department at City College of the City University of New York (CUNY). During her 25 years at CCNY, she was a faculty member, department chair, and assistant provost for Graduate Studies and Research. During this time, she was promoted to full member of Sigma Xi and became active in the local chapter. Since moving to Portland in 1993, Mantel has served as dean of the faculty and professor of biology at Reed College, as interim vice-president for Academic Administration at Willamette University, and as assistant vice-president for Technology Services at the University of Portland. 

Following her official retirement in 2002, Mantel joined the board of the multi-institutional Columbia-Willamette Chapter of Sigma Xi, where she served as secretary from 2004-2008, and has just completed the last of her 10 years as president. Building and engaging the chapter membership and board membership are never-ending projects, but the chapter has been able to raise the profile of Sigma Xi in the region, strengthened ties with pre-college teachers and students, developed ideas for several new programs, and supported a Student Research Symposium every year. The chapter has won three awards for Excellence and Programs in the last eight years.

Mantel attended her first Sigma Xi Annual Meeting in 2001 in Galveston, where she gave a presentation on diversity and judged student posters. She joined the Sigma Xi Board as a member of the Diversity Committee in 2003, and was active as a chapter delegate to both the Northwest Region and the Multi-institutional (MI) Constituency. She served on the Society's Committee on Nominations. In 2007, she was elected as associate director of the MI Constituency, and when the director resigned, spent the next year on the Sigma Xi Board of Directors, where she was also part of the first Strategic Planning committee. In 2009, Mantel was elected director of the Northwest Region and served two terms, until 2015. 

Perhaps Mantel's most significant contribution as Northwest Region director was establishing the links between the AAAS Pacific Division (AAAS PD) and the Northwest and Southwest regions of Sigma Xi and becoming part of the AAAS PD's Annual Meeting in June. This linkage of Sigma Xi and AAAS PD provides value to both organizations, and in particular to students, who have the opportunity to present their work in two different Sigma Xi venues per year. In addition, she has worked with Sigma Xi staff to strengthen connections with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and served as a judge for Sigma Xi's awards at the fair.

Mantel is most grateful for the outstanding support and encouragement from Sigma Xi headquarters, which has made all of these projects possible. She and the chapter look forward to further advancing the goals of Sigma Xi throughout the Columbia-Willamette region.