Student travel awards

Our chapter invites the first-place winners in our annual Student Research Symposium to apply for travel support to attend an upcoming Sigma Xi meeting: either the Annual Meeting, held in the fall, or the June meeting of Sigma Xi Northwest/Southwest Regions and the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

At nearly all of the last ten meetings, a local student attended with chapter support and won a major prize from Sigma Xi.

Sigma Xi Columbia-Willamette was pleased to help sponsor Leroy Sibanda's attendance at the AAAS Pacific Division/Sigma Xi joint meeting in Ashland on 19 June 2019. Leroy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Simoyi research group in Portland State University's Chemistry Department, and he won the top student award in Chemistry and Biochemistry for his poster, Vasoactive Hormones Identified as Efficient Nitric Oxide Donors: Implications for Enhanced Opioid Induced Antinociception. Linda Mantel reports "As a physiologist myself, I found the poster most enlightening and greatly appreciated Leroy's thorough explanation of the work."

Leroy received this support from SX CW because he was the graduate first place award winner at our 15th Annual Student Research Symposium in November, and he will also be traveling and presenting at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting in Wisconsin and the NOBCChE meeting in Missouri, both in November 2019.

June 2018: the Chapter provided partial travel support for three students to present their research at the Sigma Xi NW/SW + AAAS Pacific Division Student Research Conference, at Cal State Pomona. Brie Tripp (photo, L) won first prize in the Pacific Division's Education Section;

Brie Tripp presenting at SX/AAASPD Pomona 2018
Tetiana Korzun at SX/AAASPD 2018

Tetiana Korzun (photo, R) won an honorable mention in the Cell and Molecular Biology Section; and Emmanuel Abdul found the Conference "very enriching and a tremendous opportunity to learn what other people are doing. It certainly was an eye-opener and a great learning experience for me as I gained insight into possible applications of my work on Vertically aligned polymer nanostructures functionalized by magnetron sputtering. Sigma Xi made the experience and professional networking with fellow growing scientists possible for me and for this, I am very grateful."

Spring 2017: Raluca Gosman, undergrad student in biology, presented her work at the Sigma Xi NW/SW + AAAS Pacific Division Annual Meeting at the University of Hawaii and wrote: "This conference was a fantastic learning experience for me as I got helpful feedback from the oral presentation I gave about my work with Y-Chromosomal Short Tandem Repeat Analysis. Although I did not get as many results as I would have wanted, I felt encouraged that I was on the right track to keep trying, keep perfecting my techniques, and trust the scientific method of trial and error. Because a large portion of my project is yet to be completed, the interest my audience had in the final outcomes gave me new motivation to work hard and obtain results this coming year."

Fall 2016: Anh Ngo, grad student in biology: Utility of a low-volume imaging assay to assess the granular phenotype and activity of neonatal platelets, earning the Graduate Student Award in Cell Biology and Biochemistry at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

Srikar Rao Darmakkolla, who also presented his research at the 2016 Atlanta meeting, with partial travel support from the Chapter, wrote: "I learned many things from this conference...key note lectures are my all time favorite... Unlike other conferences, this gave us great opportunity to mingle and improve our network."

Summer 2016: Amie Romney, grad student in biology: Epigenetic regulation of alternative developmental trajectories in an annual killifish, which earned the first place award in Cell and Molecular Biology, plus the President's Award, at the Sigma Xi NW/SW + AAAS Pacific Division Annual Meeting, University of San Diego. (Amie is pictured at left with her former undergraduate advisor, Jon Clark, who attended the meeting as Sigma Xi Northwest Regional Director.)

Fall 2015: Joseph Thiebes, undergrad in chemistry: Prussian Green: a high rate capacity cathode for potassium ion batteries. Best undergraduate poster in Chemistry, Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference, Kansas City MO.

Summer 2015: Jessica Hebert, grad student in biology: Increased maternal angiotensinogen expression and male fetal gender affect placental size and capillary density. Best poster overall, and best (poster and oral) in cell and molecular biology, Sigma Xi NW/SW + AAAS Pacific Division Annual Meeting, San Francisco State University.

Fall 2014: Adrienne Godschalx, grad student in biology: Rhizobia decrease indirect defense of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus): less extrafloral nectar and fewer ants. First place in Ecology, Environmental and Geosciences, Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference, Glendale AZ.

Summer 2014: Timea Deakova, grad student in biology: Epiphytic moss as a biomonitor of nitrogen deposition in the Pacific Northwest. Second place for excellence in the Ecology, Environmental Sciences, and Sustainability Section, Sigma Xi NW/SW + AAAS Pacific Division Annual Meeting, University of California at Riverside.