We engage the Portland, Oregon scientific and technical community to enhance the health of the scientific research enterprise, provide opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers, and promote the public's understanding of science and technology. We are comprised of faculty and students from several colleges and universities in the Portland area, as well as colleagues in local business, industry, federal and state agencies, and medical centers. We focus many of our programs on enhancing the experiences of students at all levels. Many of our members are retired scientists and engineers who have relocated to the Portland area and find a community of interests through the activities of the chapter.

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 wrote, "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 won a graduate first place award at our 15th Annual Student Research Symposium in November 2018, 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 won first prize in the Pacific Division's Education Section; Tetiana Korzun 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."

Brie Tripp lecturing at AAASPD/SX meeting

Tetiana Korzun with poster at AAASPD/SX meeting

The Chapter provided partial travel support for the above students, and others, to present their research. Similar awards earned earlier by local students at regional and national Sigma Xi meetings are listed in Student Travel Awards.

Annual End-of-Year Celebration

Photos of several of the honorees at our Fourth Annual End-of-Year Celebration on Tuesday, May 28.

Save these dates!

14-17 Nov 2019: Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference, Madison, Wisconsin.

15th Annual SX-CW Student Research Presentations

16 November 2018

Sigma Xi Columbia-Willamette Chapter held its fifteenth annual Symposium of poster papers by undergraduate and graduate students in the sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and engineering on Friday 16 November 2018, at Portland State University in the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom. The posters-only Symposium is open to students affiliated with colleges and universities in the Portland area. Awards are given for the best undergraduate and graduate posters in several categories.

38 student research posters were reviewed by 22 judges, and 18 cash prizes for best poster presentation were awarded, including a special award to a high school student. The primary student authors were affiliated with 3 local academic institutions (PSU, UP, OHSU); in other years, students at Concordia, George Fox, and Linfield also exhibited their research. The Symposium provides practice for presentations at regional and national meetings in students’ own disciplines. The Symposium is open to the public, and admission is free.

Sigma Xi holds a worldwide competition for research grants to students in March and October every year. The next deadline to apply for a grant is 15 Mar 2019. The following local students recently earned GIARs for their projects. Each of them also received a modest supplemental grant from our chapter.

Madeline Lewis, Cell biology / biochemistry: Uncovering small RNAs in Streptococcus mutans, an agent of dental caries. Advisor: Rahul Raghavan, Portland State University.

Scott Kiel, Climate Science: Moss as a Human Health Biomonitor: a calibration study linking moss heavy metal accumulation and human exposure. Advisor: Todd Rosenstiel, Portland State University.

The Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) program has funded research by undergraduate and graduate students since 1922. Of the 810 proposals received by the 1 Oct 2018 deadline, grants were earned by 97 applicants from 6 countries, including 17 undergraduate students, 24 master’s students, and 56 doctoral candidates. Collectively, the students received $87,696.

Previous GIARs have been earned by students at Portland State University, University of Portland, Washington State University Vancouver, and Willamette University. We encourage students at all academic institutions in the Portland area to apply. Membership in Sigma Xi isn't required, but 75% of the grants are reserved for student members and advisees of faculty who are members.

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