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.

18 November 2015

Ballroom, Smith Memorial Union, Portland State University

Sigma Xi Columbia-Willamette Chapter held its twelfth annual Symposium of poster papers by undergraduate and graduate students in the sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and engineering on Wednesday 18 November 2015, 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. At this event, 50 student research posters were reviewed by 20 judges, and 19 cash prizes for best poster presentation were awarded. The primary student authors were affiliated with 5 local academic institutions (PSU, UP, OHSU, Reed, Warner Pacific).  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.

Our chapter invites the first-place winners in our Student Research Symposium to apply for partial support to attend an upcoming Sigma Xi meeting--either the Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference, held in the fall, or the summer meeting with the AAAS Pacific Division. At each of the last four meetings, a local student presented a research poster and won an award from Sigma Xi.

Joseph Thiebes won the award for best poster by an undergraduate in Chemistry, for his presentation on Prussian Green: a high rate capacity cathode for potassium ion batteries at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference, Kansas City MO, in October 2015.

Four local students won Grants-In-Aid of Research from Sigma Xi during the 2014-15 academic year: Zecong Fang (Washington State University - Vancouver), Sydney Gonsalves (PSU), Timea Deakova (PSU), and Ariana Chiapella (PSU). Their projects, and the nature of Sigma Xi's GIAR awards, are described in Student research grants.

The Chapter sponsored a 30 April 2015 lecture on exoplanets by Yale astrophysicist Debra Fischer. On 30 September 2015, Dr. Fischer participated in a Google Hangout (an online conversation, which still can be viewed): 20 Years of Exoplanet Discoveries . It's the first of a new series by Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturers.

2015 Fall Mixer

Expediting Science and Technology Commercialization: An Introduction to Oregon’s First and Only Bioscience-Specific Business Accelerator

Bringing together the biotech community and Sigma Xi members to meet and greet entrepreneurs in all fields of bioscience and biotechnology.

Our Sigma Xi C-W Chapter Mixer was held Thursday, October 8 at the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator on Macadam Avenue. Erik Tucker and Felicia Williams, principals of Aronora Bioscience, provided a beautiful and bountiful spread of snacks and wine. Dr. Jennifer Fox, Executive Director of the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) and the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI)), provided us with an overview of the activities of OBI and how much it has grown since its launch a few years ago. 
She also led a tour of the individual working labs and shared facilities, which include tissue culture hoods, low temperature freezers, and other large equipment.

Six chapter board members attended the event, along with several other researchers working in the building and two tech venture specialists. Bevin Daglen, chemistry teacher at Oregon Episcopal School, brought three of her students, all of whom are interested in biotech research.

Linda Mantel, President of the Chapter, gave a brief overview of Sigma Xi and the chapter, and how membership could add value to a professional career. So far we have recruited at least one new member from the group and are expecting two or three more.


Tom Hard,
Aug 24, 2015, 2:00 PM