Sigma Xi

Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honors scientific achievement.

It honors excellence in scientific investigation and encourages a sense of companionship and cooperation among researchers in all fields of science and engineering. It encourages support of original work across the spectrum of science and technology and to promote an appreciation within society at large for the role research has played in human progress (from the Society's web page).

Welcome Back Sigma Xi Attendees!

Dear Colleagues,

Celebrating its Quasquicentennial (125th) Anniversary, Sigma Xi welcomed nearly 300 students from 120 Colleges and Universities from across the nation to Raleigh, N.C. between Nov.10 - 12, 2012 for its Annual Meeting and Conference and our Quadranscentennial (25th) Anniversary Summer Research Award Students engaged in the celebration. Representing Saint Mary’s were:

Christopher Beck (Joel Burley, mentor): Remote and Urban Air Quality: Surface Ozone in the Bay Area and White Mountains of California.

Charlotte Lea (Vidya Chandrasekaran, mentor): Reactive Oxygen Species Are Important for Promoting BMP-7 Including Dendritic Growth in Rat Embryonic Sympathetic Neurons.

Eric Shide (Vidya Chandrasekaran, mentor): The Effects of Energy Drinks on the Structure and Function of Epithelial Cells and Fibroblasts.

Judging is always challenging at this conference and this year had the added dimension of undergraduates being on the floor at the same time with students presenting their work from their theses and dissertations. Despite this increased level of competition, our students performed admirably and based on their excellent level of original research, performance at the meeting, and promise as scientists our students were invited to become members of Sigma Xi. During our gatherings, my fellow judges and I often remarked on the significance, complexity and quality of the research performed by these young scientists.

The conference was a very rewarding and enjoyable experience for our students. We can be proud of the way they performed and in the manner they carried themselves, both professionally and personally. They were great ambassadors of the College. It was a pleasure to accompany them, to learn of and from them, and witness the triumph of their spirit. Perhaps the highlight of this year’s conference was meeting Bro. Guy Consolmagno from the Vatican Observatory who provided personal comments on the interrelationship of science, culture, religion, and ethics and former astronaut Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan (now a member of the Obama Administration) who challenged us to look at our planet anew. Her many accolades and accomplishments simultaneously intimidated and inspired the many young scientists in the audience as witnessed by the Q & A session proceeding her talk.

Thank you to Dean Roy Wensley for providing our students this wonderful opportunity to showcase their skills and education; to Professor Vidya Chandrasekaran for her guidance of the Summer Research Program; to Ms. Amy Bockman for her administrative support; and to all the faculty mentors who unselfishly gave of their time,  knowledge, and guidance this past Summer.


Keith H. Ogawa, Ph. D.
Professor, Department of Psychology


View the 2011 Sigma Xi Conference Image Gallery »

View the 2010 Sigma Xi Conference Image Gallery »

 View the 2009 Sigma Xi Conference Image Gallery »

View the 2008 Sigma Xi Conference Image Gallery »

Sigma XI Attendees 2005-2007


  • Frankie Mangini
  • Jonathan Plotner
    "Asteroid Classification and Detection with Orbital Analysis"
  • Ashton Smith
    "Services Used and Quality of Life in Three Types of Senior Housing: A Comparative Study"



  • Katie Azevedo
    "Surface Ozone Concentration and Weekend Effect Study in Joshua Tree National Park and Surrounding Urban Locations"
    Award: Excellent Presentation
  • Annie Chase
    "Optimization of Baseball Swing Parameters for Three Levels of Play"
    Award: Superior Presentation
  • David Drummond
    "The Analysis of the Gordon Game"
    Award: Superior Presentation
  • Emily King
    "Transport Dynamics Associated with Surface Ozone Concentrations at Remote Locations in Joshua Tree National Park"
    Award: Superior Presentation
  • Michael Pisarek
    "Antimicrobial Natural Products from the Red Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus franciscanus"
    Award: Excellent Presentation
  • Jia Shen
    "Manatee Vocalization Computational Analysis"
    Award: Excellent Presentation


  • Barry Amos
    "Decay Search Using an Artificial Neural Network"
    Award: Excellent Presentation
  • Karl Beutner
    "Iterative Polynomial Root Finders"
    Award: Superior Presentation
  • Ashley Martin
    "Influence of Global Geology on the Evolution of Animals"
    Award: Excellent Presentation
  • Annie Regan
    "Anatomic QuickTime Movies"
    Award: Excellent Presentation
  • Scott Rodriguez
    "Physical Characterization of Atmospherically Relevant Polar Organic Aerosols on Cloud Droplet Growth"
    Award: Excellent Presentation
  • Tom Scarry
    "CCD Detection of Minor Bodies Using a Small Aperture Telescope"
    Award: Excellent Presentation
  • Steve Schluchter
    "The Complex World of Jumping Champions"
    Award: Excellent Presentation