VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Villanova University chapter of Sigma Xi honor society received the Sigma Xi Chapter of Excellence Award for distinguished performance during the year 2012 (extending until June 30, 2012). The award, granted exclusively to five out of the 523 existing chapters in the United States, recognizes chapters that portray an outstanding overall reflection of Sigma Xi’s mission statement, innovative programming and leadership in the community.
Sigma Xi honor society strives to improve the human condition based on four fundamental goals: to promote science education and scientific policy, to establish integrity in science and engineering fields and to further public understanding of science.
“Sigma Xi provides a valuable opportunity for students to present their research and practice communicating their findings,” noted current Sigma Xi chapter president, Steven Goldsmith, PhD, assistant professor of Environmental Science in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It also offers opportunities for students to get involved as mentors through middle and high school science fairs co-sponsored with the university.”
The Villanova chapter of Sigma Xi has a strong presence on campus. Their influence is especially evident at two annual events: the Mendel Medal Lecture and the Sigma Xi Student Research Poster Symposium.
The Mendel Medal is in an award presented in honor of Gregor Mendel, the Augustinian friar known for his work in genetics. The medal is awarded to outstanding scientists who have shown dedication to their scientific work while maintaining strong spiritual faith. Past recipients have included distinguished scientist-theologians and medical researchers and Nobel Laureates. Sigma Xi is responsible for publicizing the lecture as well as introducing the keynote speaker.
The Student Research Poster Symposium, an event that traditionally admits more than 50 student entries, is an opportunity for Science and Engineering students to present their research. This year the symposium will be held on Friday, April 26 in the Villanova Room of The Connolly Center. The event will also feature Harvard University’s Dr. Dan Nocera whose keynote address is entitled, “The Artifical Leaf”.
Added Goldsmith: “This award is due to the diligent efforts of our organization’s recent past presidents, including Anil Bamezai, PhD, associate professor of Biology, and Mirela Damien, PhD, professor of Computer science, along with our treasurer, Sridhar Santhanam, PhD, professor of Mechanical Engineering.”
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.