Office of Research & Engagement

UT Knoxville

UTK Sigma Xi Chapter

UTK-Sigma Xi-Logo emblem      Sigma Xi logo

Sigma Xi Mission
To enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science
and engineering, and promote the public’s understanding of science
for the purpose of improving the human condition.

National Sigma Xi website

Graduate Research Competition :: 2014

The graduate research competition was held on April 14, 2014, during Research Week. The official colors of Sigma Xi are gold and blue, therefore the winners of the annual competition are denoted by Gold Winners and Blue Winners.

Gold                                                       Gold Winners

Sigma Xi winner Connor

Lisa Connor, Child & Family Studies

Carin Neitzel, Faculty Mentor


Sigma Xi winner Thurman

Sabrina Thurman, Psychology

Daniela Corbetta, Faculty Mentor


 Sigma Xi winner Woo

Hannah Woo, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Terry Hazen, Faculty Mentor


Blue                                                        Blue Winners

Sigma Xi winner Joshi

Snehal Joshi, Food Microbiology

Doris D’Souza, Faculty Mentor


 Sigma Xi winner Manga

Punita Manga, Genome Science & Technology

Steven Brown, Faculty Mentor


 Sigma Xi winner Sasso

Rosie Sasso, Educational Psychology & Counseling

Jennifer Morrow, Faculty Mentor


Sigma Xi winner Willford

Allan Wilford, Political Science

Wonjae Hwang, Faculty Mentor


UTK Sigma Xi News

Sigma Xi Graduate Research Presentation Competition

The graduate research presentation competition for the newly reactivated UTK Sigma Xi Chapter will be held the morning of April 14, 2014, during Research Week.  The competition will be held at the University Center, Rooms 223-224, 225, and 226.  Below is the schedule for the competition:

University of Tennessee, Knoxville – Office of Research
Sigma Xi Graduate Research Presentation Competition Applications
April 14, 2014
  Session I Session II Session III
Morning Session University Center Rm 223-224 University Center Rm 225 University Center Rm 226
8:30AM-8:50AM Salimas, Daniels:  Examining the Social Capital of Young Children from Four Ethnic Groups in an Informal Settlement of Kenya (Advisor:  Carin Neitzel) Woo, Hannah:  Investigating deep-ocean microbes with lignin-degrading potential for novel enzyme discovery (Advisor:  Terry Hazen) Salvatore, Joseph:  Strangers with Benefits:  Attraction to Outgroup Men Across the Human Female Menstrual Cycle (Advisor:  Lowell Gaertner)
8:50AM-9:10AM Bader, Lauren:  Perceptions of th eEnvironment and Parenting Strategies in Urban Kenya (Advisor:  Carin Neitzel) Liu, Jiang:  Microbial Respiration and Community Changes to Oil in Deep Eastern Mediterranean and Great Australian Bight (Advisor:  Terry Hazen) Walpitage, Dammika:  An Examination of the Structure of College Students’ Financial Behaviors (Advisor:  Gary Skolits)
9:10AM-9:30AM Wilford, Allan:  Scottish Secession and Voter Turnout:  Simulating the Effects of Full Vote (Advisor:  Wonjae Hwang) Utturkar, Sagar:  Evaluatin and validation of de novo and hybrid assembleis to derive high quality genome sequences
9:30AM-9:50AM Morris, Melanie:  Nurse Intrapartum Labor Support and Women’s Perceptions of Caring (Advisor:  Marian Roman) Manga, Punita:  Studying variation and experimental noise in RNA-seq data (Advisor:  Seven Brown Pathirage, Dopa:  Helpfulness of an ESL Course for International Students:  An Institutional Case Study (Advisor:  Jennifer Morrow)
9:50AM-10:10AM Clinton, Amy:  Meeting Student Needs:  Navigating Religion in the University Setting (Advisor:  Dorian McCoy) Harris, Jason:  A Computational Approach Predicting CYP450 Metabolism and Estrogenic activity of an Endocrine Disrupting Compound (PCB-30) (Advisor:  Dr. Jerome Baudry) Thurman, Sabrina:  Temperamental Associations with the Developmen tof Infant Motor Skill  (Advisor:  Daniela Corbetta)
10:10AM-10:30AM Connor, Lisa:  Kenyan children’s use of social roles and language functions with various partners ( Advisor:  Carin Neitzel) Joshi, Snehal:  Human norovirus and hepatitis A virus reduction by blueberry polyphenols (Advisor:  Doris D’Souza) Sasso, Rosie:  Learning ‘On the Go’ (Advisor;  Jennifer Morrow)
10:30AM-10:50AM Vargas, José:  Biokinetics and Efficacy of Aminocyclopyrachlor-methyl ester as Influenced by Diffufenzopyr (Advisor:  James Brosnan) Chapel, Kyle:  Historical and Counterfactual Accounts of Harm (Advisor:  Adam Cureton)



UT Sigma Xi Chapter Reactivated

One of the nation’s prestigious research societies is getting renewed life on the UT Knoxville campus after recent meetings of current UTK members.

The UTK chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, recently elected officers and is exploring options to promote the society’s goals. For the past two years, the local chapter had been classified as inactive by the national organization.

The mission of Sigma Xi is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public’s understanding.

Officers for 2013-2014 are:

  • President: Angel Palomino, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, specializing in geotechnical engineering. Previously, Palomino was a faculty member at Pennsylvania State University, where she held the Hartz Career Development Professorship. She received her MSCE and PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • President-Elect: Todd Freeberg, associate professor of psychology and an adjunct member of the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. He received his PhD from Indiana University. His area of research tests how social processes influence vocal signaling in animals.
  • Treasurer: Benjamin Auerbach, assistant professor of anthropology, received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research interests include the evolution of modern variation in the morphology of the human skeleton, ecogeographic variation in body size and proportions, estimation of body size and shape from skeletal remains in humans and human ancestors, and New World human population history.
  • Secretary: Greg Reed, interim department head and professor in civil and environmental engineering. Reed, who earned his doctorate from the University of Arkansas, is a registered professional engineer in Tennessee, and has certification as a diplomat of environmental engineering. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, has conducted over 40 research projects in various aspects of environmental engineering and has over 60 publications.

The chapter is now seeking suggestions for activities or programs the chapter can facilitate or partner to help facilitate. Suggestions can be sent to

Sigma Xi:  Become a Member

Membership in Sigma Xi is by nomination, in conferred in one of two ways, and is not dependent on the nominee having a specific education degree.  Students and non-students follow the same review process.  More…


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