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December 19, 2011

Sigma Xi's First Electronic Election Results

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC -- The results are in from Sigma Xi's first electronic election for society officers, in which all active Sigma Xi members could participate. Thomas Acker, president emeritus of Wheeling Jesuit University, is the new president-elect designate. He will begin his service as Sigma Xi president-elect on July 1, 2012. Ronald Millard, professor at the University of Cincinnati, is the new treasurer.

Three new directors were also elected. Terry Schwaner is the new Baccalaureate Colleges Constituency Director. Schwaner is professor of biology and dean of the College of Sciences at the University of Findlay. Robin Moore-Orr is the new Canadian and International Director. She is adjunct professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Linda Mantel, associate research professor in the Center for Science Education at Portland State University, was reelected Northwest Regional Director.

Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society for research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters in North America and around the world. Membership is by invitation. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist magazine, the non-profit society awards hundreds grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.

Thomas S. Acker, S. J.
President Emeritus, Wheeling Jesuit University

UPDATE: As of August 1, 2012: Thomas S. Acker, S.J. has resigned.

Acker received his Doctorate Degree in Biology from Stanford University. He joined Sigma Xi as a student member at Stanford in 1959. While continuing research on reproduction in insects, he completed studies in theology and was ordained as a Jesuit Catholic Priest. He taught biology for two years at John Carroll University in Cleveland and seven years at the University of Detroit Mercy. In 1972, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to Nepal and worked to redo and implement a new biology curriculum for the entire country. Following Nepal, he was an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of San Francisco and then became Dean of Arts, Sciences, and Business at St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia. In 1982, he was elected as President of Wheeling Jesuit University and served there for eighteen years. He was then elected President Emeritus. He moved to southern West Virginia to work in economic development. Here he built and directed a new public college campus combining five public colleges, was able to obtain a health clinic in a struggling area of southern West Virginia, and secured over $45 million in grants that promoted southern West Virginia. During this period, he served as Dean at Future Generations Graduate School while they were obtaining their accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. In his eleven years in southern West Virginia, he was Chairman and CEO of the Higher Education Foundation and the CEO of Forward Southern West Virginia, Inc. In 2010, he was elected President of the Greenbrier Valley Chapter of Sigma Xi and headquartered it at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. With the cooperation of his colleagues, they increased the membership fourfold in one year.

Ronald W. Millard
Professor, University of Cincinnati

As a new member of Sigma Xi, and as President of The University of Cincinnati Sigma Xi Chapter, Millard is well positioned to bring a fresh perspective to the Office of Treasurer of the Society. He earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from Tufts University and subsequently served on the Tufts University Alumni Council, earning a doctoral in medical science (systems physiology) from Boston University. He completed postdoctoral training at the University of Washington (Seattle), Scripps Clinic and Research Foundations and the University of California at La Jolla, and at the Maine Medical Center (Portland). He is a Fulbright Senior Fellow (Denmark) and has previously served as a consultant to the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, The National Academies of Science/Ford Foundations Fellowships Selections, The National Science Foundation and The National Institutes of Health. Millard is also a Fellow of the American Council on Education. He has a successful record of organizing international science meetings, raising sponsor funding, and based on these successes, was subsequently invited to serve as consultant for follow-on science meetings. He has conducted collaborative international research in Antarctica, Alaska, Central America, Europe and Africa with support from the National Science Foundation, The National Geographic Society and the National Institutes of Health, among others. He has held full-time faculty posts at the Harvard University Medical School, Brown University and the University of Cincinnati, where he is a professor of pharmacology and cell biophysics. His commitment to excellence in science has resulted in more than 110 peer-reviewed publications, published chapters and edited books on cardiovascular and pulmonary biology, on chemical candidates for human disease therapies, and most recently on the potential for stem cells for heart tissue repair.

Terry Douglas Schwaner
Professor of Biology and Dean, College of Sciences
The University of Findlay

Schwaner received his Doctorate Degree from University of Kansas in 1979. He was the Department Head, Harry B. Forrester Endowed Scholar Chair, and Professor of Biology at North Georgia College and State University before taking the position of Professor of Biology and Dean of College of Sciences, The University of Findlay in 2007. Schwaner has received more than 60 individual grants from many different funding agencies, including the Australian Research Grants Committee, National Science Foundation (ILI), and the W.M. Keck Foundation for teaching and research activities, mostly involving undergraduates, on projects involving the systematics, ecology, genetics and evolutionary biology of plants and animals (mostly reptiles and amphibians). He is author or co-author of 60+ scholarly articles and has given 50+ invited presentations on his work since 1989.

Robin D. Moore-Orr
Adjunct Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Moore-Orr is an Adjunct Professor of Community Health and Humanities in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has a Doctorate in Nutrition and Health Services Administration from the Harvard School of Public Health. She has served on the Boards of many NGO and Professional Associations and National Advisory Councils and Committees. She currently serves on the National Advisory Committees to the Canadian Chemical Producers Association and the Canadian Blood Services. She is Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute of Child Health.

Linda H. Mantel
Associate Research Professor, Center for Science Education, Portland State University

Linda H. Mantel received a B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of Illinois. She was a research fellow in the Department of Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, after which she joined the Biology Department at City College of the City University of New York. During her 25 years at CCNY, Mantel was a faculty member, department chair and assistant provost for graduate studies and research. She carried out research on crustacean physiology, endocrinology and toxicology, and trained a number of undergraduate and graduate students.


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