Paulen A. Smith Chapter at Ithaca College

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, is nonprofit membership society of scientists and engineers who were elected to the Society because of their research achievements or potential. Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi has more than 500 chapters at universities and colleges, government laboratories and industry research centers.

The chapter at Ithaca College was founded in 1965. In 2005, the chapter was named the Paulen A. Smith Chapter at Ithaca College in honor of Paulen Smith, Professor Emeritus of Physics, a long standing advocate for the honor society. The chapter holds an annual banquet at which the faculty nominators highlight the research achievements of the student and faculty inductees.

Nomination Procedure

Students are nominated for membership by their faculty research mentor. A call for nominations is posted in Intercom early in the spring semester. To nominate a student, the mentor should fill out two forms, the Sigma Xi Local Nomination Form (use PDF or Word documents below) and the Sigma Xi National Nomination Form. These forms will be included in an email to department chairs each Spring. The local form provides information for the local committee to consider for the nomination. The national form is for the local committee to forward to the national organization. The local form is in .doc or PDF format and is electronically editable. The national form is a .pdf file that is electronically editable. 

Students are generally nominated for associate membership. A faculty member does not need to be a member of Sigma Xi to nominate a student. Non-members should leave the Nominator/Second Nominator information blank on the national form and the local committee will fill those in. To complete the nomination, follow the procedure outlined in the call for nominations or contact an officer.

Nomination Criteria

The national criteria for associate membership are:

Research aptitude specified for election [in pure or applied science] must be evidenced by independent investigation ordinarily resulting in a written report [for instance, a published paper]. Associate membership is offered to encourage young investigators with promise to continue careers in research.  In making the nomination, the nominator must attest to the nominee's potential for future promotion to Member.

For students, the local committee uses the following guidelines when considering the nomination. The student should have

1. evidence of scholarship by having authored/co-authored a publication in a recognized scientific journal, and/or presented a paper or poster at a recognized regional or national scientific conference (e.g., ECSC, regional or national discipline meetings, NCUR, Sigma Xi conference). Please note that presentation at the Whalen Symposium does not suffice to meet the requirement.

2. a clear intention of going further in a research environment (e.g. graduate school or industrial lab).

3. for seniors, an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and a science & math GPA of 3.3; for non-seniors, an overall GPA of 3.3 and a science & math GPA of 3.5.

Exceptions to the criteria will be considered. In such case, the membership committee expects the nominating faculty member to present a strong case on the student's behalf.

Nominations for faculty are welcome. Please talk to one of the local Sigma Xi officers for further information.

Deadline is March 6, 2023

The two nomination forms (mentioned above) must be submitted to Andrew Smith, Department of Biology, CNS 155 (Tel: 607-274-3975, Email: by Monday, March 6, 2023.

Banquet and Induction: The reception and induction ceremony will be held this year on Wednesday, April 12th, 2023 at 5:30pm in the Campus Center Klingenstein Lounge. Nominators should plan to attend and prepare a few comments about the research achievements of the student or faculty member.

file-outline Sigma Xi Call for Nominations 2023 FORM.docx - Sigma Xi Call for Nominations 2023 FORM.docx (25.33 KB)
file-outline Sigma Xi Call for Nominations 2023 FORM.pdf - Sigma Xi Call for Nominations 2023 FORM.pdf (86.86 KB)


Andy Smith (Biology)

Vice President
Leigh Ann Vaughn (Psychology)

DJ Robinson (Chemistry)

Secretary and Primary Contact
Eric Leibensperger (Physics & Astronomy)

2022 Sigma Xi Inductees

Lindsey Albertelli Biochemistry Scott Ulrich
Joshua Bodin Chemistry Michael Haaf
Rebecca Boland Applied Psychology Tamara Fitzwater
Nya Evans Chemistry Scott Ulrich
Olivia Grogan Chemistry Janet Hunting
Phung Huynh Biology Ian Woods
Abigail McGee Biochemistry Jamie Ellis
Aidan O’Leary Psychology Mary Turner DePalma
Elizabeth Ryan Biochemistry Scott Ulrich

2021 Sigma Xi Inductees




Patricia Burkins


Leigh Ann Vaughn

Andrew Nicoll


Akiko Fillinger

Rachael Chalachan


Leigh Ann Vaughn

Chase Garvey


Leigh Ann Vaughn

 Mikayla Henry


Susan Witherup

Antara Sen


Beth Clark Joseph

2020 Sigma Xi Inductees




Fardin Ahmed


Andrew Torelli

Urja Bhatia Psychology  Tamara Fitzwater
Claire Conklin Biochemistry Ian Woods
Cory Davis Biochemistry   Jamie Ellis
Evan Gavrilles Psychology Tamara Fitzwater
Alexander Massoud Physics Luke Keller
Robert Melikyan Physics & Astronomy  Beth Ellen Clark Joseph
Kate Mori Biology   Ian Woods
Cassidy Raab Chemistry Janet Hunting
Delaney Runyon Psychology Judith Pena-Schaff
Hannah Weibley Psychology    Nancy Rader
Jelani Williams Biochemistry  Maki Inada