Biological Sciences

OU students earn nine awards at annual Sigma Xi conference

Vereena Salib, Kristin Henein, Olivia Racette, Morgan Markel, Gerard Madlambayan, Britt Rios-Ellis, Sarah Hosch, Ora, Danielle Dorsen , Huong Tran , Daniela Meson De La Fuente, Molly Vue

Vereena Salib, Kristin Henein, Olivia Racette, Morgan Markel, Dr. Gerard Madlambayan, Provost Britt Rios-Ellis, Dr. Sarah Hosch, President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Danielle Dorsen, Huong Tran, Daniela Meson De La Fuente, and Molly Vue.

Vereena Salib, Olivia Racette, Morgan Markel, Britt Rios-Ellis, Ora, Danielle Dorsen, Huong Tran, Molly Vue

Vereena Salib, Olivia Racette, Morgan Markel, Provost Britt Rios-Ellis, President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Danielle Dorsen, Huong Tran, and Molly Vue.

Back row: Daniela Meson De La Fuente, Kristin Henein, Morgan Markel, Shailesh Lal, Vereena Salib, Saul Ruiz, Niraj Chaudry, Niraj Dhakal; Front row: Olivia Racette, Molly Vue, Danielle Dorsen, Huong T

Back row: Daniela Meson De La Fuente, Kristin Henein, Morgan Markel, Shailesh Lal, Vereena Salib, Saul Ruiz, Niraj Chaudry, Niraj Dhakal. Front row: Olivia Racette, Molly Vue, Danielle Dorsen, Huong Tran.

Molly Vue, Huong Tran, Danielle Dorsen, Olivia Racette, Saul Ruiz

Molly Vue, Huong Tran, Danielle Dorsen, Olivia Racette, and Saul Ruiz.

Olivia Racette, Saul Ruiz , Morgan Markel,  Vereena Salib

Olivia Racette, Saul Ruiz , Morgan Markel, and Vereena Salib.

icon of a calendarDecember 7, 2023

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OU students earn nine awards at annual Sigma Xi conference
Vereena Salib, Kristin Henein, Olivia Racette, Morgan Markel, Dr. Gerard Madlambayan, Provost Britt Rios-Ellis, Dr. Sarah Hosch, President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Danielle Dorsen, Huong Tran, Daniela Me
Vereena Salib, Kristin Henein, Olivia Racette, Morgan Markel, Dr. Gerard Madlambayan, Provost Britt Rios-Ellis, Dr. Sarah Hosch, President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Danielle Dorsen, Huong Tran, Daniela Meson De La Fuente, and Molly Vue.

The Oakland University chapter of Sigma Xi took home an impressive nine awards in various categories at the second annual International Forum on Research Excellence (IFoRE), which took place Nov. 9-12 in Long Beach, Calif.

“I am very proud of our students,” said Shailesh Lal, professor of biological sciences and chair of the Department of Bioengineering at OU. “They proved to be among the nation’s best, bringing to Oakland University more medals than any other participating institutions at the conference. This is an outstanding achievement and a testament to strong mentorship, hard work, and dedication of our faculty and students, as well as the administration’s strong financial and logistic support.”

The theme for the 2023 conference was “Visions of Ethical Research.” Over 250 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students attended the meeting and presented research in oral and poster format.

The second annual conference also featured Key Thought sessions, student and professional research showcases; award presentations; plenary and breakout sessions; a STEM Art and Film Festival; a college, graduate school, and jobs fair; and Sigma Xi’s annual business meeting and assembly of delegates.

With support from the Oakland University Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Eye Research Institute, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Center for Biomedical Research, and the College of Arts and Sciences, 11 OU students were able to participate in this year’s conference.

“Our tradition of research excellence at Oakland University is strengthened through our commitment to sponsoring students to attend international conferences, such as IFoRE,” said Dr. Sarah Hosch, Sigma Xi OU chapter president and director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. “The OU chapter of Sigma Xi is proud to offer our students the experience to travel and compete against top student scholars in their fields, something that is unique compared to other large research institutions.”

The students, who represented a diverse field of disciplines, were able to share their research during the Student Summit portion of the conference. A judging committee of Sigma Xi members evaluated the presenters on their scientific thoughts, methods and communication skills. Several OU students were recognized with awards, including:

Oral Presentation Winners

Undergraduate:

• Vereena Salib

Interdisciplinary Research:

• Olivia Racette – Advances in Computation

• Vereena Salib – Human Health

• Huong Tran – Tools for Science, Education, and Personalized Learning

Poster Presentation Winners

Undergraduate:

• Molly Vue – Engineering

Graduate:

• Saul Ruiz – Cell Biology and Biochemistry

• Danielle Dorsen – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

• Morgan Markel – Microbiology and Molecular Biology

Interdisciplinary Research Categories:

• Saul Ruiz – Biology and Biotechnology (Understanding the Brain, Origins of Life (Assembling Tree of Life, Understanding Biological Systems)

“In the empirical equation of achievement, the variables determining my success are intricately correlated with the quality and synergistic influence of the individuals comprising my network,” Ruiz said. “If the company you surround yourself with determines who you are, it is no wonder that those around me are the indispensable architects of my success.

“Simply put, it wasn’t about winning an award, it was about the amazing team of people I worked with that really determined what those medals mean to me,” he added. “Any award I receive is only possible because of the unwavering support and invaluable assistance from those who have helped me along the way.”

About Sigma Xi at Oakland University

Founded in 1974, Oakland University’s Sigma Xi chapter is nationally ranked for excellence in recognition of chapter activities and active members. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition.

To learn more about OU’s Sigma Xi chapter, email Dr. Hosch at hosch@islandhousemd.com or visit 0cr7.islandhousemd.com/biology/sigmaxi.

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