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Sigma Xi and Provost Office Sponsor Student Travel Grant

December 9, 2008 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Northwestern University Chapter of Sigma Xi, the honor society of research scientists and engineers, and the Office of the Provost recently awarded an annual travel grant that sent two students to the Sigma Xi National Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference.

This year's conference travel award was given to Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences junior Hatim Thaker and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science senior Kyle Holmberg. Thaker and Holmberg traveled to Washington, D.C., last month with other students from North America and abroad.

The students participated in the Student Research Conference poster competition, joined distinguished researchers, attended career development workshops and participated in mentoring and networking activities, panel discussions and other events. Monetary prizes were presented for outstanding research posters. The students also were awarded complementary membership in Sigma Xi by the Northwestern University chapter for as long as they attend Northwestern.

Thaker, who is from Singapore, received a medal and a $100 check for his "superior" poster presentation in the conference's cell and molecular biology category.

"The Sigma Xi travel grant provided the opportunity to present my research interests at a national level," said Thaker, who is pursuing a major in biological sciences with a minor in musicology. "The interactions with the faculty and students of other distinguished institutions granted me a legion of ideas for my own future works."

Holmberg, a biomedical engineering student from North Mankato, Minn., said that he appreciated the diversity of students and scientists at the conference, which helped to expand his perspective on science.

"Solving challenges such as the energy and water crises require interdisciplinary efforts, so it is important for everyone to contribute," said Holmberg. Although he plans to study dentistry at the University of Minnesota after graduating from Northwestern, Holmberg intends to remain connected to the scientific community.

The competition for the travel grant award is held each spring at Northwestern's Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Topics: People, University News, Research