The New Mexico Highlands University Chapter of Sigma Xi, a scientific research society, recently won a national award for its student research fund program. The award was given at Sigma Xi’s national meeting Nov. 2 in Orlando.

“Being recognized at the national level for a job well done is important, particularly since we are a small chapter,” said Maureen Romine, Highlands University natural sciences professor and chapter president.

The research fund was started in spring 2006 by Highlands University anthropology professor Bob Mishler. The fund provides up to $400 to an undergraduate or graduate student from any Highlands University field of study for scientific investigation. All students are eligible.

Students who wish to apply for the research funds should collaborate with a faculty member and submit an application to the Sigma Xi Student Research Fund review subcommittee. Funds are allocated according to the merits of the proposal, faculty support, and availability of funds. Solicitation of applications and awards are made each semester, including the summer.

To date, 14 students from various disciplines including music, social work, Southwest studies, anthropology and life science-natural resource management have received awards. Contributions have been received from faculty, the Highlands University Student Senate and the Highlands University Graduate Office. All donations are welcome and should be sent to the Highlands University Foundation — Sigma Xi Student Research Fund.

Sigma Xi’s mission is to promote research and the public’s understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. There are nearly 60,000 Sigma Xi members in more than 100 countries around the world. Over the course of Sigma Xi’s distinguished history, more than 200 members have won a Nobel Prize.

The Highlands University Sigma Xi Chapter was started in 1960 and currently has 26 active members, including undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, on and off campus. In addition to the Sigma Xi Student Research Fund, the Highlands chapter sponsors monetary awards for local science fair students and monthly seminars to showcase Highlands University researchers and other researchers from around the country and the globe. For more information about the Highlands University Sigma Xi Chapter, visit the Web site at http://www.nnmex.net/sigmaxi/.