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UNI Sigma Xi student research conference honors student work

May 4, 2003

Siobahn Morgan, Sigma Xi secretary, (319) 273-2389
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing and Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The 10th annual Sigma Xi Student Research Conference at the University of Northern Iowa acknowledged the works of Jeffery Church, a senior biology major from Sioux City, and Yijun Deng, a graduate student from Hengyany, China as the two best research papers presented at the conference. The students were awarded a $25 check and certificate.

Church received the undergraduate poster award for his research, 'Effect of Light Wavelengths on Phototropism in Phaseolus Leaves.' The study examined how bean plants interact with light to adjust their leaf angles to optimize function. His research advisor is Virginia Berg, UNI professor of biology. Deng received the graduate poster award for his research, 'The effect of atrazine, metolachlor and diazinon on human cells.' The research examined the growth inhibitory effects of single pesticides and pesticide combinations on human cells. His research advisor is Kavita R. Dhanwada, assistant professor of biology.

Students representing a wide range of disciplines were given the opportunity to present the results of their research in a professional setting, similar to what is done at discipline-specific conferences. The conference was hosted by the UNI chapter of Sigma Xi, an honor society founded in 1886 for scientists and engineers.

Sigma Xi's goals are to foster worldwide interactions among science, technology and society; to encourage appreciation and support of original work in science and technology; and to honor scientific accomplishments. The UNI chapter of Sigma Xi was established in 1986 and has 130 members representing all colleges on campus.