A national undergraduate honor society to encourage and foster scholarly activity
and recognize academic scholarship in the natural and computer sciences and mathematics

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Apply for a Sigma Zeta Research Award

Sigma Zeta KeySigma Zeta Research Awards are granted annually to support quality research by student members of Sigma Zeta.  Students need to submit applications by October 23.
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National Office is now open

Hello, Sigma Zeta friends! Welcome to the 2022-2023 academic year from the National Office of Sigma Zeta at McKendree University! The goal of this letter is to communicate with you, our many chapters and associate chapters, what’s been happening at the national level since our last communication.

The Sigma Zeta National Office closed for business of May 15th, 2022, and again re-opened for business on August 22nd, 2022. We look forward to working with/serving you. The National Office is operated by me. I hope to hire a new part-time administrative assistant this semester. According to my records, all orders placed AND PAID FOR during last fiscal year (ending June 30, 2022) have been shipped. If your chapter has yet to receive an order, please contact the national office. Again, thank you for your continued patience as we work to fulfill all the orders we will receive in the future.

Hopefully, your chapters are beginning to meet and make plans for a productive year.  All the national officers want to thank the chapter advisors, student officers, and members for the hard work that has been put into making Sigma Zeta a meaningful and successful organization.

As you are preparing to submit materials to the National Office, please be sure that all checks for invoices are mailed to the address at McKendree University. It may also be that your school’s business office will require a W9 form to be filled out prior to issuing checks payable to McKendree University. Remember that we are now accepting credit cards as a form of payment. The authorization form is available on our website. If you choose to pay by credit card, the authorization form will be submitted to our business office. Someone from the business office may need to call the contact person on the form to complete the transaction, so please be sure to list an appropriate phone number on the form. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Here are some highlights from the 2020-2021 academic year:

  • Over the past fiscal year (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022), 722 new membership certificates were printed. 370 pins were disbursed, and 515 medallions were disbursed. Compare this with the ’20 – ’21 fiscal year report of 459 certificates printed, 205 pins disbursed, and 398 medallions disbursed. It’s clear that our membership is recovering nicely and I hope to see these numbers increase even more over this fiscal year.
  • The annual fall advisors meeting will be held on November 12, 2022. A major item of business at the meeting is the evaluation of all the Student Research Award applications that are received by the due date. Last year, 17 research proposals (totaling 24 students) received either partial or full funding. Let’s all work to encourage student members of our local chapters to apply for the 2022 awards – the deadline to apply is Sunday October 23rd, 2022.  The process is relatively short and painless, as can be seen when looking at the guidelines for applying. With a little help from the faculty research mentor and closely following the guidelines, putting together a good application should not take too much time.  See our website for details and forms for application.
  • Many have submitted progress reports and are planning to present at the 2023 Convention. If student members from your local chapter received funding last year, please encourage them to submit a final report. That form is also available on our web site.
  • The 2021 National Convention was hosted by the Gamma Gamma chapter at Concordia College. It was an extremely successful event. Nine chapters attended with a total of 119 registered attendees. Forty-one presentations were presented (oral or poster)! It was a challenge to organize and pull off the convention virtually, however I am happy to report that the convention was a success with only a small number of technical glitches.

Please see the attachments to this message for details about the 2022 National Officers / Chapter Advisors Meeting. This meeting will take place virtually on November 12, 2022.  Both an invitation to this meeting and a registration form are attached.  As mentioned earlier, it is at this meeting that national officers, with the assistance of some advisors, will make decisions on student research application funding.  I will be sending out a draft of the agenda for this meeting soon.

Within the electronic mailing of this letter, you will find enclosed and / or attached information regarding: the Student Research Awards; the annual forms for reporting new officers and updating advisor information; the national office supplies’ list; and the instructions, to accompany the spreadsheet form, for reporting new members (all of these are also available in electronic form at the website).  Please be sure to spell out the day of the month (ex. Sixteenth versus 16th) to improve the appearance of the certificates.  ALSO, PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK THE SPELLING OF THE NAMES OF THE NEW MEMBERS because the certificates are prepared directly from the spread sheet that you submit. 

Please return your new officers list electronically through the website as soon as possible.  This information is needed to keep communications current.  New chapter officers are encouraged to submit their names to the Sigma Zeta email list using the link on the website.  I also encourage all of you who have not yet gone to the website to add yourself to the Sigma Zeta email list to do this now.  It’s quick and easy, and it ensures that you get regular updates and communications from other members.

The Rho chapter at the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, will serve as the host for the 2023 National Convention. The meeting dates are still to be announced but will probably happen sometime during the third or fourth week in March. Please plan early to attend. Currently, we are planning to hold this convention face-to-face. However, please keep an eye on any email correspondence or announcements that get posted on our website as the situation with the pandemic continues to be fluid. Either way, I know that we can count on an exciting convention because our hosts are regular attendees at the National Conventions, and they have had several of their students’ present outstanding research over the years. Information regarding the specific details of the meeting will be coming to you from the Rho chapter advisors, from the national office, and via the website and e-mail list as the year progresses.

The National Office, which is located at McKendree University, is anxious to help you have a good year! I can be reached by phone at 618-537-6930 or by e-mail at rdvanput@mckendree.eduI look forward to working with all of you again this year!!




Robb D. VanPutte, Ph.D.

National Executive Director

Sigma Zeta National Office

McKendree University

701 College Road

Lebanon, IL 62254

Promote Your Sigma Zeta Chapter

Chapters are encouraged to share Sigma Zeta events and milestones on your local campus and with the National Chapter. 

2022-23 Sigma Zeta Service Project Theme


The 2022 Sigma Zeta National Convention Service Committee selected the theme "To make science more accessible for diverse audience of all ages".

Specifically, we hope that chapters will engage in creating simplified, easily digestible overviews of complicated scientific concepts and will find unique ways to reach audiences beyond their classrooms and campuses. Communication of basic science concepts of important topics is critical to increasing science literacy. By explaining where scientific language comes from (the roots of words, long and complicated words, etc.), the scientific meanings and impacts can be better understood by everyone. Simple and accessible language helps to dispel fear of the unknown and makes science more approachable to a wide audience. We also intend these “crash courses” to highlight the works of underrepresented scientists whenever possible to acknowledge that science is a global endeavor. The increase of science literacy will enable better advocacy for sustainable solutions to problems facing the world today.

Share what your local chapter is doing to promote community between disciplines and to disseminate scientific information..


2021 - 2022 Research Award Recipients

Lorissa Thorpe. Gamma Sigma. How does a unique microbial niche influence HO endonuclease gene function in the wild Saccharomyces Cerevisiae?

Amelia Landsverk. Gamma Gamma. Examining the relationship between foraging behaviors in an urban environment and the ingestion of microplastics in American red (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), easter gray (Sciurus carolinensis), and northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus).

Kelly Lorenz. Gamma Gamma. The Differentiation of White-Footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus) from Deer Mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) using Salivary Amylase and Morphological Measurements.

Alexander Abatayo and Erica Sheagley. Gamma Eta. Determining the Effects of Pharmaceutical- Contaminated Irrigation Water on Arabidopsis thaliana Plant Stress Responses.

Luke Heady and Melissa Guillen. Gamma Eta. Impact of Combined IL-2 and IL-15 Immunotherapy on the Expression of PD-L1 in B16 Cells.

Luke Heady. Gamma Eta. Investigating potential Synergism of Branched-Chain Amino Acids and IL-15 in resistance-training associated muscle hypertrophy.

Melissa Guillen. Gamma Eta. Examination of innate immunity in Caenorhabditis elegans with altered lipid metabolism when exposed to pathogenic ToxA peptide isolated from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Caitlyn Phillips, Matthew Reuter, Katherine Stegemann, and Gavin Thompson. Gamma Eta. Determining the Role of EpiBrassinolide, a Plant Steroid, in Breast Cancer Cell Growth.

Erin Oleksak and Natalie Prena. Gamma Eta. Correlation of Leptin Concentration and Lecithin-Cholesterol Acyltransferase (LCAT) Enzyme Activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Caleb Beimfohr and Kelsey Ramp. Gamma Eta. Exploring the role of SEMA3F in keratinocyte cell proliferation. 

Jarius Ingram. Pi. Comparison of Two Cardiac Glycosides’ Cytotoxicity in Rhabdomyosarcoma Cancer Cells to Two Common Chemotherapeutics.

Kailey Weiskopf. Gamma Kappa. Free Cortisol Levels in Saliva Samples vs Total Cortisol Levels in Blood Serum Samples of Cattle.

Corynn Knight and Kaylyn Lofaro. Gamma Kappa. Immune Response to Modified Live versus Killed BRD Vaccines in Weaning Calves.

Kate McDonald, Sarah Schwemmer, and Sarah Mckenzie. Gamma Kappa. Perceived Effectiveness and Administration of Anthelmintics in Beef Cattle In Relation to the Actual Parasite Load.

Ally Parker and Mary Rose Foster. Gamma Kappa. Efficacy of Neutralizing Antibody Production of Killed BRD Vaccine in the Presence of MM-90 Injection.

Nicholas Schulte and Benjamin Yoder. Gamma Kappa. Impact of Weaning Methods on Calves in Response to Vaccination Against Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD).

Shelby Smith and Rachel Brown. Gamma Kappa. The Effect of Agroforestry on Farm Diversity.

Emily Lovins. Rho. Analysis of Serotonin Present in Crayfish Hemolymph Using Derivatization by MSTFA and BSTFA through GC-MS.

Jacob Good. Rho. Analysis of Ostarine in Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator Products Using Reversed-Phase High-Performance Liquid Chromatography.

Taylor Nagy. Beta Chi. Determination of Altered DNA Binding Capabilities Between Native and Variant SOX18 Proteins Expressed in E. coli Strain XJb(DE3).

Sigma Zeta Logo Items

Sigma Zeta Logo Merchandise

You asked, now order soon!
Sigma Zeta branded items available in the Sigma Zeta StoreTalk to your chapter advisor or officers to place an order for one or all chapter members.

Nalgene BPA Free 24oz Sigma Zeta Water Bottle   Sigma Zeta Insulated Cup   Sigma Zeta Sackpack


2022 - 2023 National Officers

Executive Director: 
  Robb VanPutte, Beta, McKendree University

  Joe Burnell, Rho, University of Indianapolis

President Elect: 
  Mason Kulbaba, Sigma, Our Lady of the Lake University

Past President: 
  Joyce Horton, Gamma Eta, Marian University

  David Hahn, Alpha Gamma, Malone University 

  Joe Whittaker, Gamma Gamma, Concordia College

  Bernadine Cochran, Beta Xi, Univ. of Pikeville

  Belarmino Gonzalez, Gamma Rho, Miami Dade College

Student Representatative:
   Taylor Devine, Gamma Gamma, Concordia College

Starting a New Sigma Zeta Chapter

 Sigma Zeta welcomes the formation of new campus chapters interested in furthering the purpose of the society as stated in the mission statement:

A national undergraduate honor society to encourage and foster scholarly activity and recognize academic scholarship in the natural and computer sciences and mathematics

Steps to forming a Sigma Zeta chapter at your College or University:

  • Gather a group of science and math students and faculty interested in a science honor society for all science and math students.  Sigma Zeta includes all science and Math oriented departments, majors, and students. Especially important is one or more faculty willing to actively encourage and support your local Sigma Zeta chapter and to hopefully also become involved with the National Sigma Zeta organization.

  • Submit a new chapter application form.

Support Sigma Zeta

Donations in support of Sigma Zeta can be mailed to:

Sigma Zeta National Science & Mathematics Honor Society
McKendree University
701 College Road
Lebanon, IL 62254

Ongoing Mission Related Needs

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Sigma Zeta Store

Sigma Zeta Gold Pin        Sigma Zeta Honors Medallion     Sigma Zeta Covered Insulated Cup

Purchase your Sigma Zeta Honors Medallions and Pins for the academic year early. Try to order at least 30 days in advance so that you can have them when needed.  Also available are Sigma Zeta branded nalgene water bottles, tumblers, and sackpacks.

Also Available:

  • Introducing You to Sigma Zeta Pamphlet
  • History and Constitution of Sigma Zeta
  • The Sigma Zetan
  • Letterheads: $.05 / Each
  • Pencils: $.10 / Each