Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Kelly Sullivan has been elected president of Sigma Xi, the international science and engineering honor society.
Sullivan is the director of institutional partnerships for the Department of Energy's national lab in Richland. She was elected president of the 125-year-old society at Sigma Xi's annual meeting in Raleigh, N.C. Her term as president-elect will begin July 1, and she will become president on July 1, 2012.
The last PNNL scientist elected president of Sigma Xi was Bill Wiley, who served as Sigma Xi's president-elect, but passed away in 1996 the day before he was scheduled to start his term as president. Wiley and Sullivan are the only DOE national lab scientists to be elected to the Sigma Xi's top office.
Sigma Xi has almost 50,000 members in 100 countries. Associate members are invited to join only after showing potential in scientific research.
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Full membership is granted to those who have demonstrated noteworthy scientific achievements. Membership has included renowned scientists such as Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi.
Before becoming director of institutional partnerships at PNNL, Sullivan's research focused on the electronic structure and stability of small molecules and ions of atmospheric and mass spectrometric interest.
More recently, she played a key role in the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable at the National Academies, leading efforts in science, technology, engineering and math education.
She joined PNNL in 2001 after teaching chemistry at Minnesota State University at Mankato and at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. She has a doctorate in physical chemistry.