Sigma Xi honors scientist, communicator with 2016 awards

From left, Vijay Singh, 2016 Sigma Xi Outstanding Distinguished Scientist; Robert Chapkin, Sigma Xi chapter president; and Larry Johnson, chair of Sigma Xi Outstanding Teacher Awards Committee

From left, Vijay Singh, 2016 Sigma Xi Outstanding Distinguished Scientist; Robert Chapkin, Sigma Xi chapter president; and Larry Johnson, chair of Sigma Xi Outstanding Teacher Awards Committee.

COLLEGE STATION – Sigma Xi, the research honor society at Texas A&M University, presented a scientist and a communicator with its top honors during the annual ceremony Tuesday, May 3. The society also recognized three Bryan-College Station teachers of math or science for their excellence in the classroom.

The Outstanding Distinguished Scientist award was presented to Vijay P. Singh, a Distinguished Professor at Texas A&M and holder of the Caroline and William N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water Engineering in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He is a world-renowned scholar in water research and education areas that include hydrologic science, hydraulic engineering, water-resources engineering, environmental engineering, and irrigation engineering. Singh has made original contributions and significant advances in kinematic-wave modeling, entropy theory-based modeling, stochastic modeling of hydrological extremes using copulas, hydrologic systems, point and non-point source water quality modeling, landfill hydrology, saltwater intrusion, groundwater modeling, hydrologic impacts of climate change, dam-breach modeling, watershed modeling, ecosystems management, risk and reliability analysis, and social engineering. Singh holds doctoral degrees from Colorado State University and The University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The chapter’s Outstanding Science Communicator award went to Kay Ledbetter, an associate editor and communication specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Amarillo. Ledbetter served for 23 years at the Amarillo Globe-News as a general assignments reporter, a farm-and-ranch reporter and editor, and assistant regional editor before joining The Texas A&M University System in 2005. She earned a bachelor’s degree at West Texas State University in Canyon. She is responsible for writing news releases and feature articles from science-based information generated or provided by faculty at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Centers at Amarillo and at Vernon.

The Sigma Xi ceremony, which is held each spring, also honored Sandy Ashcraft, Outstanding Math Teacher (Elementary School), Oakwood Intermediate School in College Station; Sheila Judkins, Outstanding Math Teacher (Middle School), Davila Middle School in Bryan; and Matt Young, Outstanding Science Teacher (High School), A&M Consolidated High School in College Station.