Students attend chemistry convention

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“Chemistry and Biological Effects of Maple Food Products” and “Fundamentals of Coffee Brewing” were some of the more food-focused talks attended by Union students and faculty at the American Chemical Society’s 253rd meeting in San Francisco, Calif., last week. Food and agricultural chemistry were just a few of the topics covered under the meeting’s greater theme of “Advanced Materials, Technologies, Systems and Processes.” The meeting, one of two annual national meetings, is attended by about 19,000 chemists. Union students Daniel Jackson ’17, Jack Bragg ’17, Yiting Paung ’17, Joanna Oh ’17, Jeff Wilk ’16, Brittany Gay ’17, Kim Bolduc ’17, Jake Ulrich ’17, Luisa Posada ’17, Joni-Rae Partridge ’17 and Mason King ’17 took part in the conference, each presenting their own work at two-hour-long poster sessions.

The eleven students were accompanied by six Union faculty members, some of who also presented at the conference. Research presented by Union faculty and students included work on trehalose as a cell preservative, laponite as a bridging material for titanium bone implants, and cucurbituril supramolecules for regioselective reactions.

During the poster sessions, students and faculty not only discussed their research but mingled with other chemists and explored topics related to their own projects. Many Union alumni also attended the event, checking in to see where their past projects have gone or swapping stories with current students and faculty. Outside of the conference, Union students also dined with local alumni at an event arranged by the Office of College Relations and Union faculty members.

On the advice of these alumni and by their own curiosity, the Union delegation made sure to explore temperate San Francisco. Before the conference began, they visited Chinatown, Coit Tower, Lombard Street and Ghirardelli Square. Some students toured Golden Gate Park and Japantown in the break between talks. Union is not the only local college to send students to this conference. Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs also sent several students and faculty members to present their research. The meeting is especially important for graduating seniors as it features a Career Fair. 32 employers offered 145 positions this year, alongside workshops and mock interviews designed to teach undergraduates and graduates how to present themselves to employers.

Also unique to this meeting was the inaugural LGBT Graduate and Postdoctoral Scholar Chemistry Research Symposium, which featured a panel of LGBT chemists. If you’re interested in learning more about the experiences of the students who attended the ACS meeting, they will be presenting their favorite talks and impressions of San Francisco at the weekly Chemistry Department Seminar on Thursday, April 20, at 12:50 p.m. in Bailey 207. Lunch will be provided!

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