CSUCI students received national recognition this year at the ACS meeting in Denver. 

The American Chemical Society national meeting is one of the largest scientific conferences of the year, representing over 10,000 topics ranging from astronomy to zoology. 

Members of the Free Radicals with
Phil Hampton Ph.D, the faculty advisor for the group
The CSUCI student chapter of the ACS, called the Free Radicals, received an award in acknowledgement of their involvement in science outreach programs, such as the annual Science Carnival, as well as their high student participation.

Undergraduate involvement in research and in the scientific community is a high priority for faculty at CSUCI. In order for students to get a feel for how scientists work in the real world, it is imperative for them to get a first-hand experience. Trips to meetings such as these are one of many ways that this is accomplished.

The meeting mostly focuses on the original research of those scientists in attendance. Presented on posters, in slideshows and in presentations, attendees not only learn about the most cutting-edge research ongoing today, but are given a chance to network with those conducting it. 

Oscar Santillan, an undergraduate involved in research focused on electrochemical materials, was one of the eight CI students in attendance. “The topics I followed were chemistry of materials and electrochemistry. In particular, the overlap of the two was of the greatest interest to me. They not only covered topics I find deeply intriguing, but also did so with concision and clarity.”

Corie Hill and Amber Kramer, seniors at CI, presented their research on mercury concentrations in seafood.  

“It was an incredibly valuable experience,” said Corie, “being able to engage with chemistry from around the world, hear cutting edge chemistry lectures and meeting other students who are at my level as well.”

“I took away how diverse and vast the field of chemistry is. There are so many institutions that come together in the name of chemistry: Industry, government and academia and everything in-between. ... It’s incredible to see the level of detail put into the event.”

Besides serving as a window into the details of ongoing research, the ACS meeting serves to broaden the scientific horizons of those in attendance. Students may discover areas of study that they otherwise would never have known about, and perhaps most importantly, meet and talk to the people involved in those areas. Ultimately, science is a social undertaking, and events such as these facilitate the meeting of minds and ideas, which fosters the birth of insight so crucial to any scientific discipline.

Written by Aisling Williams