|From the left: Dr. Greg McManus, , , Reece Johnson, Nicole Giorgi, Megan McCormack, Myself, Ian Baxter, Luke Lamos, Dr. Daniel Paull|
This spring, I had the amazing pleasure of attending an American Chemical Society (ACS) National Conference in Orlando, FL to present my work as an undergraduate researcher. Doing research these past two years has been the highlight of my undergraduate career. I’ve faced challenges, met people, and attended events that have helped to shape me personally and professionally. With this conference one month before my graduation, it feels like an appropriate capstone to what research has been to me; connecting with people who share both a curiosity for the unknown and a drive to better the world.
The first day of the conference my carpool didn’t arrive until the late afternoon when the talks and presentations were over. I did, however, have the pleasure of attending an award ceremony where our Chemistry Club was awarded with ACS Honorable Mentions and Green Chemistry awards!
|Reece Johnson accepting the ACS Honorable Mention and Green Chemistry award on behalf of FGCU.|
After the award ceremony, we met up with Dr. Greg McManus’s research group who finished presenting their research at a poster session for dinner. The conference was just beginning! I couldn’t wait to start the next day early and attend the lectures of leaders in the field of chemistry.
The next day we were up bright and early and parted ways once at the convention center. The conference was huge! There was an entire app dedicated just to finding lectures to attend and navigating the center. The only other conference I attended was in a single building with a few hundred attendees. This ACS National Conference was split across several buildings with thousands of attendees and presenters. It was surreal to think that all these people were fellow chemists! The most exciting part of the day was a lecture I attended presented by NASA where they explained the geochemistry of Mercury. Before I knew it, the day was over and I began planning the next day.
On Tuesday I had the amazing opportunity to attend a live Q&A with Nobel Prize Winner Karl Berry Sharpless! He had amazing stories regarding his work, his approach to science, and his views on the future of the scientific field. After the session, I was able to get his signature and a picture with him!
The next morning, we left to return to Fort Myers, concluding our conference experience. Attending the ACS National Conference was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’m immensely grateful for. I was able to explore many facets of the field of chemistry, learning from those on the cutting edge of the research. I also made connections with attendees and businesses that may prove invaluable post-graduation as well as deepening my friendships with my fellow students. I’d recommend to anyone with any interest in research or STEM to perform undergraduate research. It’s been incredibly rewarding work that’s improved my work ethic and critical thinking. Thanks to research my interest in laboratory science has been cemented and I now plan to pursue a doctorate degree in Chemistry! If you have any hesitation, try it out! You’ll learn if it’s right for you or not.
|My research . From the left: Dr. Daniel Paull, Camille , Reece Johnson, , Myself, Ian Baxter, and Hind .|