My name is Alex Goranov, one of the two Student Liaisons working with ACS staff at the 251st ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA. I would like to thank all of you who attended the meeting for helping make the Undergrad Program one of the best in ACS history! I would also like to personally thank Monica Sanchez for all of her hard work.
The Undergraduate Hospitality center was the where we started each day. I met so many students from all over the world. It was great to chat with them and learn about their studies. Many of these students were also volunteers (yes, you can volunteer at national meetings!). Volunteers would meet each morning to share breakfast and talk about volunteer responsibilities. Starting your day by meeting new friends helps you start the day off on the right foot.
Two of my favorite events were the Graduate School Reality Check sessions. As as student who is planning on pursuing a graduate degree, I needed to learn from the experts what to expect when making my plans for grad school. The first session taught me what I should anticipate during the application process and how to make sure my application is competitive. The second session, Grad School Reality Check: You’re in. Now What?, gave me a glimpse into what life will be like once in a grad program- I did not know much about the timeline or the expectation that I have to meet to obtain a PhD.
I focused my Sunday afternoon primarily on networking. I attended Networking 101 which was informative and fun! In the next room there were about 40 graduate school recruiters for the Networking with Grad School Recruiters session. The room was absolutely packed! I enjoyed walking around and talking with recruiters from so many reputable universities. It was rewarding to see so many people smiling and exchanging contact information.
Dr. Richard Zare was the speaker during the Eminent Scientist Lecture session. Dr. Zare, a professor at Stanford University, gave a presentation called ‘My Life with Lasers’ on Monday afternoon. If you are interested in spectroscopy and analysis, this was the talk for you! He is one of the greatest developers of laser chemistry and his work is quite extensive.
The Undergrad Program closed on Tuesday afternoon with the Chemistry and the Environment film series. We watched ‘Waste Land’ (2010), a film about the world’s largest landfill and the people who sift through the garbage for a living. Immediately following the film, attendees had a Q&A session with the film’s producer and several panelists.
If you missed any of these events, don’t worry! Many of these events will occur again during the 252nd ACS National Meeting set to take place in Philadelphia, PA from 21-25 August, 2016. The meeting’s theme is Chemistry of the People, by the People and for the People. I am already looking forward to it!
With wishes for a successful end of the semester and a great summer,