My name is Alex Goranov, and I am the Student Liaison to the Undergraduate Programs Advisory Board—the committee responsible for the incredible undergraduate events at the 252nd American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in Philly. I loved the conference and would like to briefly recap my experiences.
I began my day at the Undergraduate Hospitality Center. While fueling myself with coffee, I met with the student volunteers for the Undergraduate Program, whose tremendous contributions were much appreciated.
A number of sessions on the first day of the undergraduate program were designed to help students interested in attending graduate school. My favorite speaker, Dr. Sam Pazicni, gave an amazing talk during the Graduate School Reality Check sessions. I was inspired by the stories of the panelists our program chair, Dr. Michelle Boucher, had invited.
In the afternoon, I attended the Networking Social with Graduate School Recruiters event, which is a not-to-miss event if you are looking to apply for a graduate program. Don’t worry if you missed it, as it will be included again at the next ACS National Meeting!
The second day of the program was even more exciting! The two workshops in the morning were a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the discussion and liked that the audience participated actively with the panelists. Hearing stories from all the different students and professionals was definitely view-broadening.
Instead of having lunch off-site, I went to the Eminent Scientist Lecture and Luncheon. The lecture was given by Dr. Tobin Marks, who was recently honored with ACS`s highest award—the Priestley Medal. His talk on “How to Make Plastic Transistors and Solar Cells” was quite impressive! He explained his research in depth and showed us how fast materials science advances. I am eager to see what the world will look like in 10 years if we employ his plastics!
After lunch, I was able to view everyone’s undergraduate research work at the undergraduate research poster session. Everyone has done such a great job with their research over the past year, and I am looking forward to hearing more talks about published papers during the upcoming ACS National Meetings.
Our program ended with the Student Speed Networking with Chemistry Professionals event. I have participated in this event before, and it is probably my favorite one! My friends said it was a great experience learning how to professionally introduce themselves, and they received useful advice from professionals in the academic, government, and industry sectors.
I am already looking forward to the next ACS National Meeting, which will be in San Francisco from April 2 to 6, 2017. If you missed any of these amazing events, or have a piece of research you would like to present in sunny California, be sure to apply for the travel grants given by the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office. I hope to see you all there next year!
Student Liaison, ACS Undergraduate Programs Advisory Board