Au Revoir to the Golden City

Greetings from San Francisco! My name is Lana and I am here at the 253rd National Meeting with my fellow ACS Undergraduate Student Liaison, Alex Goranov. I hope that you enjoy my perspective as a volunteer coordinator and participant in the day’s activities.

As undergraduate students, we all have access to the Hospitality Center. The welcoming atmosphere helps set the tone for the day and provides a space to recharge your batteries (both actual and metaphorical). This home base for students is great for networking. I was there first thing in the morning to welcome today’s undergraduate volunteers.

One of my favorite events at national meetings is the Undergraduate Research Poster Session. It is so motivating and exciting to see the work of my peers on display. The students who came to San Francisco really showed up and showed out!

A highlight of the day was attending the Eminent Scientist Lecture by Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi, an accomplished and highly awarded biochemist and faculty member at Stanford University. Today’s lecture focused on her journey toward professional success. It was truly inspiring to hear such a celebrated woman’s perspective. The lecture was over lunch, which provided yet another opportunity to connect with a variety of undergraduate students.

I was really looking forward to the undergraduate session on Improving Scientific Communications, and it did not disappoint. As a young chemist who is preparing to be a professional in modern society, it is important that I have the skills and acumen necessary to communicate about my work in any setting. I need to be able to engage and connect with colleagues, friends, neighbors, and family members to be a well-rounded and far-reaching scientist. This discussion helped to put me on the right path.

I closed out the day by joining my fellow chemists, both undergraduates and professionals, at the lively Sci-Mix poster session. All of the innovative research on display really emphasized the power of chemistry. This is the place to see and be seen, and I was glad that I had my newly-printed business cards on hand.

Today has been jam-packed with plenty of stimulating content and unique networking opportunities. Being able to use the ACS mobile app right on my phone to curate my day’s activities helped keep me on schedule. After today’s excitement, I am looking forward to indulging in a set of technical talks about artisanal foods tomorrow morning. I love experimenting in my at-home lab (a.k.a. my kitchen), and I’m looking forward to learning about two of my favorite foods, bread and olive oil!

San Francisco has been a blast and I have really enjoyed sharing this experience with you all. See you soon in Washington D.C. for our next national meeting!

Lana M. Nitti is studies at Utica College and is serving as Student Liaison to the ACS Undergraduate Programs Advisory Board.

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