Simmons science majors present their research at national chemistry conference
Simmons student presenters in San Diego with Chemistry and Physics Professor Michael Berger.
At Simmons, science and research go hand in hand. Recently, 18 chemistry and biochemistry majors -- including first-year students -- traveled to San Diego to present their science research to more than 16,000 chemistry industry professionals at the 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), considered the premier gathering for the chemistry field in the country.
Chemistry Professor Rich Gurney says the students made such an impression at the conference, themed "Chemistry for Life," that many thought they were graduate students--or even faculty members!
"To have juniors, sophomores, and first-years present their research is practically unheard of," says Professor Gurney, who noted that Simmons is rare among many universities because all undergraduate students conduct their own laboratory research, rather than having to wait until they attend graduate school.
In addition, attending the conference gives students an advantage when looking for jobs or graduate school programs in chemistry. It's the perfect place for students to show off their research, which is handpicked by the ACS.
"The experience of attending the conference and seeing the work done by graduate students and professionals has been eye-opening in what I envision future projects for me will be like," says biochemistry major Vera Kirch '15. "Hearing presentations, both formal and informal, have strengthened my love for research, which is definitely something I'll carry with me beyond Simmons!
This year's research presentations by Simmons students ran the gamut. Everything from an examination of new polymers (the chemical name of plastics), to an analysis of the mud in the Muddy River near Fenway Park was presented.