Chemistry students participate in regional conference

November 21, 2013

Writer: Matt Urick

Students in the chemistry program at BYU-Idaho recently had the opportunity to attend the Northwest Regional meeting of the American Chemistry Society (ACS) in Corvallis, Oregon. The conference was held on the campus of Oregon State University.

The conference program included a variety of workshops, presentations, and keynote speakers from all over the Northwest. Many of the students and faculty members conducted poster and oral presentations on their research and teaching practices.

David Collins, an instructor in the Department of Chemistry, feels the conference was very worthwhile for the students.

"Our students greatly benefited by presenting their research to a professional audience, meeting and networking for future employment or graduate school, gaining specialty knowledge in the latest areas of research, and obtaining advice from working professionals," said Collins. "In fact, two older chemists on two separate occasions pulled several of our students aside and talked with them for almost an hour about careers in chemistry."

Many of the students, such as Serena Michalsky and Tyler Southam, agreed the conference was of benefit to them as well.

"The conference was a wonderful experience," Michalsky said. "If given the opportunity to go again, I would because of all that I learned."

"When we weren't involved in our poster session, we had the opportunity to talk with the exhibitors from chemical companies, laboratory instruments companies, and universities," Southam said. "I made several connections that may lead to graduate school or internship opportunities in the coming couple of years."

The students also had the opportunity to visit the Linus Pauling Institute, a research center named for one of the most influential chemists in American history. At the institute the students were able to actually hold a real Nobel Prize medallion.

The society is looking forward to attending conferences in the future, especially the 2015 ACS conference, which will be co-hosted by BYU-Idaho and Idaho State University on the campus of ISU in Pocatello.