In early April, nine students and Dr. David Oostendorp journeyed to New Orleans for the 245th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition. The students, many of which are members of Loras ACS chapter, are chemistry or biochemistry majors at Loras.
Attending the conference were chemistry professionals of all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry. Attendees had the chance to listen to a variety of speakers on topics ranging from “Water: A Grand Challenge for Science and Society” to “Biofuels: Current Issues and Environmental Implications” and even the role of chemistry within law.
Besides listening to academic speakers, there were opportunities for fun. For undergraduate students, there was a career fair, a graduate school fair and a social in which students could network with professionals within the industry. After the conference, Loras students also had a chance to explore New Orleans.
“I liked listening to all of the talks on environmental chemistry because that is the field I want to go into,” said senior chemistry major Shannon Hennelly.
Five seniors had an opportunity to represent Loras by presenting their research, which was another of the highlights for the Loras contingent, according to Hennelly.
The Loras students shared information about the ACS club’s activities here on campus. The students discussed their roles in hosting the first-ever Chemistry Olympics at Loras for high school students, such as teaching children how to make Play-doh, making ice cream with liquid nitrogen at the Dance Marathon Halloween party and inviting chemistry experts to speak at Loras.
Like covalent bonds share electrons, the ACS community, including Loras students, comes together to share and celebrate the latest research and accomplishments of their peers.
“It gets the Loras name out there in the world of biochemistry and chemistry,” said Hennelly, who also is the treasurer of the Loras ACS chapter. “It not only benefits the chemistry programs but it gives Loras national recognition.”