In April, Barry University chemistry students joined more than 15,000 chemists, academics, professionals and students at the 245th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans. The national meeting, titled “Chemistry of Energy & Food,” highlighted the relationship between chemistry and food in society.
“I remember the night before our flight, I didn’t sleep, because I was so excited to go,” said Elliott Rodriguez, one of seven chemistry majors from Barry’s Department of Physical Sciences who presented at the ACS national meeting. Rodriguez, a senior majoring in chemistry, presented a paper titled “Quantification of D-Aspartate in the frog R. pipiens by HPLC” with chemistry student Travis Comnick and Barry Professor of Chemistry George Fisher, Ph.D.
Although he was initially intimidated by the size of the conference, the support of his friends, family and mentor gave him the confidence that he needed to present, Rodriguez said.
“Knowing that I was supported by many people gave me the confidence that I needed,” Rodriguez said. “Once I was standing next to my poster, my fears and anxiety went away.”
Aaron Mohammed, a senior majoring in chemistry at Barry, improved his presentation skills at the conference and is confident that he will apply what he learned at future conferences, he said. Mohammed presented results of research that he conducted with Maurizio Giannotti, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics at Barry.
“It was a great experience for me,” said Mohammed, whose poster presentation was titled “Nuclear Chemistry and the Blue Loop within Massive Stars.” “This was the largest conference that I have attended so far. I spoke to many people about the research I've done at Barry.”
In addition to gaining the experience of presenting their research, Barry chemistry students also have the chance to create valuable connections in their field and take in the culture of the host city, Fisher said.
“Attending an ACS national meeting gives our students an opportunity to network with professional chemists and students from other schools, present their own research, and speak with graduate school recruiters from other universities, as well as experiencing the culture of another major U.S. city,” Fisher said.
For more information about Barry’s Department of Physical Sciences, visit http://www.barry.edu/physical-sciences/