I joined the Chemistry Club at the beginning of the semester because I figured that it would be a good way to meet other people within my major. I'm so glad that I decided to join because I've already met some really awesome upperclassmen who have common interests and lots of tips for freshman year at Saint A's. About a month ago, I received an email from our vice president telling all of the chem club members about an opportunity to attend an American Chemical Society Regional Conference in New Haven, CT. I didn't know what to expect, but decided to sign up and see what it was all about.
Last Friday afternoon, four of us drove down to New Haven together and checked into the New Haven Hotel. There, we made plans for the following day and discussed which events we were going to attend at the conference. We then enjoyed a great dinner together and I was really grateful to get to know my classmates better. The restaurant that we ended up eating at was named Kitchen Zinc, which was very ironic/coincidental and added to the fun of our chemistry-themed weekend. The next morning, we all woke up and headed to a different hotel about a block away where the conference was being held. There were all different types of presentations to go see, and different kinds workshops to attend. We picked a workshop on forensic chemistry which lasted for about three hours. For the first part, a professor from the University of New Haven presented information and research regarding the concepts we would be applying in the lab portion of the workshop. I found it so interesting to listen to his presentation and learn about some new advances being made. Afterward, we all put on lab coats and safety goggles and were led through various exercises and procedures by graduate students from the University of New Haven. They showed us how to carry out certain lab procedures, use new types of equipment (some of which weren't even on the market yet) and even take fingerprints.
The conference began earlier in the week, however we attended on October 26th because it was the undergraduate student day. This included the presentation of a variety of research projects from college students all around the country. On behalf of Saint Anselm College, Katharine Lunny '14, presented research that she had done on the soil and minerals found while participating in an archaeological dig in Italy during a summer trip offered to students. Watching her present her work with confidence and hearing about all of the people who approached her to speak about it made me feel proud to be a part of the Saint Anselm Community, and encouraged me to work as hard as she does in my next four years. (And maybe even present some of my own research someday.)
The weekend was both informative and inspiring. I am so glad that I was able to take advantage of this trip with SAC and hope to participate in future conferences with The American Chemical Society.