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Chemistry and Biochemistry Students Present at National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans

Chemistry and Biochemistry Students Present at National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans

Students at ACS meeting

This year's student group was the largest to attend the annual meeting since the University began sending students more than 20 years ago.

This past March, 18 ϲʹ students presented faculty-mentored research projects at the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting. With a theme of "Many Flavors of Chemistry," the event covered food, diversity, materials, and wellness.

Chemistry and biochemistry professors Matt Kubasik, PhD, John Miecznikowski, PhD, and Jillian Smith-Carpenter, PhD, traveled with 15 of the students to New Orleans for the four-day event, while three students presented virtually.

“By attending the conference, students have the opportunity to hear professors give talks from Research 1 Chemistry Programs, to learn more about the scientific research that is happening at these PhD programs (from around the world),” said Dr. Miecznikowski. “It’s a great opportunity. Students may choose to apply to some PhD programs after hearing the research done in various labs at these Universities.”

Roughly 12,000 chemists attended the meeting this year. This year's student group of 18 from ϲʹwas the largest to attend the annual meeting since the University began sending students more than 20 years ago.

“It was a great experience and opportunity to present our lab's research to others who share the same interests,” said Audrey Wheeler ’24. “Participating in undergraduate student research at ϲʹhas given me an invaluable educational experience that is impossible to attain from a classroom — and connections and friendships that will last me long after I graduate.”

ϲʹchemistry and biochemistry faculty members mentored the following students in their research laboratories to prepare them for this event: Professor Amanda Harper-Leatherman, PhD, mentored Chloe Falls ’24, Maya Schauber ’26, and Giovanna Kalin ’26. Professor Isaac Macwan, PhD, mentored Elia Haghbin ’26. Dr. Kubasik mentored Sarah Breslow ’26 and Kelley Ross ’25. Dr. Miecznikowski mentored Abigail Araujo ’24, Stephanie Coulombe ’25, Samantha Erickson ’25, Connor Padover ’24, Joseph Trucchio ’25, and Audrey Wheeler ’24. Dr. Smith-Carpenter mentored Julianna Manson ’24, Bianca Pineiro ’25, Rishi Black ’25, Hailey Brunner ’24, Arden Massoia ’24, and Abigale Evangelista ’25.

“Once again, I was very impressed by our research students,” said Dr. Smith-Carpenter. “They were both professional when presenting their research projects and inquisitive when it came to learning about new research being conducted at other institutions.”

ϲʹstudents also met student peers, faculty, and industry leaders who can provide continued career guidance – creating a network of colleagues to help them succeed beyond Fairfield. 

“Chemistry and biochemistry faculty members work closely at the bench with our undergraduate students, so we already know how talented they are,” said Dr. Kubasik. “But to see them thrive in the environment of a national meeting is something very special. Attending this conference is both a skill-building and confidence-building experience for our students; I am grateful to all of the alumni, whose support made it possible for our students to attend.” 

In the past, faculty and student attendees have received funding from the College of Arts and Sciences's Science Institute, as well as Inspire funds from the Provost’s Office. This year, donations from the ϲʹalumni network funded the trip.

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