Our first GBM of 2020 was a welcome back social. Attendees enjoyed a free dinner while taking advantage of the opportunity to catch up with peers and interact with the ACS-SA officers. After a quick game, everyone moved into the auditorium where the officers shared a brief presentation on the events planned for this quarter. They also introduced the ACS-SA Intern Program which offers members a unique, behind-the-scenes look into how our org is run and a chance to offer new perspectives and contributions.
ACS-SA hosted a graduate student panel for our week 2 GBM. We’ve invited three chemistry graduate students, spanning the fields of atmospheric/physical chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, and RNA biochemistry, and one pharmacology graduate student to speak about their experiences. The panel began with each graduate student giving a brief introduction, which was followed by a series of prepared questions for the panelists. After the initial questions were addressed, the panel was then opened to the audience for questions. A variety of questions were raised by members, including topics such as funding, choosing a research project, work-life balance, and factors in selecting a principal investigator.
For our week 3 GBM, ACS-SA hosted a faculty talk by Dr. Jeremy Klosterman: Molecules in 3D; An International Journey through Rings, Cages, Nets and the Classroom. Dr. Klosterman began his talk by sharing his journey into the world of academia, from a small undergraduate institution to an international PhD program and post-doctoralship in Japan. In the research section of the presentation, Dr. Klosterman showed how Metal-Organic Frameworks could be used to generate distinct packing layers of aromatic chromophores that could enhance solid-state emission. Dr. Klosterman also presented some of his studies in chemical education. Here, he discussed how 3D-printing could be used to print multi-colored space-filling models and its implications in the chemistry classroom.
ACS-SA held a study jam in the Bear and Red Shoe Room in PC, which provided space and round tables for group-studying. Food and refreshments were provided.
For our week 5 GBM, we invited industry speaker Dr. Sabine Hadida, vice president of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Hadida recently won the ACS’s Distinguished Scientists Award, and she was here to talk about her 18-year commitment to developing drugs for cystic fibrosis. The process was an arduous one, requiring the development of three successive drugs that are used in combination to achieve effective results. Yet, despite these challenges, Dr. Hadida highlights how experiments at Vertex allow for greater researcher-to-patient contact, and this brings her an important human aspect to her work. Dr. Hadida also included a story that talked about her journey from Spain to San Diego to share her educational and work experiences.
ACS-SA held a lab tour at Catalent for our week 6 event. Catalent is a pharmaceutical company specializing in drug delivery technologies and manufacturing. The tour began with a presentation that was a general introduction to the chemical industry and the different stages of drug development, including Catalent’s role in the process. This was followed by a career panel where the students could ask questions to employees from different departments of the site. Afterward, we went on a tour through the laboratories to explore the different sections of the labs. The representatives also talked about what type of work goes on in each lab, highlighting some of the diversity of what each department does at Catalent.
For week 7, ACS-SA had our first ever Industry Interaction Day. The event was held in NSB from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. As part of our effort to emphasize industry opportunities, we’ve invited representatives from five different companies: BioLegend, BASF, Illumina, Pfizer and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. During the first hour, the five representatives each gave a presentation on their respective company. Topics discussed importantly included an introduction to the company, ongoing projects, goals of the company, and valuable advice on the application/interview process. Afterwards, there was a networking lunch set up where the representatives were seated at different tables, and attendees had the opportunity to speak with them. Many attendees found this to be a valuable experience.
ACS-SA had an ice-skating social at UTC Ice for our week 8 event. The event was attended by officers, ACS-SA members, and non-member peers. This year, we opened our event to faculty and graduate students. Overall, everybody had a fun and de-stressing time skating, learning to skate and falling.
For week 9, ACS-SA had an off-campus event at the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. ACS-SA was given a booth to do demos for local elementary to high school students. Our officers and interns held three green chemistry related table-top experiments: chlorinated vs non-chlorinated cleaning products; styrofoam vs cellulose packing peanuts; and plastic types and recycling. During the experiments, we tried to emphasize the principles of the scientific method such as constructing hypotheses, experimental testing and analyzing data. Our demonstrators were also able to talk with the students and parents about their experience studying chemistry and their future career goals.