Four Waynesburg University students presented abstracts at the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, Calif., in March 2016.
“The benefits of attending national conferences are both varied and extensive,” said Evonne Baldauff, associate professor of chemistry and chair of the Chemistry and Forensic Science Department. “Students gain experience presenting their research thus improving their communication skills and providing them a sense of ownership of their work in the lab.”
Trenton Bromenschenkel, senior biochemistry major, presented an abstract that focused on finding easy ways to remove ethanol from small engines using molecular sieves. He studied how effective the sieves were with multiple extractions along with their saturation limits.
“I didn’t realize how many students like me are conducting research across the nation,” said Bromenschenkel. “I also learned about new developments in the biomedical research field. There are some very innovative scientists performing research.”
Cassandra Gates, senior biochemistry major, shared her abstract that focused on the chemical analysis of coffee to predict quality and balance. Her research was conducted through a variety of analytical techniques by testing both beans and coffee in brewed form.
“My coursework at Waynesburg has provided me with the skills and knowledge necessary to perform my research and present,” said Gates. “I would not have been able to comprehend and think critically about the research of others without the chemistry knowledge I received from my classes.”
Brian Karns, senior forensic science major, focused on how crime scene reconstruction of shootings could benefit from data collected from trace materials on recovered bullets or the terminal ballistic pathway. In his study, full-metal jacket, soft-point and hollow-point 9 mm rounds were fired through common structural materials and their paths were terminated in ballistic gelatin.
“In addition to the lectures, I had the opportunity to meet a few people in my field and network, which will hopefully benefit me as I begin looking for a job,” said Karns.
Jelena Kyle, senior forensic science major, conducted research on the vast number of compounds in a single cup of coffee which include thirteen key aroma compounds. She used a headspace-solid phase micro-extraction technique along with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to characterize the compounds, in addition to the variable of time.
“It was really great meeting chemists from all over the world,” said Kyle. “I even received a job offer when I was presenting my poster, which was pretty cool.”
A conference such as the ACS National Meeting and Exposition also provides students with the opportunities to attend research presentations, networking seminars, graduate school recruitment events and career development workshops.
ACS is a congressionally independent membership organization which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.
Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.
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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or email@example.com