WASHINGTON, PA (March 24, 2014)—Nine Washington & Jefferson (W&J) College chemistry students spent their spring break not on the beach, not relaxing at home, but in Dallas, Texas, presenting their research at the 247th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting & Exposition.
The students were selected in January to present at the exposition, which is held twice a year and brings together undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students, as well as college and university professors and professionals in the field, to present and discuss their research.
The students’ topics were wide-ranging, covering a variety of research in environmental, medical and technological fields. Senior Julie Pacilio, who interned in the summer of 2013 at the University of Pittsburgh Vascular and Pulmonary Institute studying pulmonary vascular muscle cells, presented two research projects on the topic. One of her posters was based on a paper that she, associate chemistry professor Robbie Iuliucci, and John Tokarski ’13 plan to publish in the Journal of Chemical Education.
Additionally, Morgan Baxter ’14 presented an environmental research project; Tyler Watson ‘14, a medicinal research project he completed off campus through the Magellan Project; Andrew Pingitore ’14, an organic synthesis project; Sarah Nainar ‘14, research from her summer 2013 internship at Stanford University in the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN); Josh Tropp ’15, a project to analyze a painting with instrumentation and, with Morgan Morelli ’14, a poster on the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society; and Lauren Fisher ’14, an environmental research project in which she examined the effect of shale drilling on natural water sources.
With the exception of Zachary Marsh ’14 (Panama, N.Y./Panama Central School), the students presented in a forum designed for undergraduate students. Marsh—whose project is an extension of an internship at Duquesne University, where he worked to determine magnetic shielding values in organic crystals—presented in a section of the exposition with graduate and doctoral-level students, as well as professionals.
The students raised funds and applied for grants to cover travel expenses and, in total, were awarded more than $8,000 through the Mazingira Fund, a W&J National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, W&J Student Government Association (SGA), and the Pittsburgh chapter of American Chemical Society.