Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reflections from the Division of Agriculture & Food Chemistry Sessions, SciMix and the Expo

Eleni Yiantsidis- Grad Student, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

This year's ACS Fall National Meeting was my first real, formal, put-yourself-out-to-the-chemistry-community meeting. I have never had this much scientific exposure before, and the thought of this large an audience was nerve-wracking! My labmates and I prepared for everything (with the help of our fabulous adviser), and we drove up to Boston, coffees in hands, ready to battle the crowds and the Boston traffic.

We were part of the Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (AGFD), so we listened to talks about cranberries, raspberries, sugar maple, walnuts, colon cancer cells, brain aging, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and more. The speakers were all energetic, knowledgeable, and passionate about their research. I was surprised by how many presenters were from outside of the USA; I never realized how much research takes place around the world, and on so many different topics. The SciMix, where we presented our posters, had so many researchers with expertise in other fields, and their questions and thoughts on my project definitely gave me new things to look for and think about. I definitely enjoyed making friends and exchanging ideas with people who do similar research.

The Expo included several hundred companies, all giving information about their products and services. The vendors were all very friendly and eager to talk; we even entered into several drawings for prizes! My group had a lot of fun talking to everyone, and we enjoyed each company’s games and displays.

After four days of listening to talks, meeting new people, and exploring the scientific community, my group and I were worn out, but very satisfied with our experiences. There's talk about going to the next ACS meeting, and we hope that we will be able to go. This experience at the ACS national meeting was worth every minute!

Eleni Yiantsidis is a first-year graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA.

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