Thursday, March 22, 2012

San Diego Meeting Highlights and Tips

Of the many opportunities listed in the Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars Guide to the National Meeting here are my top 4 events I highly suggest attending if you will be in San Diego at the Spring ACS National Meeting and you are a graduate student or postdoc. If you will not be at the meeting, keep in mind that there may be similar events such as these at future ACS national meeting meetings or that some of these sessions will be filmed and archived for viewing online. Please note that I am also highlighting whether or not they will have free refreshments.

1) Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars Reception

Date: 3/26/12, Monday of the meeting
Time: 7:00-8:30 PM
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Ballroom 20 B/C

Free Food: Yes (I have it on good authority that the menu items will include such delights as seasonal berries, rosemary chicken brochette, hibachi beef skewer, chocolate chip cookies, and, oh yes, beer and wine)
Event Details: This event is a great opportunity to network with other graduate students and postdoctoral scholars as well as division representatives. Find out what the various divisions have to offer you. There will also be a short video presentation showing the many and varied benefits of membership for grads and postdocs. By attending and networking you will also receive a chance to win a 64 GB iPad as well as a limited edition ACS Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars t-shirt (which would you rather win?)!

2) Chemical Biology: When two heads are better than one
Date: 3/26/12, Monday of the meeting
Time: 9:15 – 11:45 AM, 1:00 – 5:30 PM (reception to follow shortly after)
Location: Westin San Diego, Crystal Ballroom I

Free Food: Yes (for symposium attendees)
Event Details: Organized by the Caltech Graduate Student Symposium Planning Committee (GSSPC) this symposium has perhaps one of the most impressive lists of guest speakers of any symposium offered at this national meeting. Distinguished speakers include Carolyn Bertozzi, Jackie Barton, Stephen Lippard, Laura Kiessling, Roger Tsien and Harry Gray! Attend to hear great science and then stay for the reception afterwards to network with the graduate students that organized this event (see their picture above) as well as with the distinguished guest speakers. This is also an opportunity to learn more about Graduate Student Symposium Planning Committees.

See the complete schedule

3) UCLA Research Showcase
Date: 3/25/12, Sunday of the Meeting
Time: 5:00-7:00 PM
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Hall C

Free Food: Yes (Light refreshments)

Event Details:
Great University, esteemed faculty, great students, helpful postdocs, cutting edge research,…enough said. Here’s an opportunity to meet grad students, postdocs and faculty from one of the nation’s premiere universities (and no, I’m not biased just because it is my alma mater). This poster session and reception will give you a chance to either talk about science or just network with Bruins in a friendly environment.

4) Surviving Chemistry with Humor
Date: 3/27/12, Tuesday of the Meeting
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 10 (this will also be broadcast as an ACS Webinar)
Free Food:
No (I don’t think so anyway)

Event Details: In this event Jorge Cham, creator of the very popular comic, Piled Higher and Deeper , will recount his own experiences as a graduate student, university instructor, and researcher with a great deal of empathy, wisdom, and of course humor. I had a chance to hear Jorge Cham speak once before, two years ago at the ACS National Meeting in Boston, and this is something you don’t want to miss. I also had the pleasure of briefly meeting him there and, on top of being a great speaker and humorist, he also seems like a really nice guy. This is being held in a room that seats less than 250, so I would suggest arriving early if you are concerned about getting a seat. Or maybe this will be the best kept secret of the national meeting.

~C.Y. Kuniyoshi, Ph.D.