On one of the warmest Saturdays this spring, chemistry students and faculty traveled to the Penn State Berks campus in Reading, Pennsylvania for the 81st Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention. Last year Ursinus College hosted the 80th ISC convention on our campus, passing the baton of convention hosting to Penn State Berks. This year’s convention was the first time a Penn State campus hosted the ISC convention throughout its illustrious history. More than two dozen institutions have hosted this annual student research symposium.
The Intercollegiate Student Chemist Convention is one of the oldest continuously meeting annual convention of its kind in the United States starting its inaugural year in 1936 at Haverford College. This conference highlights research conducted by undergraduates in the chemical sciences. More than fifty people attended this year’s ISC convention with attendees making the journey from Albright College, Bucknell University, Centenary University, Elizabethtown College, Franklin and Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Lycoming College, Muhlenberg College, National Institutes of Health, Penn State Berks, Rider University, University of Delaware, University of Scranton and Ursinus College, who had the largest contingent of attendees at the convention.
After the opening remarks, the morning began with sixteen student presentations at the Luerssen Building followed by a luncheon, and an afternoon plenary lecture and awards ceremony. Three Ursinus students presented their research in the Inorganic/Physical Division. Jonathan Stoeber (CHEM ’17) was the first Ursinus student to present his research titled “Analysis of Pore-blocking Events in Carbon Nanotube Devices“, research he has been conducting with his mentor Professor Mark Ellison. Mentored by Assistant Professor Brian Pfennig, Allison Arinaga (CHEM ’17) presented her “Pyrazine-modified Ferrate Complexes for Photocatalytic CO2 Reduction” research. The last Ursinus student to present research was also mentored by Professor Ellison. Cody Hergenrother (CHEM ’17) presented his research titled “Analysis of Ionic Transport in Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes”. Other Ursinus students and faculty attended the ISCC to lend support to our student presenters and to hear about the chemical sciences research happening at other institutions.
The day concluded with a plenary lecture, “Carbon Nanomaterials and Chromatography at the Interplay”, given by Luis A. Colón, the A. Conger Goodyear Professor of Chemistry at the University of Buffalo, SUNY and award presentations. Allison Arinaga earned herself a second place award in the Inorganic/Physics Chemistry Division.