College hosts Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention

READING, Pa. — Chemistry students from across the region visited Penn State Berks for the Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention on April 29. Fifteen students from nine institutions of higher education presented their research. 

The Intercollegiate Student Chemists (ISC) Convention is one of the oldest, continuously meeting annual conventions of its kind in the United States. It is intended to recognize and reward meaningful undergraduate research in the chemical sciences, providing a forum for students to give oral presentations of the results of their research. 

“The ISCC Conference is an important communication building experience; student researchers not only present their own research but are also exposed to the work done by others in related disciplines," stated Tyler Faust, a junior majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State Berks. "This kind of communication is fundamental to the scientific community. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to moderate presenters as they showcased their research in inorganic and physical chemistry.”

“As a Penn State Berks student, I appreciated both the privilege of presenting at the conference as well as Penn State Berks being the host campus,” added Ryan Bennick, a senior biochemistry and molecular biology major.

The keynote speaker for the event was Luis Colón, the A. Gonger Goodyear Professor of Chemistry and associate dean for graduate and postdoctoral education at the University of Buffalo, New York. His talk, "Carbon Nanomaterials and Chromatography at the Interplay," focused on his recent research with carbon dots and nanodiamonds. He also took time to highlight the many students who have worked in his lab and the role of the research mentor in the sciences. 

Colón has received several prestigious awards for his work in both the separation sciences and in mentoring and promoting diversity, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, which was presented to him at the White House in 2015. The talk was generously supported by The Howard O. and Jean Beaver Endowment for Community Service

The inaugural ISC Convention was held in 1936 at Haverford College, and this year was the first time a Penn State campus has hosted the ISC Convention.