Chemistry Students Present at National Meeting


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Ashley Smith-Diemler and Chemistry majors Sarah Evans, Isabelle Cunningham and Katarina Zerbee attended the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Indianapolis in late March.

Each student presented both an independent research and community outreach poster at the event. The work of the SFU Chemistry Club and the Department’s Rural Outreach Chemistry for Kids (ROCK) Program was also highlighted at the national meeting.

Cunningham presented a research poster titled “A Greener Way to Teach the Frens Nanoparticle Synthesis.” Evans’ research poster was titled “Analyzing the Topographical Effects of Synthetic Aluminum Acid Mine Drainage on the Surface of Calcite Via Liquid Cell Atomic Force Microscopy” and the name of Zerbee’s research project was “Shaker Mill Mechanochemical Metalation of Porphyrin.”

The poster highlighting the ROCK Program was well-received by attendees at the meeting. According to Smith-Diemler, the ROCK Program has delivered more than 180 presentations and has reached 4,225 K-through-12 students and their families.

ROCK presentations have been conducted in an array of venues, from local libraries to the Cambria County Fairgrounds.

For Evans, it was her first time attending an ACS National Meeting.

“I really enjoyed my experience,” said the junior. “Not only was I able to share the work that I am passionate about with people from all over the world, but I was also able to gather ideas and inspiration from others at the conference.

“For example, the ROCK Program and Chemistry Club will be participating in a virtual Women-in-Stem Conference hosted by a school in Arkansas on April 23 thanks to networking and connecting with others at the conference.”

Evans serves as the ROCK Program’s student director. She works with Smith-Diemler to coordinate and schedule outreach events and ensure that student-workers involved in the program are properly trained.