Research Students Attend American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Conference

California State University, Dominguez Hills was well-represented at the 32nd Annual Southern California Undergraduate Research Conference in Chemistry and Biochemistry (SCURCCB), hosted by Concordia University in Irvine, on April 12.

A conference of the Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society, SCURCCB gives undergraduate students in chemical sciences at universities in the southern California region an opportunity to not only present their own research, but sit in on posters and talks of their peers.

Barbara Belmont, a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, required her research students to at this conference and later suggested it to other research students.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for undergraduates to share their research in a non-judged peer-to-peer environment,” Belmont explained, “It’s a great place to practice oral and poster presentations, network, and share ideas with other students, and stretch the boundaries of chemistry knowledge.”

Senior chemistry major and MBRS RISE Scholar Cesar Deleon said he attended to gain more experience presenting the research he did while an intern at The Scripps Research Institute last summer. He presented on “Synthesis of [7.7] Para-Cyclophane Macrocyle,” which he will give again at the statewide CSU Research Competition on May 2nd.

acs meeting“I gained valuable feedback on my presentation, which has boosted my confidence,” he said, adding that he got a lot more out of the conference. “The presentation by the keynote speaker Dr. Harry B. Gray from Caltech was very motivating and informative with regards to the advancement of solar energy. I also enjoyed the opportunity to listen to the research that other students are doing at CSUDH and universities all around.”

In addition to Deleon, junior MBRS-RISE Scholar Anthony Jones gave an oral presentation of research he conducted with Belmont and assistant professor of chemistry Kenneth R. Rodriguez. The three presented “Evaluation of Aloe and Cactus for Burn Treatment by Comparison of Antioxidant Properties and Free Radical Inhibition.”

For Jones the conference was a very exciting and rewarding experience.

“I enjoyed being in the company of future scientists of Southern California. I think this experience will help propel all the participants toward their future goals,” Jones commented.

Cassandra Maddux, also a junior MBRS RISE scholar, concurred.

“It was awesome to see so many people my age doing such fantastic work. And I received some great feedback on my own research that opened my questions to even more questions,” she said, referring to her poster on “Methyl paraben in Blueberries” of research she conducted with Belmont and fellow student Elizabeth Grotemeyer. “I would encourage everyone to attend next year’s conference!”

Other CSU Dominguez Hills students who presented at SCCUR Conference in Chemistry and Biochemistry were:

Saad Syed – A poster presentation on “Chemical Characterization of a Copper-Azo violet Ionophore”

Arisdelzy Villanueva and Anthony Jones –A poster presentation on “Molecular Structural Studies of Na2HPO∙12H2O at Varying Temperature Using In-Siu Thermo-Raman Spectroscopy”

Lisa Dinh (with Belmont) – A poster presentation on “Exploration of Sensitivity and Construction Parameters of a Copper Ion Selective Electrode”

In attendance were over 120 undergraduate students from 23 private and public colleges and universities.

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