Seven Marietta seniors to present at ACS’ national meeting

Seven Marietta College seniors will present their chemistry research when they attend the American Chemical Society National Meeting being held April 2-6 in San Francisco.

Presenting their research at the National Meeting and Exposition will cap off the undergraduate careers of Megan Bache ’17 (Westland, Michigan), Adam Garlow ’17 (Vincent, Ohio), Teresa Kuhns ’17 (Quaker City, Ohio), Dallas Montag ’17 (Belmont, Ohio), Rachel Stahl ’17 (Oley, Pennsylvania), Stephanie Zentz ’17 (Gibsonia, Pennsylvania) and Zoe Zhou ’17 (Beijing, China).

Garlow said simply getting to attend the meeting is a great opportunity for him and his peers.

“It’s amazing just to be given the means to attend a national conference in my field,” Garlow said.

Dr. Kevin Pate said having seven students attending the ACS National Meeting exceeds the department’s expectations.

“This represents 87.5 percent of our current Senior Capstone students,” he said. “When we overhauled our Capstone/research experience about 5-6 years ago to encourage research by underclassmen, we could not have anticipated such a high percentage of our students having results worthy of presenting at an international meeting. It is a testament to both the students and the faculty that this class is so accomplished.”

The growth in the number of senior research students attending the conference is, Garlow believes, a testament to the opportunities to complete novel research and gain valuable laboratory experience available to chemistry students at Marietta.

Kuhns credits the faculty and her peers throughout the department for her ability to survive the rigors of her major.

“The Chemistry Department at Marietta is seriously the best,” she said. “The professors are amazing, and without them and the other students, I don’t know how I would have made it through biochemistry.” 

Kuhns said she is looking forward to spending time with the other students in her capstone class as well as the Chemistry professors that go on the trip.

Bache has similar sentiments, believing that it is fitting that she and her peers get to travel and experience the conference together.

“We’ve been together for the last four years, and so I think that it is fitting that we go on such a huge and exciting trip together,” she said.

Getting to present their time-intensive, and sometimes patience-testing, research on a national level will serve as a wonderful way of beginning to bring the students’ undergraduate careers to an end.

“It is incredible to be given the opportunity to present my research at the ACS meeting and have my four years of hard work recognized at a national conference,” Garlow said.

For Bache, because she’s attended to her project since she initiated it with literature research, presenting in California is a wonderful conclusion to her entire research experience.

“I love public speaking and my project is my baby, so I’m really excited to show people what I have done,” she said. “I love that I’m presenting it at the end of my college career because I have nurtured my skill for the last four years and am on a brand-new project that has been mine from the beginning.”

Research, as all the student presenters can attest, can be difficult, with many unexpected challenges possibly arising. As Kuhns put it, being able to present at a national conference is “a reward for perseverance.”

Presenting at the conference will serve not just as a mark of the students’ drive and persistence but their overall accomplishments at Marietta and bright futures.

“The fact that I have made it as far as I did is outstanding to me, and I do think that being a part of research helped me to get into vet school so it really is a major part of my college career,” Bache said.

Pate said one of the most beneficial aspects of this opportunity is each student will get to network with other undergraduates, faculty and professional chemists.

“Each of these students will take part in a two-hour poster presentation on their research and will get to discuss the work they’ve been performing for the last few years at Marietta,” he said. “Not only is this great for the students, but it also makes Marietta College look great.”