Springfield, Ohio — Following 10 weeks of intensive research, four Wittenberg University chemistry students piled into a van with Associate Professor of Chemistry Amil Anderson on Aug. 3 and headed for the seventh annual Mercury Consortium Conference at Hamilton College, in Clinton, N.Y. to make presentations about their findings.
Anjelica Gasilina, class of 2010 from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Brian Mann, class of 2010 from Swanton, Ohio, Janelle Mahowald, class of 2010 from Parma, Ohio, and Adeline Brym, class of 2010 from Mansfield, Ohio, were each asked to conduct research using computational chemistry over the summer. The students were then invited to the Mercury Consortium Conference, which is specifically targeted towards undergraduate research in Computational Chemistry.
The research conducted by the students was made possible by the Virginia Ellis Franta Fund, a Faculty Research Fund Board grant, and a collaboration between Wittenberg's Chemistry Department and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base sponsored by Wittenberg's Computational Science Program.
The annual conference gives undergraduate students the opportunity to present their research to scientists, students and professors from around the country, as well hear lectures from specialists in the field.
"I found this experience to be quite beneficial and a great opportunity to see how computational chemistry research is conducted at other institutions," Mahowald said.
After the success of the 2008 trip, Anderson said he hopes to return to the conference again next summer.
"The facilities at Hamilton are incredible," Anderson said. "It was a wonderful experience to be able to interact with students and faculty from other undergraduate schools, and to hear lectures from experts in this field."
Despite traveling in a Wittenberg van for more than 10 hours, Gasilina had only positive things to say about the experience.
"There were many speakers from industrial labs and large universities presenting their research and giving talks on their latest findings," Gasilina said. "I found myself getting more and more interested in this field of study, and have begun to consider carrying this on to graduate school."
Written By: Lizzie Amorello '09