Date: May 6, 2013

Kervin Undergrad SymposiumOn Friday May 3rd, hundreds of students, faculty members, and guests filled the atrium of the Life Sciences Building to take part in the 2013 Jean Wilson Day Memorial Undergraduate Research Symposium, a celebration of the significant research undertaken by undergraduates of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The accomplishments of the department's undergraduates are numerous, and the 2013 symposium established a venue to present and promote this work, while providing a forum for interdisciplinary exchange among faculty, students, and the community.

Sarah Award 2013 SymposiumThe day commenced with a poster session that saw more than 50 talented undergraduate students present their research to a packed Life Sciences Atrium on Busch Campus. The room was abuzz with spirited discussion about the research on display. Faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and guests (including students from a local high school) intermingled, providing a lively and convivial atmosphere. 

Later that morning, the throng of participants made their way to the Wright-Rieman Laboratories' auditorium to watch the Jean Wilson Day Memorial Lecture. This year's lecture was given by Dr. Ian Shankland, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Performance Materials and Technologies at Honeywell. Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd, Dr. Shankland spoke on a topic aimed specifically at an undergraduate audience: The history of CFCs and the development of environmentally improved replacements.

Dr. Shankland's talk was followed immediately by a brief presentation by Robert Porcja, Coordinator of the Chemistry Lecture Demonstration Facility. Porcja's experiment focused the differences between silver cyanate and silver fulminate, two compounds that share the same elemental composition, but yield vastly different results when exposed to heat. You can see the explosive results of his demonstration here.

Concluding the event was the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology Undergraduate Awards Ceremony. The much deserving recipients accepted their awards from Professor Gregory Herzog at the fore of the auditorium. These undergraduate students who have distinguished themselves throughout the academic year accepted awards for a variety of categories, including General Academic Excellence & Research, Participation, Outreach, & Departmental Service, and Excellence in Teaching a Chemistry Laboratory.