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Chemistry students win "Best Undergraduate Poster"

November 15, 2016

Chemistry sophomores Danielle Maxwell and Kathrine Yacoo won the “Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation Award” at the Association of Analytical Chemists (ANACHEMS) annual symposium earlier this month.

“This was the first conference that I presented my poster outside of the university,” said Maxwell.

On campus, she presented her research from the freshman-level SEA-PHAGE course at Detroit Mercy’s annual Celebration of Scholarly Activity and again at the College of Engineering’s annual Research Symposium held last month.

Kathrine Yacoo and Danielle Maxwell

Chemistry faculty actively encourage their students to present research at conferences and symposiums.

“Presenting research at conferences not only enhances your resume for professional schools, but it also gives you the ability to practice your presenting skills,” said Maxwell.  “You can be taught research procedures, but it's hard to learn presentation skills in a laboratory setting.  The best experience was being able to present my undergraduate research to some of the top analytical chemists in the field.”

Detroit Mercy places great value on undergraduate research.

“Undergraduate students working on the project have participated in a collaboration between biology, biochemistry and analytical chemistry professors,” said Dr. Kendra Evans, associate professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  “As such, the students have been exposed to a diverse array of techniques and principles, including tissue treatment and extraction methods, as well as advanced instrumental analysis techniques such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.  They have had the opportunity to apply concepts and practice the critical thinking characteristic of biomedical research.  The project, which focuses on the investigation of pesticide accumulation in crayfish tissue, is relevant to environmental chemistry and toxicology studies.”

This aligns with Maxwell’s career goals.

“I am planning on going to a medical school to pursue a career in pediatrics or to a graduate school to become an organic chemistry professor,” said Maxwell.

The annual ANACHEM symposium and exhibition features a plenary lecture, sessions and monetary awards for best student papers and posters.

In addition to Maxwell and Yacoo, the following undergraduate and graduate students and faculty attended the symposium.

Graduate students:
Yusra Alabulla
Zinb Wehishi

Undergraduate Students:
Sara Thomas
Grace Nguyen
Justin Pothoof
Michele Bhagwagar
Wendy Bair
Victoria Torres
Danielle Maxwell
Kathrine Yacoo
Sabrina Baghaie

Mark Benvenuto
Liz Roberts-Kirchhoff
Kate Lanigan
Kendra Evans

Congratulations Kathrine and Danielle!

See photographs from the symposium.

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