The New York Chemistry Students’ Association of the New York Section held its 55th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at Manhattan College, Bronx, NY.  The three co-chairs, Dr. Sharon Lall-Ramnarine (Queensborough Community College), Dr. JamieLee Rizzo (Pace University) and Dr. Alison Hyslop (St. John’s) working together and sharing the many activities  made this 55th URS so successful.

A bright sunny day brought out 260 students, faculty, family and friends.  This URS had the largest number of presentations at 104.

Queensborough Community College was the first community college to present at an URS in 2002 with one presentation.  In 2007, a community college, Queensborough Community College, had the largest number of presentations of all the colleges with twenty.  Colleges and universities presented power point presentations in 21 concurrent sessions covered the areas of analytical, biochemistry, chemical education, environmental/green, inorganic, organic, nano-and surface chemistry, physical and polymer chemistry.  Participants were: Adelphi University, Baruch College-CUNY, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Brooklyn College, City College of NY-CUNY, College of New Rochelle, College of Staten Island-CUNY, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Fordham University, Hofstra University, Hunter College-CUNY, Iona College, John Jay College, Lehman College-CUNY, Manhattan College, Medgar Evers College, New York City College of Technology, Pace University, Polytechnic University, Purchase College-SUNY, Queens College-CUNY, Queensboroough Community College, Ramapo College of New Jersey, St. John’s University, Stony Brook University, York College-CUNY.

Attendees were formally welcomed by Dr. Rizzo, who introduced Dr. Joseph Capitani, Chair of the Chemistry Department at Manhattan College; Mrs. Joan Laredo-Liddell, ACS-NY Chair, who welcomed the participants and wished them success.  Dr. Sharon Lall-Ramnarine introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Spiro Alexandratos from the Department of Chemistry, Hunter College-CUNY.  The keynote presentation entitled “The Earth in Crisis: Pollution of Water in the Biosphere-Current Status and Steps Toward Renewal” was a wonderful introduction to the field of synthetic organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and environmental chemistry.  As a token of appreciation from the ACS-NY Section, the speaker was presented with an inscribed plaque commemorating the event.  A group picture was taken and then the students, faculty and guests attended the student presentations taking place in the twelve concurrent sessions.  The students gave 15 minute Power Point Presentations.  The conference rooms were equipped with computers and projection systems.  Student presentations were saved on either CD or flash.   An IT person was hired for the day.

Representative from McGraw Hill, Wiley, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Thomson, BNL, Brooklyn College, Pepsi, OSI, and On Assignment Lab Support attended the symposium. Tables were made available for these representatives in the reception area.  Careers at these companies were discussed with the students.

The symposium concluded with a luncheon and an Award Reception where students were presented with Certificates of Participation and mementos (padfolios) were distributed and followed by an ”ice cream social ".  A slide show presentation featuring the student presenters working in their laboratories was shown during the ice cream social.

The arrangements at Manhattan College were overseen by Pamela Kerrigan.  These arrangements included planning the breakfast and lunch, scheduling the moderators, staffing the reception area, arranging for AV support, converting the program to PDF and hiring a printer, printing the badges and making sure signage was in place to direct the symposium participants.  Thanks to the generous support of local industrial donors and for publishing companies, participants of the year’s symposium received an abstract booklet, a memento, and a copy of the group photo taken on the day of the symposium.  URS fundraising reduced the local section contribution, since the fundraising 2007 increased by 170%.

Plans for the 2008 URS at Queensborough Community College during MARM will be organized by our three co-chairs.      Detailed Report