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AAAS and Center for Biology and Society

ASU began taking undergraduate researchers to the AAAS annual meeting in 1998, where they worked as session aides and presented a talk on “Scientific Literacy” that led to an invited editorial in Science magazine. In 2010, Regents’ and President’s Professor Jane Maienschein, Director of the Center for Biology and Society, joined President’s Professor and Vice Dean of Barrett the Honors College Margaret Nelson to take cohorts of students to present their research at the meeting. Each year, a dozen or so students travel to some site around the US or Canada, present their posters, and participate in the activities of this vibrant meeting for science and its social connections. In 2012, ASU President Michael Crow became a AAAS Fellow, and hosted a dinner for ASU members. An annual dinner has become a favorite event at the meeting. 

2020 AAAS Students

 Learn more about travel and logistics. Meeting recap coming late February, 2020.

2019 AAAS Students

 Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Learn more about travel and logistics.

Delaney Bunker
"At AAAS, I was able to engage with and learn from researchers across a wide range of disciplines, providing me new and exciting ideas. My undergraduate path has shaped me to be a mix of both a natural and social sciences student, so it was inspiring to see these two worlds collaborate at such a high level!" 

 

Katelyn Dinkel
"It was my first time presenting research at such a large meeting, but I had a wonderful experience at AAAS this year. The judges asked such insightful comments on my project, it really encouraged me for future conferences and presentations. It was incredible to be included as a part of such a diverse scientific community."

Hayley Dunlop
 "AAAS was a wonderful opportunity to practice my science communication skills and to network with public health professionals from all around the world. I learned so much about topics ranging from science education to food waste to flu vaccines, and I feel that attending this conference was a perfect way to round out my education in SOLS and Barrett at ASU"

Rachael King 

"The AAAS was such an amazing opportunity to be part of the scientific community.  I was so honored to present my own research and enjoyed all the conversations I had with other researchers from around the world.  I learned so much and I am so excited to participate in more conferences in the future!"
 

Emily Santora
Winner of the 2019 AAAS Student E-Poster Competition in the Social Sciences category. 
"Attending the AAAS meeting allowed me the opportunity to learn new and innovative ideas from my peers across different fields and disciplines, which was a very enriching experience. Also, I was able to speak about my own research and be challenged to think about my project in different ways that I hadn't previously given thought to." 

Matthew Siegel
"I am truly grateful that I was able to participate and present at the AAAS annual meeting. The opportunity to prepare and present, network, and become immersed in the powerful and encouraging atmosphere and ideas that were shared has and will positively impact my life and the way that I view myself as a learning scientist."

Esther Sim
"The AAAS Meeting was an amazing opportunity to network and meet likeminded, driven students, as well as professionals working in research and policy. The meeting has really allowed me to see the opportunities for growth within science policy, which is an interest of mine, and I was able to get great feedback on my poster and presentation. Overall, this meeting has allowed me to not only meet amazing people, but also envision a potential path for my future that I had not previously considered."

Andrej Sodoma
"When I first arrived at the meeting, I was worried that my topic, Glioblastoma,  was too niche for a conference as broad as this one and my lack of experience with presenting would leave the judges underwhelmed. However, the size of AAAS provided experts from all areas, even mine, and my Barrett schoolmates supported me through the entire process, making AAAS well worth it. Overall, the combination of great minds, variety, Barrett, and the beautiful city of Washington D.C. made this trip an experience to remember."

 

Margaret Zheng
"AAAS was such an incredible opportunity to share research and communicate with other scientists. I really enjoy that AAAS is a general science conference because it allows me to learn about other fields expand beyond my own research focus. I'm extremely thankful for getting a chance to participate, and it was a great learning experience."

Meilin Zhu
Winner of the 2019 AAAS Student E-Poster Competition. Received Honorable Mention in the Developmental Biology, Physiology and Immunology category.
"I really enjoyed having the opportunity to present my research to a general science audience. AAAS is such a large conference, which allowed me to network with fellow researchers along with individuals involved in policy. After my presentation, a Science and Technology AAAS fellow reached out to me to speak more about my work, and I also got to meet with some graduate students at programs I am interviewing at this semester." 

2018 AAAS Students 

 The Center for Biology and Society along with Barrett, the Honors College funded 16 undergraduate students to attend and present their research at AAAS this year in Austin, TX. Like past years, ASU research was visible and noticed at the conference. Students presented on a variety of topics ranging from treatment for pancreatic cancer to the history of tuberculosis in Arizona to the effect of the urban heat island on black widow spiders.

The ever-present poster tubes were missing this year as poster presentationsLydia Mendoza: Photo by Andrea Cottrell had a new style: e-posters.  Each student presented their poster while it was displayed on an 80 inch monitor behind them.  They were judged by a panel of 3 - 5 area experts and had to condense their research into a 3-minute talk. In addition, each student answered questions for 2 - 3 minutes after their presentations.  Both Lexi Darby and Ella Cabrera-Brown received Honorable Mentions for their poster presentations! Lexi received her award in the category of Science and Society while Ella presented her research in the Brain and Behavior category.

ASU Students at AAASAAAS is the largest scientific conference in the world with hundreds of sessions taking place each day. This year, the theme "Advancing Science: Discovery to Application" featured a wide variety of session tracts from which to choose. The 16 undergraduates all marveled at the wide variety of session topics and were able to fill each day with new and interesting research.

For many of the students, this was their first scientific conference. Lydia Mendoza reflected that "the ability to present my research was the most beneficial part of the trip because it forced me to consider how I would communicate with my audience and what I want scientists and the public to take away from my research." Some students are preparing for graduate school and found the conference enlightening.  "I attended multiple talks on science policy, which is what I want to study in graduate school, so it was extremely exciting to learn more about the field and meet the leading experts" commented Dina Ziganshina.

The highlight for the students was attending the annual ASU AAAS dinner whereAAAS ASU Dinner ASU faculty attending the conference gather to have dinner with the students. Center for Biology and Society's Director Jane Maienschein comments that the traditional dinner is a "way for members of the ASU community at different levels to get to know each other." The group enjoyed welcoming remarks from both Dr. Margaret Nelson, Vice Dean of Barrett, the Honors College along with Dr. Setheraman "Panch" Panchanathan, Chief Research & Innovation Officer of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. 

We look forward to the 2019 conference in Washington, DC!

2017 AAAS Students

Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. This year, a group of 11 undergraduate researchers traveled to Boston, Massachusetts from February 16th–19th. The conference focused on advancing science through policy and public engagement.

Recent political events rippled throughout the conference this year, as attendants vocalized their support for the value of science in society and evidence based facts. This buzz rose to a roar at the conclusion of Naomi Oreskes’ plenary talk titled, "Should Scientists Serve as Sentinels?, when she implored the hundreds in attendance that, “Facts do not speak for themselves, YOU have to speak for them.”

And so, our students did. Eleven undergraduate students—from microbiologists to public health to science education researchers—each traveled from Tempe to Boston to present posters with the results of their arduous research efforts. Jeremy Adams, Amber Gomez, Carlyn Harris, Lakshmee Malladi, Frea Mehta, Tristan Neal, Hoang Nguyen, Monet Niesluchowski, Raud Razzaghi, Shiv Shah, and Casey Weinstein reflected on their research and conference experience. For most, it was their first time presenting at a major national scientific conference. The students were grateful, stating that the conference was a tremendous opportunity both to present their own findings and to hear about and engage with cutting edge science from other fields. All students agreed about the value of presenting their work to a broad audience and receiving feedback during the poster session.

Amber Gomez presented the winning poster in the Medicine and Public Health category. Carlyn Harris and Shiv Shah each received honorable mentions for their posters.  

On Saturday evening, after the student poster session had concluded, faculty and students joined together for dinner in what has become a wonderful ASU community tradition at AAAS. With the stress and pressure of the poster competition behind them, students engaged faculty in lively dinnertime conversation about everything from science policy to the virtues of a delicious dessert.

"I received some incredible feedback on my work and felt like I was finally becoming an expert in my field after presenting my poster." Carlyn's poster received an Honorable Mention."

"When I first walked into the convention center, I was in awe - it was so beautiful! I felt so proud wearing teh conference name badge and couldn't believe I was actually at AAAS... Although I was nervous during the poster presentation, my interaction with the judges and some of the general public who stopped by my poster showed me how invaluable my AAAS experience was.

AAAS was a great experience for all of us. The knoledge transaction went both ways as I was also able to learn a lot from the presentations of others and provide some insight.

The conference helped me gain familiarity on submects that I previously had little knowledge about, and increaded my ability to apply a wide range of perspectives to Biomedial Engineering.

The AAAS meeting was the first scientific conference I've been to, and it was a great experience. I found myself interested in topics I was completely unaware of, and expanded my fascination in others

I attended many seminars on topics ranging from gene editing to science policy and these allowed me to gain a unique perspective on the scientific enterprise. I had the oppourtunity to meet many colleagues and peers through the poster session." Shiv's poster received an Honorable Mention

As an anthropology and political science student, I really enjoyed the AAAS meeting this year which focused largely on where science meets policy. The conference was also an incredible way to practice talking about my research and how it relates to policy decisions on a broader scale.

AAAS was honestly an amazing opportunity. It was my first scientific conference and I already feel like it is benefiting me in many ways. I made some fantastic professional connections that I am now in contact with. I can't wait to attend another conference!

AAAS treated me well. Besides many interesting talks and sessions, the poster sections gave me the opportunity to present my work and learn from other's projects. Another graduate student shared her experience, a judge gave me suggestions to improve my study and another visitor asked for my PI contact information. I am thankful for having such a great learning experience.

2016 AAAS Students

Coming up soon.

2015 AAAS Students

A group of ASU students impressed the judges at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2015.

Funded by the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College, the students travelled to the San Jose Convention Center, in San Jose, CA, from Thursday, February 12, through Monday, February 16, 2015 to participate in the annual AAAS student poster competition.

The group included three CBS graduate students and thirteen undergraduates.

Here’s what they had to say about the experience:

Elizabeth Barnes

Elizabeth Barnes
Degree: Biology & Society, PhD
“I liked meeting important people in my field and learning about effective science communication. Presenting my poster was an overwhelmingly positive experience where I was able to get feedback on my work from individuals of diverse backgrounds in science. My experience was awesome.”

Yasmynn Chowdhury

Yasmynn Chowdhury
1st Prize in Cellular & Molecular Biology Poster Competition
Degree: Microbiology & Global Health
“I enjoyed the challenge of summarizing my project in a way that sparked the interest of those with just a few minutes to listen, and valued all of the feedback from judges and other passersby. My favorite thing about AAAS was the inspiration I found from the passion of the speakers for their topics of study, and the diversity of fields represented and the interdisciplinary nature of the meeting.”

Eugene Chung

Eugene Chung
Degree: Microbiology
“The AAAS conference gave me an amazing opportunity to present my research to a broader audience including researchers in various fields, other undergraduate researchers like myself, and even families with young children.”

Lelan Dao

Lelan Dao
Degree: Biochemistry
“I was privileged to be able to attend many sessions that stimulated my thinking. The poster presentation allowed me to connect with others who had similar passions. The judges asked me many thought provoking questions, and many people who stopped to talk to me had similar interests.”

Rachel Gur-Arie

Rachel Gur-Arie
1st Prize in Science & Society Poster Competition
Degree: Biology & Society
“I absolutely loved AAAS. Perhaps the best part for me was feeling like, for the first time, that I belonged to a community. I reconnected with people I met last year at the conference and over the summer at my internship, and they all said that my future was bright! I am still talking to them over email and I’m grateful that AAAS provided me this opportunity.”

Cole Helsell

Cole Helsell
Honorable Mention in Cellular & Molecular Biology Poster Competition
Degree: Biochemistry
“Presenting my poster was a fun and exciting challenge in science communication, because none of the judges had very much background knowledge in TRP Channels or computational structural biology. Overall, the conference was a great opportunity to practice communication and see interesting new advances in the field, and I am grateful to have had such an opportunity.”

Anika Larson

Anika Larson
Degree: Biology & Society and Global Studies
“The feedback I received on the poster from both judges and attendees was the most valuable part of AAAS for me; I came away with new ideas regarding research methods and ways to improve the study. It was wonderful practice to present the poster to attendees from a variety of disciplines and interests--from specialists in science education to researchers in various fields who were simply intrigued by the title.”

Christopher Luna

Christopher Luna
1st Prize in Physical Sciences Poster Competition
Degree: Mathematics & Physics
“While I have presented my work at many conferences, I really appreciate the chance to present at AAAS because it gave me the opportunity to share my research with the general public and other scientists outside of my field of research. My favorite thing about AAAS is that it promotes the intermingling of novel scientific ideas in one general setting.”

Hannah McAtee

Hannah McAtee
Degree: Global Health & Spanish
“I had a very positive experience overall. It was interesting to present my poster and discuss different aspects of the poster depending on my audience. I am thankful for this opportunity as an undergrad, because many other poster presenters were graduate/PhD students.”

Zuena Mushtaq

Zuena Mushtaq
Degree: Microbiology & Biochemistry
“My favorite thing about AAAS was being able to meet so many like-minded individuals who had a great love for science in general. I really enjoyed presenting a poster and explaining my work to the public. Overall, it was a great experience and I would love to go again next year!”

Andrea Noziglia

Andrea Noziglia
Degree: Biology & Society, MS
"This was my first experience at a general science meeting, and I really enjoyed the variety of backgrounds I saw in those attending. My field is increasingly interdisciplinary, and it was fascinating to present my research in the AAAS environment, in a different way than at the specific conferences I've experienced in the past."

Pooja Paode

Pooja Paode
Degree: Biological Sciences
“My experience was amazing. The student who went were all so passionate and bright. Presenting the poster was also a great opportunity to talk about my research to more of a lay audience.”

Annelise Silva

Annelise Silva
Degree: Psychology
“Having the ability to present my work to such a wide variety of experts and peers was an experience unlike any other. I have travelled to conferences before, but my experience at AAAS was one I will be eternally grateful for.”

Maryam Waris

Maryam Waris
Degree: Biochemistry & English
“I would describe my overall experience as enlightening. This was my first poster presentation and I really enjoyed it! The conference itself was a great opportunity for me to explore different fields and specialties in science that will help me decide what area I want to specialize in in the future!”

Matthew Ykema

Matthew Ykema
Degree: Molecular Biosciences & Economics
“AAAS was a great way to learn about new research, communicating science, and science policy. I was able to network with scientists from around the world while being able to share my research with my colleagues and the public.”

Yawen Zou

Yawen Zou
Degree: History and Philosophy of Science, PhD
“It has been a great experience attending the AAAS conference. In my poster session, I talked to people from all walks of life, not only scientists, but also people from media, funding agencies, and industry. They offered me perspectives that I hadn't thought of before, and I feel more motivated about my research now."

2014 AAAS Students

Julia Anglin
"It was a great privilege to attend and present my research at the AAAS conference. This was my first scientific meeting and I truly had no idea how much fun it is to attend a conference! Sharing the research that I have been conducting at ASU at the student poster session was a great benefit to me. Being able to concisely relay scientific information is an important tool that I am striving to develop and this gave me the chance to cultivate this skill. In addition, the poster session gave me the chance to receive important feedback on my research and network with people within my field. The meeting was a wonderful place to listen and learn from experts within my field of study as well as hear from researches in other disciplines that I may not otherwise have been exposed to. I attended lectures ranging from topics on understanding the human brain, addiction and big data which will directly benefit me in my academic career path. I also attended lectures on fracking and global warming that allows me to be a well-rounded scientist. The most memorable talk I attended was a plenary given by Alan Alda. Alan Alda is not a scientist, but he effectively informed scientists on how to relay science to non-experts in a way that is understandable and clear. This is an important issue as many individuals outside of the scientist community may misinterpret scientific findings leading misinformed medical decisions, public policy and other important issues. I took away many good ideas from this talk as well as the other sessions I attended.

Thank you to The Center for Biology and Society as well as Barrett the Honors College giving me the opportunity to have this wonderful experience." 

Jared Becker
"The 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting was a phenomenal experience I will forever cherish as a highlight of my academic career. The opportunity to present my research at a sensational conference with people from various backgrounds was the pinnacle of my senior year. I learned how to professionally present my research to people from varying backgrounds, the value of attending a conference, and about so many difference areas of scientific research. The session that stood out to me was a study on how various proteins affect long term and short term memory. The brain is a fascinating organ in the human body that is indeed the last frontier of the study of human anatomy. To gain more insight about how the brain works was intriguing and has sparked an interest for me to learn more about neuroscience. In the future I will try to network more with people about their research. As my first conference, I did not do as well as I could have in terms of meeting people and finding out how to get involved in their area of research, but I know that the next conference I attend I will do a better job. The poster competition was valuable because it forced me to thoroughly understand my research and explain it clearly and concisely to people unfamiliar with my research area. Overall I would like to thank The Center for Biology and Society, as well as Barrett, The Honors College, for the opportunity to represent their organizations and present my research at the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting."

Claire Cambron
"Our trip to Chicago and the AAAS conference surpassed my expectations in so many ways. The city was busy and exciting with such a cool sense of culture captured through their public art and architecture. I enjoyed getting to explore. I found the conference especially meaningful due to its diversity and breadth. It was catered toward a broad audience of scientists, and as a result, I could follow every talk that I attended, and I gained something from each one. That was my favorite part.
I attended several talks over our visit. My favorite was one on solitary confinement, which featured a diverse panel of scientists and even one man who had been in solitary confinement for 29 years. It was interesting to learn more about the moral implications of the practice as well as the terrible neurological impact it has on a person. Otherwise, I attended several talks that focused on different aspects of genetic research, such as epigenetics, differences in gene expression in male and female rats, and the challenge of privatizing a person’s genetic information.
I have always enjoyed conferences because I look forward to the opportunity to share my research and learn from other scientists as well. I think conferences that focus on collaboration and teaching such as this one are incredibly productive and I learned a lot from presenting my poster and attending the lectures. I think it’s very important to challenge scientists to present because the communication gaps that exist between different areas of science as well as science and the public pose the biggest challenges for scientific progress."

Alexi Choueiri
"Attending the AAAS Meeting in Chicago is definitely an experience to remember. Exploring the city of Chicago and networking with scientists was just the icing on the cake. The biggest highlight was making new friends who have a passion for research and learning. AAAS taught me the effort scientists make in exchanging their ideas in an attempt to collaborate and push the frontiers of science. The best part was the number of individuals who attended from an international background, since it demonstrated the extent scientists take to congregate in one area. There was a diverse amount of  fascinating sessions, giving me an opportunity to learn from all facets of science. I attended a session that discussed how research can be translated into the realm of business and how to be an entrepreneur as a scientist. It gave me a unique perspective on how the application of science in the business world can have a huge impact on technology and medicine. It made me question how I can deliver scientific research to impact communities. AAAS gave me a positive impression on scientific conferences, making me eager to attend conferences whenever possible to network and learn from passionate scientists. The poster competition taught me how to present myself and my research in a concise manner to a variety of audiences. Receiving feedback on my research and performance from top scientists was critical in cultivating my skill set as a researcher. I would repeat my entire AAAS experience all over again and enjoy every second of it."

Abhishek Dharan
"Thanks to the support of the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, The Honors College, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago. As a graduating senior this was a phenomenal experience that I will never forget. Before the AAAS Annual Meeting I had never attended a research conference and was unsure of what to expect. As part of the ASU group attending the meeting I was given the support and guidance needed to prepare for this experience from the Center for Biology and Society. These meetings also helped me form relationships with my ASU peers also attending the conference.
Once in Chicago we were free to travel between the different sessions of the conference so we could hear whatever talks piqued our interesting. The variety of fields represented at the various sessions was exciting since it allowed us to learn so much from talks outside our field of study ranging from genome hacking to public policy making for scientists. The talk that I found especially helpful to me was the session on the Fulbright Grant, which I hope to apply for in the future. The poster session was also a great learning experience because I gained critical skills in public speaking and presenting technical knowledge to people outside my field. The highlight of the conference was finding out an ASU faculty member I had presented my work to especially well was one of my judges for the student poster competition - I had no idea! 

After returning from this conference there are many lessons I have learned to help me better navigate future conferences. In the future I will definitely be more assertive in developing contacts and relationships with other researchers. Overall this conference was a huge success thanks to the support from my research mentors, the Center for Biology and Society, and Barrett, The Honors College."

Marlene Garcie-Neuer
"I think the best thing about the conference was that I got to learn about a lot of new techniques and research that was going on at other institutions. I really like the sessions because it gave me the opportunity to learn about techniques and areas of research which I would not have heard about in the classroom at ASU. It was also great to chat with the researchers in person and have discussion about their research! My favorite session that I attended was one on Noncoding RNA and it’s functions in disease and cancer. The speakers were both excellent and we were able to have a great group discussion about the future of their research. I also attended the Epigenetics in Brain and Behavior sessions which was also really interesting, however due to the terrible weather on the east coast all of the speakers couldn’t make and had to give there presentation through gotomeeting. Go technology! 
The poster conference was great because I got to chat with very many people who were interested in my research! One of those interested people was from the Baylor School of Medicine and was interested in my sequencing techniques since he is working with a project where he is sequencing bacteria that have been in space! This was also a great opportunity for me to talk about my work and have lively discussions about my techniques, and past and present research.  The poster presentation also gave me the opportunity to see other peoples view on my research and their doubts and suggestions that I would not normally get in my own lab.

I feel that I definitely learned to express myself research better and also how to talk about my research on different levels. The poster session was also open to the public so I had a few curious people with little to no scientific background! It was fun switching from basic science to having to answer really in depth questions!"

Rachel Gur-Arie
"I had the TIME OF MY LIFE on this trip. To be able to explore an amazing city in addition to attending & presenting at one of the most important annual scientific conferences globally was a once in a lifetime experience that I am so grateful. I attended many informative sessions, but the one that stood out to me in particular was one on perception that Pew & Gallup put on. Maybe it was because it is so similar to the work I am doing for my thesis, but I felt like I really had a connection to the work they were presenting. It showed me that I will find the right career one day, but more importantly, it showed me that what I am passionate about it valuable and viable. I always felt that because I seem to be the only one interested in what I am that I would not be able to find a career that gave back to the community and was rewarding. I also really appreciated the emphasis on the interdisciplinary aspect of science. That's what I'm all about, and I love how they were spreading the message of having people expand their views regarding what science is. It was as if the people who were in the lectures I attended were on the same page as me...or I was on the same page as them. That is more like it. Plus, when we weren't attending lectures or presenting, we got to do a tiny bit of Chicago exploring. This trip showed me that I BELONG IN A CITY! Oh my gosh. I have grown up 10 minutes south of ASU, and now I attend ASU. Even though I love Arizona and everything it has to offer, this trip showed me to value and IMPORTANCE of travel. To travel is to live!"

Rebecca Harkness
"I found this experience extremely enriching and rewarding. Being able to interact at an international level with some of the best people in their respective fields all in one place is amazing. I was able to go to many different sessions that i would not have been able to at an archaeology conference. Being able o see how different disciplines approach different topics was invaluable. I was able to see that in climate science they look back at historical records, but not so much the archaeological record which I believe is something that could benefit them. The student poster competition was also a wonderful experience because I was able to interact with so many people that I normally would not have been able to. I talked to a physicist and an immunologist  who had a side interest in ceramics and the area my study took place. It was really cool. Basically this conference is awesome and they should keep funding people to go."

Manmeet Kaur
"I felt the AAAS conference was a great experience! Not only did the poster presentation provide me with valuable feedback for my research, but it also gave me many ideas and directions for further expanding and enriching my work. I was fortunate to be able to meet and network with experts who were more than willing to discuss and even guide with my research in the future. Also, learning about the background of the experts I met really provided insight on how these researchers developed their careers to cater to their research interests. Furthermore, the ability to discuss my research with such a wide variety of people, from students,interested public, to experts, also expanded my public speaking skills. This enabled me to articulate my research with different levels of technicalities and background information.

In addition, the ability to attend the wide variety of sessions the AAAS conference offered was a very unique opportunity. I was able to revisit and expand my knowledge related to my past psychology research and learn different dimensions to my current research related to international pandemic preparedness policies. I was also able to attend sessions on interesting topics I had little to no knowledge on. All the sessions were very engaging and being able to learn from well-renowned experts was great. The extensive scope of the sessions really provided the opportunity to learn new information about almost any topic of interest! It honestly was an honor to be a part of this conference. The intersection of so many important scientific research topics made the potential to learn limitless!"

Anika Larson
"I was very glad I went - the poster session was my first time ever presenting, and I think it was an ideal first venue.  I got some specific criticism on my poster from someone in my field who wasn't a judge, which was great for my research moving forward.  The judges themselves weren't from my field, so I was able to get through the first judging experience without too much stress.  I went to a few poster sessions on infectious disease management, which is the field I would like to go into and the topic I will be doing research on next year, and got a lot of updated information about infectious disease policy and recent pandemics.  I also went to a few on research policy and funding for basic research to get more background for my poster.   Overall, the conference was a great introduction to poster presenting (especially as a first experience) and the panels were definitely informative, even with half the speakers Skyping in for most of them due to the weather.  I also loved spending the weekend with other students who were all excited about and active in research, and getting to know people in different fields and majors.  The trip was definitely valuable for me, and I would love to see it continue and be able to go again next year!"

Ellen Qin
"Going to Chicago for the AAAS was a wonderful experience! I got to meet motivated and talented students from both ASU and all over the world, to attend seminars presented by well-renowned professors from many different disciplines, and to present my own research at the conference. My favorite seminar was Dr. Steven Chu's lecture on energy. Through this conference, I was able to learn the ins and outs of what to do and how to attend a conference. In particular, I learned how important networking is, and I enjoyed talking to others from various fields of scientific research. Presenting at the student poster competition allowed me to not only communicate to others on what I have been doing, but it was also a way for me to gather other people's insight on my research. I was able to leave the competition with new ideas on how I should approach the next steps of my research. After attending the AAAS conference, I am more excited, and I feel more confident about going to additional conferences in the future!"

Chanapa Tantibanchacai
"It is safe to say that attending the AAAS 2014 Annual Meeting was the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my undergraduate career thus far. The environment was invigorating; being among so many professionals and fellow science enthusiasts challenged me to think about my current and future contributions in science. Presenting my research on the national level was nerve-racking at first, but the experience truly pushed me to better understand my work and helped improve my public speaking skills. I left the poster competition with incredible feedback and encouragement, and felt validated in my work. 
Aside from the poster competition and the sessions I attended, I also participated in the National Association of Science Writers mentoring program, where I was paired up with a senior science writer and received invaluable advice on how to find work as a science writer, which is my ultimate goal upon graduation. Through that program, I also received a press pass for the meeting and was able to see the ins and outs of the press behind AAAS."

Andrew Widener
"I really enjoyed the poster presentation section because I got to talk about my project with viewers and because I didn't feel glued to my stand. I got to talk to other students and go through the exhibits to get free stuff!"

 

2013 AAAS Students

Ross Bennett_Kennett

Ross Bennett-Kennett (poster pdf)
"I really enjoyed travelling with ASU to Boston this year for the 2013 AAAS meeting. Events like this one pose an exciting opportunity to hear community feedback on my work, an opportunity not afforded to most undergraduates. I also went to see a talk on how to make tomatoes taste super sweet. They handed out candy, and it was a really enlightening opportunity to branch out of my own area of focus. Boston was wonderful, and I want to thank Barrett for the travel and Michael Crow for the wonderful dinner. Thank you so much."

Zach Berskon

Zach Berkson (poster pdf)
Honorable Mention in Math, Technology and Engineering
"The AAAS conference in Boston was a great opportunity for me. Not only was I afforded the opportunity to present my research alongside my peers, but I had the chance to explore cutting-edge research in every area of science, from robotics to sustainability. While so large as to be almost overwhelming, I had no trouble finding multiple seminars, symposia, and workshops that fit directly into my interests. I was honored to represent ASU in the national arena and thank the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College for their support."

Elizabeth Brito

Elizabeth Brito (poster pdf) Winning poster in Medicine and Public Health
"The AAAS Conference provided both an enjoyable and excellent learning experience. I had the opportunity to interact with students and researchers of varying scientific backgrounds. The conference provided many lectures where I was able to learn about innovative research projects and learn about fields of work outside of my own. In addition, I was able to present my research project to an out-of-field audience, where I was given ideas to expand my work. I am extremely grateful that I was given this great opportunity to participate and attend the AAAS Conference. Thank you Barrett and the Center of Biology and Society!"

Joe Carpenter

Joe Carpenter(poster pdf)
"AAAS was my first conference, and I think I picked a great one for it. I was inspired by professors working on "modern alchemy," cancer detection, improving graduate school, helping proposal writing, and laser scientists working with 1 sextrillionth of a second. Most meaningful to me were the tips I got for my project both on next steps and on presentation. A man working in thin film suggested how I could use something as simple as plastic wrap to extend my experiments with my ink-jet printed thin films. Thank you Barrett and SOLS for letting me partake of this experience."

Mayra Guzman

Mayra Guzman (poster pdf)
"Attending the AAAS conference was a great opportunity for me.  I got valuable input from researchers in my area of study from making my data more understandable to helping me think through my ideas.  The sessions were on a wide array of topics and even those that I watched on cancer addressed treatments options I have never heard before.  I was able to talk to other students who were also presenting posters on different areas of breast cancer.

Rebecca Halpin

Rebecca Halpin (poster pdf)
"Attending AAAS was an amazing experience and provided me with an opportunity to grow as scientist, student, and person. The daily seminars allowed me to delve deeper into subjects that I already had some knowledge of and begin accruing knowledge about subjects I had never even heard of, the student poster session provided me with the opportunity to assertively present my own research, and four days spent in Boston allowed me to experience the east coast culture and reminded me that those that work hard should also make time to play hard. Special thanks to my thesis director and research mentor, Dr. Chad Johnson, for encouraging me to participate in this opportunity and to both Barrett the Honors College and the Center of Biology and Society for making this trip possible."

Joseph Juliano

Joseph Juliano (poster pdf)
"I had a great experience at the 2013 AAAS conference. Thank you so much for the support from Barrett and the Center for Biology and Society for the opportunity to learn about research across so many different disciplines. I was able to come back from the experience filled with new insights I learned from other areas that I could apply to my own. Also, throughout the conference I was able to network with many other scientists, which was a terrific opportunity."

 

Devon Lathrop

Devon Lathrop (poster pdf)
"I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the AAAS conference in Boston this year. Speaking with both professional researchers and students who represented all areas of science was both rewarding and exciting because everyone was so passionate about their work. While presenting my poster, I was able to interact with people from various disciplines who provided stimulating discussions and asked thought-provoking  questions. It was a gratifying feeling to know that my research project was as interesting to others as it was to me! A huge thank you to the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College at ASU for awarding me this unforgettable experience."

Amanda Loh

Amanda Loh (poster pdf)
"Attending AAAS was a fantastically unique experience. I attended a lecture on The Bases of Human Language led by Steven Pinker. I explained my poster on the genetics of fish vaccine development to judges, all three of which had backgrounds in geology. And I listened to my peers present posters on everything from deriving mathematical models to predict ocean flow and algal growth to black widow spiders responding to urbanization in Phoenix. Few conferences can boast such a wide range of scientific topics explained by experts in the field yet tailored to the layperson. Thank you Barrett, for an incredibly enriching opportunity."

Christopher Luna

Christopher Luna (poster pdf) 
Winning poster in Math, Technology and Engineering 
"I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the AAAS 2013 annual meeting. I had never presented at a poster session, or attended a similar scientific conference, so it was almost a perceptual overload considering the fact that I had never been to the New England area either! I really enjoyed being able to attend lectures and network with professionals but, most of all, it was an absolute joy to present my poster at the session! I was admittedly a bit nervous, but once I got into the swing of things, I found it to be especially rewarding when people would ask questions and seem genuinely interested in my work. In closing, I would like to sincerely thank those at the Barrett Honors College, the people at the Center for Biology and Society, and my research mentor Dr. Wenbo Tang for making this conference a possibility for me!"

2012 AAAS Students

Natalie Antonios

Natalie Antonios (poster pdf)
"It was an honor to attend the 2012 AAAS conference in Vancouver! I attended numerous lectures touching on various aspects of science including discussions about the behavior of primates, the new age of birth control, innovative networks to effectively teach biology, and learning about cutting edge medical research and diagnostics. It was eye-opening to be surrounded by so many outstanding scientists who were passionate about their research, and so effective in communicating their work. That is what AAAS is all about--unifying the many disciplines of science, and sharing new information. It was such an incredible experience to be a part of this process."

Ross Bennett-Kennett

Ross Bennett-Kennett (poster pdf)
"The AAAS meeting provided a wonderful three-fold learning experience. The symposiums exposed me to the state of international research in my own field and on unrelated but interesting new topics; the poster presentation provided me with stimulating discussion that has forced me to be confident and clear about my own research, and the experience with my peers confirmed my expectations that ASU is filled with high caliber researchers who I would be honored to work with in the future. Thank you Barrett and the Center of Biology and Society for allowing me to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity."

Sean Poster

Sean Cohmer(poster pdf)
"The 2012 AAAS Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada was a tremendously influential opportunity for me and the rest of the twelve Arizona State University undergraduates who were able to attend. With generous support from the Center for Biology and Society and The Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, our experience at the conference was one that will resonate with us for some time. For me personally, despite having many previous opportunities to communicate in a professional setting, this was my first experience with an international science conference."

Joseph Flay and Daniel Garry

Joseph Flay (pictured), Madeline Grade, Daniel Garry (pictured), Ryan Muller (poster pdf) 
"The highly expansive and interdisciplinary nature of modern-day science is no more apparent than at the AAAS annual meeting. At this year’s annual meeting I helped present our group’s poster, conversed with knowledgeable scientists, experienced thought-provoking paradigm shifts, and enjoyed a vast array of lectures ranging from chemical evolution to molecular motors to quantum computing. I am truly grateful to have been a part of this unique experience made possible by the Center for Biology and Society, The Barrett Honors College, and the Undergraduate Student Government and I hope to participate again in future years." Ryan Muller

Grade Poster

Madeline Grade (pictured), Joseph Flay, Daniel Garry, Ryan Muller (poster pdf)
"The AAAS Conference was fantastic! Thank you so much to Barrett and The Center for Biology and Society for the opportunity to learn about research across all disciplines of science. Attending lectures and speaking with researchers both within and outside my areas of expertise was incredibly enriching." Madeline Grade

Juliano poster

Joseph D. Juliano (pictured), Stephanie Munson, Jacey Schnorr, John Nagy(poster pdf)
AAAS was an incredibly exciting and insightful opportunity. I had the chance to have my work critiqued from scientists across all disciplines and have come back with new ideas and avenues to test. Not only was I able to improve my own research, but also I formed contacts and networked with professors from universities all across the United States."  Joseph Juliano

Michael Kenney

Michael J. Kenney (poster pdf)
"Attending the AAAS meeting was a terrific experience. I was able to hear lectures on everything from attosecond pulse lasers to the large hadron collider. Also, the opportunity to talk with other scientists about my work was very rewarding."

Michelle Schmoker

Michelle K. Schmoker, (pictured) Elizabeth M. Cook, Stephanie Amaru(poster pdf)
"I was honored to represent ASU at the AAAS conference this year. Not only did my peers and I get to enjoy the gorgeous city of Vancouver, but we were also given a fantastic opportunity to present our research to an international audience. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I give my sincerest thanks to the Center for Biology and Society for supporting my attendance." Michelle Schmoker

Erika Warkus

Erica Warkus(poster pdf)

Betsy Yockey

Elizabeth Yockey
"My participation in the student poster competition at AAAS afforded me the opportunity to receive invaluable feedback from professors at other universities. It also allowed me to travel to a foreign city and have an amazing experience. This trip was one of the key events that majorly enhanced my undergraduate education. This wonderful event has allowed me to refine and reflect on my undergraduate education as well as to develop new ideas for potential graduate projects, an opportunity I would not have been able to have without the generous support from the Center for Biology and Society, the people in the Center, Barrett, and Section L of AAAS. This wonderfully rich interdisciplinary meeting afforded me knowledge as I have never experienced."

2011 AAAS Students

Trent Bowen

Trent Bowen (poster pdf) 
Poster Competition Honorable Mention: Social Sciences category
"Huge thanks to the Center for Biology and Society and The Barrett Honors College for the enriching opportunity to both attend and present a poster at the AAAS conference! I enjoyed receiving valuable feedback about my research from talking to other students and professors. Plus, I attended a handful of seminars presenting interesting science topics across a realm of disciplines."

Jennifer Gamboa

Jennifer Gamboa
"The AAAS conference was a great scientific experience. I attended lectures of many notable scientists and learned a lot about topics related to my research interests. It also gave me the opportunity to discuss my research with other scientists and learn from the suggestions."

Daniel Garry

Daniel Garry (poster pdf)
"I had a great time at the AAAS meeting. I was completely free to go to a number of interesting lectures across all the scientific disciplines and I enjoyed presenting my poster while at the same time seeing the work done by other undergraduates from all across the country.”

Kim Kukurba

Kimberly Kukurba 
Poster Competition Winner: Tied first place in the Cellular and Molecular Biology category
"The AAAS Annual Meeting was an incredible opportunity to present my research and learn from scientists in the forefront of their field. I gained invaluable experience presenting my undergraduate research project to a broad international audience and received great feedback from other students and professionals. In addition, the "Science Without Borders" theme of the conference ensured that I was exposed to a wide range of topics beyond the scope of my personal interests. I'm grateful that the Barrett Honors College and Center for Biology and Society provided this opportunity!”

Catherine May

Catherine May (poster pdf)
"A profound thing happened to me at the AAAS meetings. As I began to explore a variety of interdisciplinary lectures, I began to see a common thread, underlying the sciences. The prospect of a new area of research using "Virtual Synthetic Biology" conjured up excitement and unbridled creativity. As I began thinking about the possibility for a new age of collaboration, using a open-source interdisciplinary repository, which may increase communication between the disciplines and begin to unite the various sciences."

Aida Mahammadreza

Aida Mohammadreza (poster pdf)
Poster Competition Winner: Tied first place in the Cellular and Molecular Biology category
“Going to the conference was a spectacular experience! As a session aide, I had the opportunity to network with scientists and professors from around the country during the topical lectures. The specialized seminars also demonstrated the benefits of combining science and engineering in order to solve problems. The poster competition was great way to meet students doing research in various disciplines. It was very exciting to talk and learn from students who were interested in the same field of research as I was! I loved traveling with my peers and discussing our intense judging sessions and presentations. It was an unforgettable trip.”

Kathyrn Scheckel

Kathryn Scheckel (poster pdf)
“Attending the prestigious 2011 AAAS Conference provided me with the ability to hear from some of the most exciting and fascinating researchers from across the country, as well as to gain valuable experience presenting my own research and engaging in productive and insightful discussions about my work with other visiting professors. This opportunity will be invaluable to me in my future graduate endeavors.”

Danielle Shaffer

Danielle Shaffer (poster pdf)
"Coming from the background of sustainability where interdisciplinary research is highly encouraged, AAAS was a wonderful experience to not only become informed about how other fields are integrating sustainability into their work but also having the opportunity to talk one-on-one with these experts. I was energized and inspired at the conference by the enthusiasm and hunger for knowledge that everyone displayed. It is an experience I am thankful for and will never forget!”

Hansa Thompson

Hansa Thompson (poster pdf)
Poster Competition Honorable Mention: Medicine & Public Health category
"The world today is increasingly revolving around communication and new ideas. Appropriately, this year's AAAS conference, themed "Science Without Borders", brought together scientists from around the world with expertise in subjects that I've never heard of. I am extremely thankful to the various groups within ASU that allowed for this opportunity to go to Washington D.C.”

Erica Warkus

Erica Warkus (poster pdf)
Poster Competition Honorable Mention: Environment & Ecology category
"My experience at AAAS 2011 was amazing and completely beyond the scope of what I expected. I was given the opportunity to listen to the forefronts of current research in all fields of science, and later I had the chance to talk with the researchers in person. The experience broadened my understanding of the possibilities available when problems are examined from a variety of ways of thinking.”

EricaONeil

Graduate Student Poster Participant
Erica O'Neil (poster pdf)
“Attending the annual AAAS conference in Washington, D.C., was an enriching opportunity that allowed me to participate and observe the scientific community at a national level. Working as a session aide presented an excellent opportunity to network with academic professionals and other students. It also allowed me to participate in the AAAS student poster competition, which was an edifying experience from both a personal and professional standpoint. I would highly recommend the AAAS to any science-minded student! The interdisciplinarity and breadth of the seminars really helped to refine my own research interests as a graduate student in Biology and Society.”

2010 AAAS Students

 AAAS 2010 Participants

Ellen Dupont

Ellen Dupont (poster pdf)
"The AAAS conference was like Christmas in February! With sessions on everything from astronomy to zoology, there was something for everyone. Presenting my own research was an edifying experience (and not a bad résumé-builder either), but every aspect of the trip was a success. San Diego was beautiful, the AAAS meeting and sessions were fascinating, the hotel was perfect, and the group of ASU students, staff, and faculty made the trip both informative and, more importantly, fun! Needless to say, I had an amazing time."

Lauren Imbornoni

Lauren Imbornoni (poster pdf)
Awarded the AAAS Poster Competition Honorable Mention in the Developmental Biology, Physiology, and Immunology category
"The AAAS Conference was an amazing opportunity to meet other students, learn about their research, and share my own research. I enjoyed attending the seminars, especially working as a session aid, which gave me a chance to meet and speak with the presenters beforehand. The Center for Biology and Society did a great job planning and organizing this trip and I’m grateful that I had the chance to go!.”

Allyn Knox

Allyn Knox (poster pdf)
Awarded the AAAS Poster Competition Honorable Mention in the Social Services category
"Going to AAAS was an amazing experience. The talks were interesting; presenting my poster and getting feedback was constructive and gave me direction for my thesis. Finally, I got to know some amazing peers whom I would not otherwise know, even though we have class together.”

Josh Niska

Josh Niska (poster pdf)
"Without the support of the Center for Biology and Society, I would not have had the wonderful opportunity to participate in an international meeting of the magnitude and scope of the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting. Everyone with whom I spoke at the Student Poster Competition provided great feedback on my research; I even met two journalists from Italy who would like to publish my work in their magazine!”

 Sam Philbrick

Samuel Philbrick (poster pdf)
"Seeing the research of prominent scientists and having my own work held up to the scrutiny of professionals and students challenged me to think about how to further develop my thesis. It was great getting to know so many other students from ASU and across the country who enjoy science and research!”

 Jose Rios

Jose Rios (poster pdf)
Winner AAAS Poster Competition in Math, Technology and Engineering
“Being able to talk to people during the poster presentation helped me understand my research even better. The questions from people made me think about things that I had not thought of before. Also, networking with people that are part of other ASU programs was very enjoyable.”

Annie Zhu

Tian (Annie) Zhu (poster pdf)
“This was the first international conference I have attended, and it was one of the most eye-opening and humbling experiences I ever had. At this conference, I attended a number of symposiums given by those at the forefront of their fields, and kept me captivated in subjects I previously did not give a second thought to when they were taught in my undergraduate classes. I also had the opportunity to speak with various other students from universities across the country, and several scientists well experienced in their fields who came to the conference to speak about their research. The highlight of this conference was when I was able to talk about my thesis project with Francis Collins, the Director of the NIH!”

Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson (poster unavailable pending publication)
"Attending the AAAS annual meeting allowed me to experience science at its highest level. It was great to have the opportunity to hear presentations from and network with scientists who are among the best in their field on a national or often global scale. Being exposed to a wide range of scientific fields beyond the scope of my personal research interests has given me the opportunity to draw connections between a number of scientific fields that I had never seen before.”

Graduate Student Poster Participants

Cera Lawrence

Cera Lawrence (poster pdf)
“I feel extraordinarily lucky to be able to attend the biggest science conference in the United States with not only the support of my department, but with a cohort of faculty, colleagues, and students. Being a session aide allowed me to attend presentations on current developments in science education and speak with scientists and professionals in the field, which has informed the direction of my thesis research. Learning how to take advantage of collegiality this early in my career is an enormous benefit. Plus, it was wicked fun.”

Katherine Liu

Katherine Liu (poster pdf)
"Attending the AAAS Annual Meeting was a great opportunity to not only hear about new and exciting topics of research but also for networking with experts in any given field of study. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to engage in conversations about my thesis and other academic interests with researchers from a diversity of intellectual backgrounds. The interdisciplinarity and internationality of this meeting truly results in a unique and academically stimulating environment. I appreciate the support of the Center for Biology and Society, ASU School of Life Sciences, and AAAS Section L.”

Faculty Advisors

Jane Maienschein
Director, Center for Biology and Society

Margaret Nelson
Vice Dean, Barrett, the Honors College
Term: 1998 -2018

Laura Popova
Honors Faculty Fellow, Barrett, the Honors College

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