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CBS and Barrett, the Honors College send students to AAAS, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.