First Person

First Person: ChEmory at ACS

ChEmory, Emory’s award-winning undergraduate ACS club, sent three members to this the ACS Spring national meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. The meeting took place on March 26-30. In addition to participating in the conference, the ChEmory members accepted the ACS Honorable Mention Chapter Award on behalf of ChEmory.

Check out their first-person accounts of the conference experience below!

Sharing demos in the exhibition hall


Initially, I did not think too much about how much my experience at the conference was going to go. However, after attending the conference, it is safe to say that it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. It felt like Disneyland for chemists. From chemDEMO exchanges between universities to novel research being presented by passionate undergrads, the atmosphere that the conference brought inspires people to innovate in the field of chemistry.

“It felt like Disneyland for chemists.”


I am confident to say that the conference is amazing and should be more available to students on campus. I never felt more privileged than when I got to meet recent Nobel laureates like Carolyn Bertozzi, who gave an inspiring and thought-provoking speech on what it really means to be a researcher. I never felt more privileged to exchange novel and fun ideas to make our student chapter better along with others across the world. I never felt more privileged to be exposed to the true beauty that chemistry has to offer.

The ACS conference was definitely a worthwhile trip that I would attend again if I can next year.

Accepting the Honorable Mention Chapter Award


I was absolutely blown away by the overwhelmingly academically-focused, prestigious event presented by the American Chemical Society Conference. Being surrounded by like-minded researchers interested in like-minded research and chemical excellence was an incomparable experience.

“We saw lasers, industry-quality giant test tubes, redox demos, and so much more.”


We met our advisors’ undergraduate and graduate colleagues, formed connections with students from other schools, and expanded our understanding of chemistry research. We engaged with poster presentations/talks ranging from using chemistry to treat incurable diseases, to understanding the function of dopamine receptors in depression, and to regenerating damaged nerves. We saw lasers, industry-quality giant test tubes, redox demos, and so much more. We even had the wonderful opportunity to meet and take a picture with the 24th Nobel Chemistry Prize Laureate Carolyn Bertozzi. I was absolutely awestruck to be able to meet such an impressive scientist and eloquent speaker in-person.

I am extremely thankful for this opportunity, which has made me reconsider the very course of my future. I am so astounded by the quantity and quality of chemistry research that I am now delighted and excited to change my major to pursue a chemistry degree and conduct scientific research in this field of chemistry. I cannot wait to experience this conference again next year!

Pictured with Dr. Carolyn R. Bertozzi


Being able to go to the ACS conference was truly a privilege. I really enjoyed getting to meet and network with other schools chemistry clubs and learn more about the different demos they’re doing to get their campus and community engaged in chemistry and in science in general. I also really enjoyed attending the poster sessions by other undergraduates. It was really cool to see the concepts and reactions we’ve learned in prior chemistry courses like Diels–Alder being woven into projects that have broader applications in medicine and environmental mediation strategies. The conference also gave me a big picture idea of what kind of work I could do with undergraduate chemistry research and what the final product might look like if I stick with it.

“It was really cool to see the concepts and reactions we’ve learned in prior chemistry courses like Diels–Alder being woven into projects that have broader applications.”


Presenting both the ChEmory demo and poster was exciting and also a great way to meet people and practice effectively communicating science. The highlight of my trip by far was seeing Carolyn Bertozzi speak and getting the chance to meet her, especially after learning about her work with bioorthogonal reactions in CHEM 203. She is not only a great scientist but gives great advice and is really down to earth. I also really enjoyed the talks given on the major medicinal chemical developments made in 2022 and the keynote address by Dr. Kisley on single molecule microscopy.

Overall, it was a great trip to get to know the different facets of the chemistry ecosystem from undergraduate to graduate to post graduate, research, and even industry. I also really enjoyed getting to know the other ChEmory students who went on the trip better.