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Chemistry and Biochemistry’s annual graduate research conference turns 25!

The graduate student association marked the anniversary with a return to an in-person format
December 15, 2022

Graduate students from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are capping off the year on a high note, having held a very successful annual conference for the 25th year in a row.

“The conference went really well!” says organizer Caroline Bergeron of the November 11 event.

“We are proud to say we had a total of 396 people participating. We are so grateful to all of them, from the presenters, to the judges, to the sponsors, alumni and volunteers.”

Alumni, out-of-town guests 

The conference organizers were pleased to return to an in-person format for the first time since 2019.

“It was a wonderful feeling to see everyone in person again, and so surreal!” says fellow organizer Gabi Mandl.

Mandl says it was a special honour to meet returning alumni. “It really shows how much the conference has grown in the last 25 years.”

Out-of-town guests were able to participate in hybrid mode, using online conference skills the organizers acquired during the pandemic.

An evolving conference

As the conference has evolved, so too have the topics it covers.

“Molecular biology was added a few years ago,” notes Bergeon. “Our most recent addition is polymer chemistry, which we added last year, and we are happy to say the turnout for both categories has increased since their addition.”

The anniversary holds significance for the graduate students, but also for the department’s faculty members and the administration of the Faculty of Arts and Science.

“The administration helped in so many ways with this year’s event, from day-of assistance to internal funding,” says Mandl.

“We were so grateful to see they were just as excited about the event as we were.”

Looking forward to year 26

Plans are already underway for next year’s conference, which Bergeron says will be focused on the theme of pathways in academia.

While Bergeron will be staying on as an organizer, this conference marks the last one for Mandl, who will be completing her PhD shortly.

“Volunteering for this conference for so many years has been a highlight of my time at Concordia,” she says.

“And who knows? I might come back and present next year – if they’ll have me!” she jokes.

Learn more about the 2022 edition of the conference here.

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