249th Annual Meeting of the American Chemical Society – Anna Love

April 15th, 2015

This past week, a crew from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry traveled to Denver, Colorado to attend the 249th Annual Meeting of the ACS. There were four students (myself included) and three professors who attended the meeting. It presented the unique opportunity to not only hear about the many different projects being carried out in the multifaceted world of chemistry, but also gave us the change share our own research to peers and graduate level chemists.

There were research presentations going on during the day focusing on different research projects. It was interesting to see how many different kinds of research projects there were and how broad a field chemistry really is. Since I hope to one day obtain my PhD, it was motivating to hear about all the different areas of chemistry, and will help me make an informed decision on which field I want to enter. The presentations covered such topics as renewable agricultural and food chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemical technology, catalysis science and technology, chemistry and law, and environmental and geochemistry. In the evenings, there were poster presentations by graduate level chemists. These presentations gave us new ideas and insights into our own projects on campus that will, no doubt, prove useful in our future endeavors.

Poster Presentation

Poster Presentation

We also had the opportunity to present our current research at the Undergraduate Research Poster Presentation. I presented the research  I conducted at the Cleveland Clinic over this past summer, and it was really interesting to see all the different posters and talk to the other students about their research. It was also good experience for my future in scientific research to present my poster to others. I also had the chance to share with some professors and graduate level chemists, which provided networking opportunities for the future.

249th American Chemical Society National Meeting: National Resources by Sarah Zwart

April 15th, 2015

From March 21-25th, 2015, I was given the opportunity to attend the 249th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Denver, Colorado.  The theme of the meeting was National Resources.

Conference Materials

My certification from the poster session, and my American Chemical Society National Meeting I.D. 

Also, throughout the duration of the meeting, I was able to attend several different talks and lectures focused on subjects such as organic chemistry, biotechnology, environmental chemistry, chemistry education, and polymer and colloidal chemistry.  From these talks, I was able to gain insight into what work these different fields of chemistry entail, and new research happening in each field.  Through the lectures and the poster session, I was able to connect with several of the speakers, as well as connect with other undergraduates across the United States.

The representatives from Messiah College’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department under the iconic bear at the Colorado Convention Center.

The representatives from Messiah College’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department under the iconic bear at the Colorado Convention Center.

Messiah students, Lauren Martin, Sarah Zwart, and Anna Love (from left to right), at Denver’s capital building.

Messiah students, Lauren Martin, Sarah Zwart, and Anna Love (from left to right), at Denver’s capital building.

I have been involved with research at Messiah since the summer of last year,and as part of this conference I had the privilege of presenting a poster at an undergraduate poster session based on my research.

My poster on “Characterization of Self-Assembling Monolayers on Zinc Selenide” at the undergraduate poster presentation.

My poster on “Characterization of Self-Assembling Monolayers on Zinc Selenide” at the undergraduate poster presentation.

Beyond networking, the poster session allowed me to practice the valuable skill of presenting my research to professionals in chemistry.  It also was advantageous because of the valuable insight and suggestions my peers and other professors were able to give me about the work that I had completed.









American Chemical Society National Meeting – Phil Roth

April 15th, 2015

This year I was able to attend the prestigious American Chemical Society National Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Our first day there was filled with exploring the convention center, and listening to interesting talks given by leading scientists in many different fields of chemistry research. One talk that I found incredibly interesting was discussing different tracers they were using to better identify abnormalities in the brain.

The next day we were able to attend more talks, and I was lucky enough to see one of my professors give a talk to his colleagues. It was interesting to see him in a different context than the classroom. He did a fabulous job giving his talk, and representing Messiah College and what we stand for.

Enjoying the poster presentation with Lauren Martin ('15) and Dr. Anne Reeve!

Enjoying the poster presentation with Lauren Martin (’15) and Dr. Anne Reeve!

On the third day the group went to the Expo. The Expo had hundreds of vendors selling the newest instruments and technology in chemistry. There was also lots of free stuff to be had, and we all had a blast seeing the new instruments and  collecting as many free tee shirts as we could. After the Expo it was time to get ready for our post presentation. Lauren Martin and I made our way to our poster spot, and began our afternoon of discussing our research with other scientists. It was a great learning experience, and I enjoyed gaining new ideas from the other students and faculty members.

Our final day was spent listening to more talks, including another one given by our very own Dr. Noble. She gave a great talk discussing the difficulties of teaching Physical Chemistry. That night we were treated to a nice group dinner courtesy of the Chemistry Department. It was great to get to interact with my professors outside of the normal classroom setting.

Overall this trip was incredibly educating for me. Not only was this my first national meeting ever, but also I was also able to present my research there, and learn from the other ACS members. I learned a great deal about cutting edge chemistry listening to the talks, and had a great time getting to know my professors and the other students better.

Phil Roth




249th ACS National Meeting & Exposition: Chemistry of Natural Resources by Lauren Martin

April 2nd, 2015

The 249th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society was beneficial from both the perspective of a student and as an accepted PhD student. As a student, I was able to listen to various talks on a wide variety of topics in chemistry. Some of these talks covered to topics of biofuels, gas hydrates, and drug discovery. I learned about current information and breakthroughs in chemistry and drug discovery by listening to these talks. Knowing this information is crucial in science and I am expected to understand what other chemists are doing. In the fall, I will be attending school to obtain my PhD in chemistry.


ACS Logo




This meeting was advantageous to attend since I was able to listen to the talk of a future professor and interact with professionals who have research interests that align with my own. Presenting my research at this meeting provided me with additional skills to use in the future. L.Martin ACS meeting I was required to have extensive knowledge about my research and support my data and reactions to those who questioned it. This experience was a highlight of my chemistry education, and it helped me grow as a future research chemist.

Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Annual Convention – by Kyle Dayhoff

December 16th, 2014

Recently I have participated in the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance conference and convention. At this convention, I had the ability to be in attendance of several presentations, banquets, and awards ceremonies. I myself was also awarded the award for outstanding future professional, representing Messiah College as its recipient.

The convention was geared towards everything that has to do with physical activity and health. I went to four different presentations, ranging from how to create a weight room on a limited budget to how to properly interview with administrators. The training sessions were for all who had been in attendance but were geared towards health and physical education majors as myself. The presentations gave me knowledge of teaching skills, and methods that I could immediately incorporate into my classroom.

The banquets and awards ceremonies were a time for myself to connect with professionals in my major. The banquets were a time to celebrate the major, and the progress it has made within schools and communities. It was a time to celebrate those that were making strides for our organization. During these ceremonies, we also celebrated the election of a new president and the passing of the presidency of the organization to the next president. Making these connections will help me in securing a position in a school district through the people I know and are associated with in this organization. Earning this award is also a great way to set myself apart from others in the interview process that I will begin soon.

Bridges to Prosperity Bridge Builder Conference – by Katie Barrett

September 30th, 2014

The Bridges to Prosperity conference in Winter Park, Colorado was a very educational and productive weekend. In addition to learning a lot about the structure of the Bridges to Prosperity group, I learned a lot about humanitarian infrastructure work. This is something something which I already planned on doing, so it was good to be reminded of how big of a need there is. I was also made aware of how large of a undertaking it is to build a bridge of the scale we are planning. Ben and I made connections with a lot of other student groups who have already built a bridge rurally and also with bridge professionals involved in Bridges to Prosperity and other humanitarian civil engineering causes. Both of these connections will help us in the upcoming project year, as this is our first stress ribbon bridge the Collaboratory has built.

Over a billion people worldwide do not have basic transportation access. Rivers or canyons separate remote communities from basic educational, nutritional, spiritual, economic and health-related needs. The only effective way to make an impact on communities through infrastructure is to engage the local leaders in fixing the problem: use the local masons, constructors, and technical supervisors. Otherwise, the community will look at whatever was built or fixed not as their own project, but as the missionaries project. Problems tend to arise with this, as when something needs to be fixed again, the community often does not take ownership and repair the structure. They may just wait for the missionaries to come back and fix it. We also learned a lot about risk management and safety. This is extremely important in both our project and in our future jobs, as we will often have risk of falling during construction, inspection, or likewise.

Overall, I learned a lot from this conference. I learned that I think I will fit best in a more non-profit setting when it comes to my engineering job in the future, as I am most passionate about that aspect of civil engineering. It is extremely impactful on the world, and also is a good way to involve my spiritual beliefs with my career.

Bridges to Prosperity Bridge Builder Conference – by Brett Reinert

September 30th, 2014

Bridge Builder Conference

Hosted by Bridges to Prosperity

Though it was the earliest hours of the morning, my mind was alive as I processed the information of the Bridge Builder Conference with my Collaboratory teammate, Katie. During that drive home Monday morning, we expressed mutual excitement for the upcoming season within the Bridge Group. The sessions and workshops provoked new ideas, and bolstered our confidence that the Bridge Group can be a huge success. This blog aims to share those ideas.

Bridges to Prosperity divided the conference into lectures of various types, professional development seminars, and hands-on workshops. I attended one workshop on concrete and masonry, and it was extremely insightful. While development projects lower the standard for quality of work, the task is still just as difficult. The third world mixes most concrete by hand and amidst the elements, causing certain techniques to increase efficiency and strength. Johann Zimmerman taught me the basic ingredients of concrete and the typical ratio for mixing them. I learned how to mix concrete quickly using two people. His workshop advised creating a clear slab the day before mixing for a clear working space, delegating one person to count mixture parts, and showed us what consistency the product should be for maximum strength. This advice will definitely benefit me some day in the field.

Explaining how to mix concrete efficiently.

Johann describing the finished product and demonstrating techniques for forming in the developing world.

The concrete workshop only accounted for a small fraction of my time at the conference. Most of the transformative information came from the numerous sessions Bridges to Prosperity held throughout the weekend. Development was a reoccurring theme, as well as, sustainability and success.

The weekend began with a lecture by professional engineer, Dave Zanetell. He led a team to create the new Hoover Dam bypass and convinced me that the successful corporate skills he used can be translated into the developing world and building bridges within that context. The next morning, Avery Bang, the C.E.O. of Bridges to Prosperity spoke on the importance of footbridges in the developing world and the opportunity for influence through statistics highlighting correlation of health and adequate transportation. I followed this up with a professional development seminar on suspended bridge design. Most of the information was geared toward those in industry or those who have constructed bridges in the past; however, I was still able to glean some good tips on which clamp brands to use, the importance of trustworthy materials, and so forth.

After lunch, everyone gathered for another keynote lecture about how to measure program impacts. Kevin Donovan and Wyatt Brooks shared great information on how to choose location for bridges and set up systems that monitored the use and overall success of the bridges. Before dinner, a panel of professionals working for NGOs held a discussion on careers in international development. They gave testimony to the various paths into the development sector and the benefits and hindrances of each.

The next day, I went to a safety briefing. The developing world has no policies and liability, which, when combined with more primitive working supplies, can arguably make conditions much more dangerous. Emily Braucher ended the conference with a phenomenal lecture on cross-cultural communication and power. She challenged the current way we do and think about development, as well as, expressed the importance of understanding various communication styles.

Excitement and curiosity filled my mind in the weeks leading up to the conference. I left feeling fulfilled and transformed. As a representative from my Collaboratory group, I felt that I had learned valuable information to guide our next steps. The Collaboratory approaches its project with a business model. This benefits students because they experience various aspects of the professional world such as clients, deadlines, and documentation. At first, it looks like a perfect setup, but it could come at the expense of the communities for whom we are working. Effective humanitarian work comes from teaching and empowering communities to a level where they will become self-sufficient and continue the work on their own. When we come in with our own agenda, and, even if we do not realize it, fail to interact with and involve the community, the project becomes something for our own satisfaction and is not sustainable. I do not believe this is necessarily bad, but we need to carefully analyze our purpose within the Collaboratory and if we are focusing more on personal gains or those we are serving.

On a personal level, I received a greater affirmation to my calling in development work. The Bridge Builder Conference exposed me to all sides of development work and the various paths to get there. Many development focused, engineering NGOs exist, but only a couple approach their work from a faith background. Even faith-based, non-profits with engineering type work, such as World Vision, have no ministry component. This worries me, but at the same time has opened my eyes to opportunities of founding something like this. Lectures on cross-cultural communication and transportation dispensed wisdom about international interaction as an individual and the prosperity that comes from adequate transportation.

There was no shortage of knowledge spat out at the conference. I hope that many groups and individuals can grow from it and become more effective in their work. I would like to thank Messiah College’s Student Government Association for providing grant money that made this attendance possible. Time to build some bridges!

Ben Reinert

Council for Exceptional Children’s International Conference – by Domenic Michael Andolina

May 13th, 2014

On Friday April 11th, 2014, I had the privilege of attending and presenting at the held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (also known as CEC). This event is hailed as one of the most prestigious conferences for special educators in the world. It is held annually, and consists of a wide variety of presenters sharing new and upcoming research/evidence based practices that influence the practice of educating students with special needs. There are about 400 presentations each day, consisting of posters, panel discussions, workshops, and demonstrations. My attendance and presentation at this event both challenged me as a professional, and enabled me to share the knowledge that I had gained from my formative time spent at Messiah College.

Dr. Melinda Burchard (Assistant Professor of Special Education) provided me with this opportunity. Last Spring, she submitted a proposal, which included an outline and abstract of our presentation entitled, “Concrete Tier 3 and Special Education Math Interventions”. This proposed 1 hour demonstration would be co-presented by Dr. Burchard, Danielle Morabito (a fellow Senior majoring in Early Childhood and Special Education), and myself.  During this process, I learned how to propose a presentation for a professional conference, which will be extremely beneficial to my future career plans.

As a result of the many individuals with disabilities who attend this conference, I learned that it is crucial to include multiple means of representation when presenting. It was not enough to have a PowerPoint (visual), but to also include auditory (reading, not just summarizing the information on the slides, in addition to expanding on the information), and kinesthetic (engaging the audience in the creation of low-tech mathematical interventions). Being intentional about this part of our presentation proved to be extremely successful. In addition, I also grew professionally by learning how to be an effective and respectful communicator during a time of questioning and answering within our presentation.

One of my PowerPoint slides showed an instructional objective used to measure student learning of interpreting data on a circle graph. A professional in the audience asked me, “Why is your quality set at only 50%?” You could feel the tension in the room as she offered me this question. As I thought about my answer, I thanked her for bringing it to my attention. I admitted that my knowledge of instructional design had grown since the creation of the intervention, and that I found it crucial to adjust this quality before implementation of my intervention. I also added that it is important to be a reflective teacher, and that her comment enabled me to realize an area of weakness. Overall, through presenting and being asked questions, I learned how important it is to respect my audience, in order to continue my growth as a public communicator.

This presentation was an outgrowing of a project that I completed in my junior year at Messiah. We received a tremendously positive response from our demonstration, while inspiring teachers, higher educators, and paraprofessionals with our unique approach to Tier 3 mathematical interventions. After our presentation, I was able to fully understand the wealth of information that I had gained through this project. It also helped me to translate my experiences of being a college student to my future classrooms—where it will affect students in positive and amazing ways. Each of my assignments here at Messiah, in particular my attendance and presentation at this conference, has enabled me to be a more reflective teacher and has prepared me to be a strong professional influence in the world of education.

Jubilee Conference by Christina Thomas

April 14th, 2014

“Everything Matters” was this year’s theme for the Jubilee Conference. A team of Messiah students left at 10am on a Friday morning heading towards Pittsburgh, PA. Throughout the rest stops and the constant singing, we discussed what we would expect and the issues we could address upon returning to campus. So, what did I expect? I expected a room full of students from various disciplines and walks of life all united by our common faith in God. What I did not expect was entering a conference gaining professional networking skills, how to become a “storyteller of the past”, and how to be a humble, patience, efficient, and effective leader.

With me on this trip were several student leaders throughout the Office of Multicultural Programs from our multiple student organizations as well as our advisor Scott Hwang. Outside of the common gathering center was an array of organizations and colleges and universities tables. We were able to network and talk to graduate admission counselors, find local summer job opportunities, and connect with post-graduate organizations. The conference even challenged students to “sell themselves” by hosting a friendly competition on who was able to professionally connect the most with these various organizations and schools. As a history major, I was able to attend a session by Dr. Eric Miller of Geneva College on “Telling the Story of the World”. In a room full of future historians we were taught how to not only do history, but how to be a successful historian as we face graduation and begin to look towards graduate schools and professional jobs. This lecture provided me with great lessons as I began my graduate schools interview. Dr. Miller also taught up great secrets in securing funding for graduate school and making the most out of our undergraduate history degree. Through this conference, I gained a greater sense of how to become a historian pursuing graduate work. As I expanded my academic and professional experience, I began to even further grow in my leadership.

Being the school’s Vice President of Diversity Affairs is no simple task. Throughout the constant meetings and evaluations, I am constantly left with the issue of connecting six cultural based student organizations to the entire campus. At Jubilee, I had the privilege of attending two sessions, ‘Discovering the Beauty of Ethnicity and the Fragility of Pride’ and ‘The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Life as a Black Christian on a White Campus’. I found with these informational sessions that we must first take a step back before moving forward. It was a humbling lesson because I am constantly looking for ways to push forth this alternate chapel or propose this change without first stepping back to assets and take note of the various needs beginning within our own office and our own students. The second session spoke greatly about microaggressions, a big issue on our campus. During this session there was an even bigger movement stirring at many colleges and universities with powerful campaigns against microaggressions. Both of these sessions gave me efficient tools on how to address issues as a Christian attending predominately white colleges and to pass on what I learn to future leaders.

PAFCS Annual Conference by Laura Kreider

April 14th, 2014

This past weekend, I attended the PAFCS Annual Conferences at the Marriott in Lancaster County.  At this conference I had the opportunity to network with many other Family and Consumer Sciences majors, teachers in the field, and other professionals.  I gathered many materials and resources that will help me become a stronger professional and will aid me as resources for within the classroom.  Additionally, I attended workshops that informed me of the many areas of specialization within the field of Family and Consumer Sciences, the issues concerning our state and our content, and the strengths and resources we have at our disposal.

This information will be very helpful as I search for a teaching job this year because I have made several connections with different school districts as well as professional organization that will help me maintain my own level of professionalism.

Today more than ever, it is important to remain relevant and current in our content areas, and attending this conference was one method for me to maintain this goal.  Thank you SGA for helping make this possible!