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Chemistry Students Attend National Conference

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The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) recently held its 39th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.   The theme of the four-day conference was “STEMulating Innovation and Economic Growth through Diversity.”


Alabama A&M University’s (AAMU) Chemistry Unit was well-represented by three faculty members (Drs. Malinda Gilmore, Erick Ellis and Adnan Elkhaldy), four undergraduate students, and members of the North Alabama Center for Educational Excellence Science Bowl Team.  


Dr. Gilmore served on the National Planning Committee for this meeting, and she was responsible for chairing the Environmental Science and Alternative Energy Technical Session, as well as organizing the 1st Annual NOBCChE STEM College Fair, where over 75 exhibitors were present.


Hines.pngShannon Hines, a junior chemistry major, was awarded the Advancing Science Award and the Colgate-Palmolive Company Undergraduate Award. In addition to these awards, she also placed 3rd in the 2012 NOBCChE Undergraduate Research Competition for her research on “Rural Community Drinking Water in Alabama: Impacts on Human Health” (Photo 1).  Her undergraduate Research Advisor is Dr. Paul Okweye, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at AAMU. 


Junior Shechinah Tinsley and senior Marcus Wallace received the Advancing Science Award and presented their research via poster presentation.  Tinsley.pngTinsley's research presentation was entitled
“Antimicrobial Activity of Amines” (Photo 2, right). This research was performed during a summer internship at the University of Michigan. Wallace's research focused on “Structure of phthalocyanine films and single molecules deposited on AuWallace.jpg(111)” (Photo 3, left). His research was performed during a summer internship at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.


Brittany Boykin was funded by AAMU’s HBCU-UP program to present her research on “Thermal Analysis Laboratory Setup and Property Testing” via poster presentation (Photo 4, below, right).  Boykin’s research was performed Boykin.pngduring a summer internship at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.


In addition to their presentations, the undergraduate students heard guest lectures on cutting-edge topics in the fields of health, science and technology.  Moreover, they attended a career fair featuring more than 60 universities, businesses and industry leaders in the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering. 


Additionally, AAMU’s chemistry unit, in collaboration with Dr. Emmanuel Waddell of the University of Alabama in Huntsville and NACEE, is proud to announce that members of the Science Bowl Team, the NACEE NITROS (Photo 5, below), attended their first-ever NOBCChE Annual Conference and participated in the NOBCChE Science Bowl Competition.  The NACEE NITROS placed 5th of out 17 teams. 

The Science Bowl Team included the following members: Ayo Douglas and Phiwat Klomkaew from New Century Technology High School, Jared Crawford from Section High School, Joshua Graves from Woodville High School, Xavier Scruggs and Akeeta Barnaby from J.O. Johnson High School, and Jacqueline Johnson from Butler High School. Their counselors/teacher coaches were Priscilla Omofoma and Virginia Riggs, ETS Coordinators; Bobby Petty, education specialist with Upward Bound Math/Science Program; and Dr. Ernest Davis, executive director, North Alabama Center for Educational Excellence.


The overall mission of NOBCChE is to build an eminent community of scientists and engineers by increasing the number of minorities in these fields.  Please visit for more information.





Photo 1. Shannon Hines receiving an award at the 39th Annual NOBCChE Conference for winning 3rd place in the Undergraduate Research Competition. She also received the Advancing Science Award.


Photo 2. Shechinah Tinsley presenting her research at the 39th Annual NOBCChE Conference. She received the Advancing Science Award.


Photo 3. Marcus Wallace presenting his research at the 39th Annual NOBCChE Conference. He received the Advancing Science Award.


Photo 4. Brittany Boykin presenting her research at the 39th Annual NOBCChE Conference.


Photo 5. The NACEE NITROs attended their 1st NOBCChE meeting and competed in the National Science Bowl. They placed 5th out of 17.

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