RWU’s Science Alliance Wins Industry Award

Students from the American Chemical Society student chapter win Honorable Mention Award, will present research at national conference

By Grace Boland
The Science Alliance club members gather smiling around guest speaker Claudia Turro in the center.
The Science Alliance club members gathered around guest speaker Claudia Turro from Ohio State University after the professor presented her talk "Shining Light on Transition Mental Complexes: Potential Applications in Medicine and Solar Energy" to the club.

BRISTOL, R.I. – The American Chemical Society’s Committee on Education has awarded Roger Williams University’s ACS student chapter, the Science Alliance, an Honorable Mention for the programs and activities the group hosted in the local community this past year. 

Twelve students from the club will attend the ACS Spring 2024 Conference in New Orleans in March to receive the award and present their research. This is the largest chemistry conference in the U.S. 

“The future is bright for the Science Alliance,” said Stephen O’Shea, Professor of Chemistry, and the club’s advisor. After a three-year hiatus due to COVID, O’Shea said he’s happy to see the students revive the club and is excited for what the future holds. 

At the conference, students will present real-world research projects they’ve worked on along with their faculty advisors. The projects range from discovering what nutrients can be extracted from sediment found on Mars to discover the viability of living on Mars to using molecular system testing for early cancer detection.

In addition to presenting research, the students will share a poster of the activities the club has completed in the past year, which secured their award. Club members judged a science fair for Mount Hope High School in Bristol, R.I.; hosted a general chemistry review session for RWU students before finals; and collected canned goods and nonperishables for the East Bay Food Pantry Turkey Drive.

The Science Alliance, aptly named due to the variety of majors that make up the club, contains about 25 members, with majors ranging from Chemistry to Engineering to Marine Biology. “We wanted the club to be like a blender, a mixing of all areas of science. We constantly are learning from each other,” said Science Alliance President Carly Ferreira, a senior Chemistry major from Bristol, R.I.

Ferreira said she was thrilled to get the club active again after its hiatus and shared how the executive board began their journey to getting the Science Alliance out in the community.

“Now that COVID is over, we can be more public-facing. We come up with experiments that the public would find interesting and easy to do,” she said. “Our mission is to show people how science can be fun.”