Faculty of Science

The Champions of Chemistry

The 42nd Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference (SOUSCC) had fourth year chemistry students from across Ontario meet at the University of Windsor to present their research in front of panels of judges and peers.  A total of 85 papers and 34 posters were submitted for consideration.

Winners of the SOUSSC 2014

Some of the winners of SOUSCC 2014 from left to right: Joseph Turnbull, Filipe de Souza, Vanessa Beland and Brittany Lewis

Out of the twenty Western students who competed, seven won, sweeping the first, second and third prizes of the Analytical Chemistry Section, as well as the first prizes in the Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Materials Chemistry sections.

Vanessa Beland, first prize winner of the oral presentation in materials chemistry, says what may have given Western an advantage is the timing of the conference and the Western students’ opportunity to hone their communications skills during the end-of –term presentation of their respective thesis project research findings. “It was really good practice because we had to do the exact same thing the next week except it was in front of two examiners. They can ask you anything, and I was terrified. In the end, answering the questions wasn’t so bad” commented Beland.

The emphasis for SOUSCC is not so much the success or failure of experiments, but the thought processes in developing a method and procedure. The conference was also a chance to see how peers from other universities approached problems.

Beland is now pursuing graduate research at Western in the Ragogna laboratory.

Congratulations to all the Western Science students who brought home awards:
Vanessa Beland Oral Presentation First Prize –Materials Chemistry
Brittany Lewis Oral Presentation First Prize – Inorganic Chemistry
Sharon Michalak Oral Presentation First Prize – Organic Chemistry
Falana Sheriff Oral Presentation First Prize – Physical Chemistry
Filipe de Souza Oral Presentation Second Prize – Analytical Chemistry
Scott Truman Oral Presentation Third Prize – Analytical Chemistry
Joseph Turnbull Oral Presentation First Prize – Analytical Chemistry