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USciences Students Attend Prestigious Alpha Chi Convention, Bring Home Awards

By Brian Kirschner

alpha chi

Left to right: Associate Professor in Biological Sciences Dr. Alison Mostrom (co-advisor)Tram Tran DPT’19; Jeffy Mathew DPT’19; Kenneth Wong Phys’17; Puja Singh BI’17; Christina Besada PhSci’17; and Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences Dr. Stacey Gorski (co-advisor).

Five USciences students were among a select group of students from across the U.S. who had the honor to attend the 2016 National Alpha Chi Honor Society Convention in Alexandria, Va., from April 7-9. The five students, who represented four majors, enjoyed the opportunity to share their scientific data with a ‘non-science’ crowd, while at the same time being exposed to the research that occurs in fields other than their own.

Alpha Chi is a prestigious national honor society that accepts only those juniors, seniors, and graduate students in the top 10% of their class. Attendance at the national conference is an even greater honor. Over the three days of the convention, which was themed “transcending boundaries,” approximately 300 students from 80 Alpha Chi college/university chapters gave presentations of their scholarship in a variety of disciplines, including science, performing arts, writing, and economics (to name a few).

Puja Singh BI’17 presented a 15-minute oral presentation entitled “The Evolution of Ramucirumab” and won two awards. Singh was one of 12 Gaston/Nolle National Scholarships for 2016-2017 academic year. In the past 22 years, only four USciences students have won national scholarships from Alpha Chi. Singh also won the regional “Best Paper in the Sciences” award.

Christina Besada PhSci’17 presented a poster entitled “Maternal Protein Restrictions During Pregnancy Followed by Rapid Post-natal Growth During Lactation Increases Adiposity in Young Adult Rat Offspring.” She won the national “Best Presentation in Health Sciences” award.

Jeffy Mathew DPT’19 gave a 15-minute oral presentation entitled “The Effect of Hippotherapy on Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsey.”

Tram Tran DPT’19 read her original short story “Blessed by Hopelessness.” She was presenting in a session dominated by English/Creative Writing majors.

Kenneth Wong Phys’17 presented a poster entitled “Autophosphorylation regulates RAF Activity and Drug Sensitivity.”

The students, who also had time to explore sights in Washington, D.C., took away important lessons from the convention:

“The Alpha Chi National Convention was an amazing experience which allowed me to understand the importance of transcending boundaries,” said Mathew.

“I was amazed by the diversity and various studies that the students brought to this convention,” Besada commented. “It was a great opportunity to be able to present in front of all these brilliant minds and take a little bit of knowledge from their presentations back home with me.”

“I am so grateful for this opportunity to present my creative writing piece at the Alpha Chi Convention,” Tran stated. “This experience has taught me many skills that I will take home and apply to everyday life at USciences.”

Associate Professor in Biological Sciences Dr. Alison Mostrom and Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences Dr. Stacey Gorski are the co-advisors of USciences Alpha Chi chapter and helped organize this opportunity for the students. They also served as judges and moderators at the convention.

Alpha Chi is distinctive in that it involves members in all aspects of its operation: chapter officer leadership, student representation on the National Council, local chapter event planning, and presenting scholarly programs at national conventions. Alpha Chi members have been "making scholarship effective for good" since 1922. At USciences, students eligible for Rho Chi or Psi Chi are not eligible for membership into Alpha Chi.

Categories: News, Feature Story, Faculty, Students, Awards and Honors, Academics, Leadership, USciences, Misher College, Samson College, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy