Chemistry Students Rack up Top Prizes at National Conference

college student standing in front of a science poster
Kayla Puzdrakiewicz ’21

Sophomore chemistry major Kayla Puzdrakiewicz recently took home an outstanding undergraduate poster award in the Computers in Chemistry division at the 257th American Chemical Society National Conference. The conference, held March 31-April 4 in Orlando, FL, was attended by more than 10,000 chemists from around the world.
Puzdrakiewicz works in the lab of Prof. Mauricio Cafiero, studying how novel drugs may be eliminated from the body with the goal of improving treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Puzdrakiewicz has presented her work at three other conferences this year and will be traveling to Belfast, Northern Ireland, this summer to work with Prof. Cafiero at Queens University.
In addition, chemistry major Rebecca Evans beat out all other competitors in a contest to see who could search for scientific data the fastest using the software SciFinder, which is used in several of her classes at Rhodes. Her prize for winning the competition was a Macbook Air. A graduating senior, Evans will be attending the chemistry Ph.D. program at Princeton University this fall.
Professors Mauricio Cafiero, Will Eckenhoff, Jon Russ, and Larryn Peterson attended the conference with their research students. Prof. Cafiero also served as a judge.

Other students who presented their work at this conference include:

Beca Roldan (chemistry, 2019), Madison Perchik (chemistry, 2019), Caroline Magee (chemistry, 2019), Carter Embry (chemistry, 2019), Rachel Giampapa (biochemistry and molecular biology, 2019), Phillips Hutchinson (chemistry, physics 2019), Morgan Hill (biochemistry and molecular biology 2019), Peyton Antwine (neuroscience, 2019), Zach Wall (chemistry, physics, mathematics, 2019), Megan Simons (chemistry and mathematics, 2019), Lulu Schultz (chemistry, 2019), Connor Frost (neuroscience, 2019), Mary Neil Hodl (neuroscience, 2019), Emily Sanders (chemistry, 2020) , Audrey Woody, (chemistry, 2020), Elise Moix (neuroscience, 2020), Abby Polzin (urban studies, 2020), Liam Rhodes (chemistry, 2020), Grace Tolan (chemistry 2020), Umer Aziz (chemistry, 2020), Emma Cook (urban studies, 2021), Sarah Helland (chemistry, 2021), and Keren Lee (chemistry, 2021).