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STC Student Shines Spotlight on Academic Excellence at National Conference

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Karina Gonzalez, a pre-pharmacy major at South Texas College (STC) recently delivered a presentation to scholars and scientists from around the world, sharing her message on a national scale about the academic excellence taking shape in our region. STC Image
Karina Gonzalez, a pre-pharmacy major at South Texas College (STC) recently delivered a presentation to scholars and scientists from around the world, sharing her message on a national scale about the academic excellence taking shape in our region. STC Image
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Karina Gonzalez, a pre-pharmacy major at South Texas College (STC) recently delivered a presentation to scholars and scientists from around the world, sharing her message on a national scale about the academic excellence taking shape in our region. 

Among more than 140 exhibitors, Gonzalez, co-vice president of STC’s Chemistry and Pre-Pharmacy club, was the sole student representing the college as the only two-year institution at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) national conference, which took place in New Orleans, Louisiana

According to Gonzalez, the goal was to inform ACS student chapters, board members and industry professionals from around the world about how the club and STC science programs have contributed to the success of students and continues to foster strong connections to the community ultimately making them a successful student organization. 

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STC Science Lab Coordinator Daniel Martinez expressed his excitement for attending the esteemed chemistry conference in New Orleans as it exposes students to the opportunity of challenging themselves professionally while making connections to the science industry. 

“Our club is nationally known by ACS so we were ecstatic to be invited to share what we’ve accomplished as a collective,” Martinez said. “This is especially exciting for Karina who presented for the first time in her academic career as co vice-president of the club and an ACS member. Participating in conferences is a really great way for our students to meet with industry professionals, get out of their comfort zone and shed light on the amazing things we’ve been working on in our South Texas region.”

With more than 12,000 attendees, Gonzalez emphasized the importance of representation to showcase the outreach and impact on both club members and local residents. 

“Presenting on a national platform is important to us so that we can demonstrate our commitment to making science accessible to our community members ranging from small children to adults,” Gonzalez shared. “We’ve collaborated with various groups in our area like our public libraries, K-12 schools and nonprofit organizations which has allowed us to learn skills in community engagement, organizing events and networking.” 

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The 29-year-old expressed that it is these diverse experiences that have helped create well-rounded students who have gone on to pursue careers or graduate programs within the science and health care sectors. 

“With the support of our dedicated faculty and staff in our science programs at STC, we’ve been able to simultaneously grow as young professionals with rich academic experiences, engage our community through science topics and show them that opportunities in the science profession are limitless and they can begin that journey at STC,” Gonzalez said. “I believe that this sets us apart as a student-led organization.”

Gonzalez explained that their work was well received by attendees, many encouraging the organization to compete for ACS awards in the next conference. 

“After speaking with researchers, chemists and scientists, I left feeling empowered and motivated to continue laying down the strong foundation that we’ve worked on throughout the semester,” Gonzalez shared. “From our club officers and members who are about to graduate and have already accepted offers from pharmacy programs and graduate schools to the community members who are inspired by the scientific innovation unraveling at our school, being invited and recognized by ACS is a huge accomplishment.”

To learn more about STC’s science programs visit, https://www.southtexascollege.edu/academics/math-science-engineering/

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