ABRF and FASEB attended the 2014 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in beautiful San Antonio (TX). The goal to educate attendee’s about careers in biotechnology, promote ABRF and membership, and serve as poster judges with the opportunity to offer Best Poster Awards to five outstanding science students that could benefit from attending ABRF.
ABRCMS is one of the largest conferences for underrepresented minority students and students with disabilities to pursue advance training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The conference main objective is to encourage these students to pursue that training and provide the tools and resources to make it possible. With 1,900 undergrads, 400 graduate students, and twelve disciplines, choosing 5 students was no easy task. I have attended many conferences during my professional career, but I could not help but being impressed by the students we met at ABRCMS. Many words come to my mind when I think about these students: knowledge, competence, enthusiasm, professionalism… and yes, it was like being in a fashion show for young professionals. They all looked amazing in their very professional clothes! (They certainly take this meeting very seriously!) But if I have to stress just one thing, what really impressed me the most was their passion. All the students I talked to were absolutely passionate about their work, and they were eager to tell you all about it and make you understand why their research was so terribly exciting and what you had been missing all those years.It was extremely refreshing to see all that excitement and reminded me once again why people decide to pursue a PhD and a career in science.
I also wanted to remind people about the crucial work that meetings like ABRCMS and societies like FASEB (and ABRF!) do on providing these extraordinary and often life-changing opportunities to minority students. Very special thanks to the FASEB crowd, not only are they instrumental in providing great opportunities to minority students, they are also efficient, engaging, fun people (should have seen Tim dancing with them in their booth!!).
And last but not least, I just wanted to congratulate our 5 outstanding winners: Ibrahim Osumanu; U Massachusetts Amherst, Hamid Hussaini; University of Buffalo, Kimberly Herard; Emory University, Isavannah Reyes; St Edwards University and Marissa Foster; UCLA.. Congratulations and we will see you in St Louis!!