Speed Dating At The NOBCChE Meeting

For some, a 40th birthday can be a harbinger of a midlife crisis. Not so for the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers, or NOBCChE (pronounced no-buh-shay). Last week, the organization held its 40th annual meeting, and just like NOBCChE's first meeting in New Orleans in 1973, this year's meeting in Indianapolis provided minority chemists and chemical engineers with an opportunity to present research, reconnect with old friends, and meet new ones. Even the Newscripts gang had an opportunity to mingle with some meeting attendees. Below are a sampling of the fun and interesting people that Newscripts stumbled upon in between visits to local steakhouses and rides on Formula 1 race cars.
NOBCChE Day 1 009

Windmon. Credit: Jeff Huber/C&EN (all)

Name: Nicole Windmon Background: Fifth-year graduate student at Notre Dame University researching β-lactam mimics in an effort to facilitate antibiotic development. Number of years attending NOBCChE meeting: First year. Reasons for attending NOBCChE meeting: "I'm entering the job market very soon, so I'm looking to work on my résumé writing skills and my cover letter writing skills and learn how to do a good interview."  
NOBCChE Day 1 021

Thanthirige.

Name: Viraj Thanthirige Background: Third-year graduate student from Sri Lanka who is studying gold nanoclusters at Western Michigan University. Number of years attending NOBCChE meeting: First year. Reasons for attending NOBCChE meeting: To present research on gold nanoclusters and volunteer at the science bowl for middle and high school students.  
Day 2 Photo 4a

Nzamubona.

Name: Kimara F. Nzamubona Background: Senior undergraduate chemistry and French studies student at Colby College originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Number of years attending NOBCChE meeting: First year. Reasons for attending NOBCChE meeting: "Talking to schools, looking for internships, job opportunities, networking. Networking ... that was the main reason why I came here." Quote: "Being here and seeing other people who are just like me, who have the same background as me, it's great because it gives you hope."  
Day 3 Photo 15

Raji.

Name: Idris Raji Background: Third-year graduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology originally from Nigeria. Number of years attending NOBCChE meeting: First year. Reasons for attending NOBCChE meeting: "It's a good avenue to come present my research to my colleagues in the field, and it's a good networking opportunity as well."  
Day 3 Photo 1

Jemison.

Name: Racquel Jemison Background: Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University defending her thesis in December. Reasons for attending NOBCChE meeting: To present research on the use of Grignard metathesis to synthesize regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene), which is used for organic electronic applications. First NOBCChE meeting: Orlando, 2007. Quote: "NOBCChE is really like a small family, and coming here every year is like the family reunion."      
Day 3 Photo 2

Galpothdeniya.

Name: Indika Galpothdeniya Background: Fourth-year graduate student at Louisiana State University originally from Sri Lanka. Number of years attending NOBCChE meeting: First year. Reasons for attending NOBCChE meeting: To present on the "Development of Smart Fabrics Using Optoelectronic Ionic Liquids" and take advantage of career development workshops focused on such topics as résumé writing and negotiating job offers.

Author: Jeff Huber

Jeff Huber is an associate editor at C&EN. He enjoys finding peculiar news stories that make him laugh and/or tilt his head in a thoughtful manner. This hobby has served him well as a contributor to the Newscripts blog.

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