My Experiences at the 2008-2009 AAAS Conference – Chicago

AuthorVijeth Iyengar
Institution:  Tulane University
Date:  April 2009

As a 2nd place winner of the 2009 JYI Research Department Award, I was privileged to travel with the executive board of JYI to the city of Chicago, the site of the Annual American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) Conference. The theme of the conference, "Our Planet and Its Life: Origins and Futures," was displayed everywhere across the conference and played a critical component in many of the conference's lectures, topical seminars, and radio broadcasts. One of the lectures I attended was given by Dr. Kareston Koenen, a Professor from the Harvard University School of Public Health. She was giving a lecture regarding the effects of the environment and genetics in the development and maturation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Other lectures included the role of Drake's finding of an oil well in today's economy, the science of kissing, and the role of the planet earth in the next few thousands of years. During the conference there were many executive board meetings discussing the role of JYI in the realm of the undergraduate research and undergraduate research journals across the country and the world. Furthermore, the Executive Board and others discussed what improvements needed to be made in order to ensure JYI's future success and role as a major undergraduate research journal. And while there was a lot of productive work done during the conference, we did have time for fun, exploring the city of Chicago. We went to the John Hancock Tower, the Sears Tower, and toured the Magnificent Mile. In terms of our exhibition booth at the conference, we met many interested undergraduate and graduate students who were willing to publish in JYI and even met a couple of publishers interested in partnering with JYI. Overall, it was a truly enjoyable experience and I am thankful to JYI, its Board of Directors, and the Executive Board for giving me such an award and experience.