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Anastasia Rugel: Leaders in Science

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Author: Anastasia Rugel | Category: Beyond The Bench | Infection, Inflammation & Immunity (Triple-I) | Molecular Immunology & Microbiology | December 02, 2015

Anastasia Rugel, was recognized for a SACNAS Student Presentation Award at the 2015 SACNAS National Conference in Washington D.C. Below is her description of the conference. 

I would like to start off by thanking the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Dean’s Office and the IIMS department for the funding that allowed me to attend this year’s Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference in Washington, DC.

SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. 

The SACNAS national conference inspires, engages, and trains participants to achieve their highest goals in pursuing an education and career in the STEM fields. 

This year, the conference had major sponsors including the National Institutes of HealthNational Security Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency to encourage students and professionals to diversify the STEM fields.

The variety of seminars available throughout the conference was demonstrative of the high level of participation throughout the STEM community in academia, industry, government, and military. 

I was fortunate to attend several fascinating seminars on future microbiological research in the government, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and on how to present in a way to better reach a diverse audience that doesn’t specialize in microbiology.

The latter was a timely and worthwhile seminar given that I would be delivering a 15 minute oral presentation later on in the day.

The networking opportunities abounded and everyone was very friendly. I was seated at a table with several biostatisticians during one dinner and was given a crash course on new bio statistical analysis platforms.

I attended SACNAS 2015 as a Graduate Student Oral Presenter. This was my second time being invited. 

This year presented “Schistosomicidal Oxamniquine Derivative Drug Activity Against Human Schistosomiasis," and was selected to receive a 2015 SACNAS Student Presentation Awards in Microbiology.

My overall impression of the conference was that it was an incredibly worthwhile networking opportunity. Students were exposed to an extremely wide range of research subjects and were given opportunities to interact with their peers from other institutions. 

Importantly, attendees are given access to not only active faculty in academia, but also leaders in the military and government. 

I highly recommend this meeting to recent college graduates who want a wide sampler of the kind of work they could be doing; but also to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows looking to meet potential collaborators or employers.

The "Beyond The Bench" series features articles written by students and postdoctoral fellows at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. 

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