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Kevin: Greek Week!!

We are nearing the end of Greek Week, which is one of the most fun weeks of the year for those involved in Greek Life here at Linfield. Each fraternity partners with a sorority on campus to compete against the other pairs in different events over the course of the week. This year my fraternity, Theta Chi, is partnered with the Alpha Phi sorority. The other partnerships (in order of sorority with fraternity) are Phi Sigma Sigma with Delta Psi Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha with Kappa Sigma, and Sigma Kappa Phi with Pi Kappa Alpha.

The first event was a fundraiser for Operation Gratitude, which is an organization that sends care packages to members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  If you’re interested, you can read more about Operation Gratitude here. Collectively we raised over $1600 in the span of just a few days for this great cause, with Alpha Phi and Theta Chi raising the most! That started us in first place for Greek Week, and we are still in first place currently. Another event was Field Games, which included human pyramid building, water balloon toss, relay race, chubby bunny, orange necking, and Frisbee throw. Yours truly competed in the Frisbee throw on behalf of Alpha Phi and Theta Chi and took first place! There was also a trivia event and a dodge-ball tournament, both of which were won by members of Theta Chi and Alpha Phi.

The last event is tomorrow, and that is lip-sync. Everyone calls lip-sync the great equalizer as it is worth the most points and therefore no lead is safe. We’ve been practicing our dances for over a month now in preparation, and it looks like it’s going to be a really fun event! I’ll be sure to blog again next week to let you all know how it goes and see if Theta Chi wins Greek Week for the third year in a row!

Happy Spring!

Kevin

Kevin: ACS Dallas 2014

The 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society was a huge success. We had a number of students give fantastic poster presentations, and my oral presentation was very well received. We attended a number of interesting research talks from people all over the country and networked with a number of people in the Chemistry community. I’ve attended two of these national meetings now and this trip only solidified for me that this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life. I am very grateful to Linfield for having such amazing opportunities of which students are able to take advantage. They exist all across the board in numerous departments and are one of the many reasons why Linfield stands above the rest in terms of the quality of education provided for students. I’ll keep things rather short today and just end with some pictures from the conference. I’m off to Arizona for spring break to see some MLB Spring Training games, and I’m sure I’ll be writing about that when I get back. Stay tuned!

Til next time,

Kevin

This is my serious presentation face.

This is my serious presentation face.

View of Mt. Adams as we flew back in to Portland

View of Mt. Adams as we flew back in to Portland

 

View of downtown Dallas from the pool terrace at our hotel.

View of downtown Dallas from the pool terrace at our hotel.

 

It was raining in Dallas when we landed, not the weather I packed for!

It was raining in Dallas when we landed, not the weather I packed for!

 

 

Kevin: Another conference and another amazing opportunity

Tomorrow morning bright and early I will be heading to Dallas, TX, with 4 other students and 3 professors for the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. I attended the 245th National Meeting last April in New Orleans (ACS has national meeting twice a year), and I’m looking forward to the numerous opportunities that this meeting presents. There will be a number of representatives from graduate schools, companies, and laboratories from all over the country, so I will have plenty of opportunities for networking. In addition there will be more interesting research talks than I can possibly hope to attend, but I will do my very best to see as many as I can. I will also be giving an oral presentation on my research in the undergraduate research session. This will be essentially the same presentation I gave at the Murdock Conference in the fall, so I feel quite prepared. I am excited to be speaking at such a prominent conference! We’ll be in Dallas from Saturday to Tuesday, and I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it how it goes next week.

On a similar note, this morning I accepted an offer from the Summer Internship Program in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to do research there this summer. I’ll be in Cambridge, Mass. and the greater Boston area from June 8th to August 9th. First and foremost, I am honored and very excited for this amazing opportunity. However I cannot stress enough how much Linfield has helped me to pursue these goals and earn these types of positions. I’ve been doing research here since my freshman year, and I have attended and presented at numerous research conferences. I’ve also had a very high quality education in the classroom and developed some fantastic relationships with faculty members here, especially in the Chemistry Department. All of these aspects of the Linfield education have come through in my applications to summer research programs for two years in a row now, and I feel truly lucky to be at a school that is constantly pushing its students to new heights!

So on that note I’ll be signing off for now, but stay tuned next week as I talk about the ACS meeting as well as this summer as I’ll do my best to be blogging from MIT!

Til next time,

Kevin

P.S. It’s Pi Day, so here are some celebratory Pi Day themed comics!

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Kevin: An Introduction to Greek Life

In my time here at Linfield I’ve done a lot. I’ve taken classes in a number of subject areas, I’ve done research both on campus and at a top tier university, I’ve attended regional, national, and international conferences, and much more. One of the aspects of college life I had yet to experience was Greek Life. That changed last week as I rushed the Delta Alpha Chapter of the Theta Chi Fraternity here at Linfield. Three brothers from the fraternity were on my study abroad trip to Mexico, and we had a number of conversations about the brotherhood, enough so that I was convinced to check it out. Also, my Dad is a brother of Theta Chi (Epsilon Kappa Chapter, University of Idaho), so I believe this is something that can definitely bring us closer together.

I originally didn’t think joining a fraternity was for me, and this is mainly due to the fact that pop culture has done a great job of creating a stereotype of Greek life that is very inaccurate. All that we ever see is party party party, and there is never any mention of the philanthropy, service, and brotherhood that are pillars of the experience one has in a fraternity. I can’t speak for other fraternities as I don’t know what they are all about, but I can already tell that the gentleman of Theta Chi are a special group. I am honored to be a pledge in one of the most prestigious fraternities on college campuses all over the world, and I definitely plan to write more about this experience!

Til next time,

Kevin

Kevin: Preparing for another Research Conference

I am sorry if this starts to seem redundant, but I find myself yet again in preparation for another research conference that I will attend through the Chemistry Department here at Linfield. Tomorrow we head down to the University of Oregon for the Oregon Academy of Sciences Conference. Colleges and universities from all over the state of Oregon will send students and professors to present about their research and hear presentations from others. We will have three students from the Chemistry Department giving oral presentations in addition to students from the Biology Department giving poster presentations. At this point these things are becoming quite routine which is really weird to think about. It is usually not until graduate school or beyond that students have these kinds of opportunities, and now I feel like I’ve been doing this so long that it’s just become the norm. These types of experiences will be invaluable to me as I continue my career in Chemistry in graduate school and beyond. We talk quite a bit about the “Power of a Small College” here at Linfield, and I’ve experienced this power more times than I may even realize at this point.

I’ll post some pictures from the conference next time I’m in the office!

Til next time,

Kevin