Sponsoring National SACNAS Conference Benefits Students and Universityshadow

The University of Texas at Austin is proud to be a major sponsor of this year’s SACNAS National Conference. The 40th annual conference will be held October 3 - 6, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

SACNAS (the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American students and professionals to attain advanced degrees and careers in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

The decision to support SACNAS was an easy one, says Graduate School Assistant Dean John Dalton: “It's an honor to partner with one of the country's premiere science organizations and to have so many faculty, staff and students from UT Austin participating in this year's conference.”

One of those students is Rachel Wolf, a San Antonio native and former science teacher who expects to receive her Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences from UT Austin next year. Having already realized her dream of “working in a lab, teasing out nature’s secrets,” Wolf is excited to share her experiences with other Hispanic women at SACNAS. “I want to be there to represent Hispanic females of my generation who were once told, ‘You probably should pick another area where you can be successful.’”

Not only does the SACNAS conference provide a valuable venue for inspiring students, it also offers the opportunity to share one’s research and create long-lasting professional relationships. Dr. David Cavazos, presently engaged in postdoctoral research in Nutritional Science at UT Austin, maintains that SACNAS was instrumental in helping him plan his career. This year Cavazos has chosen to present his research there because “SACNAS is more than an annual conference. It is a network of family, friends and cohorts engaging in the collaborative goal of recruiting underrepresented minorities to become the next generation of scientists."

The Graduate School’s participation in the conference begins with hosting students from the conference traveling to the UT Austin campus to visit faculty and facilities. Students interested in UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Cockrell School of Engineering, and the Jackson School of Geosciences have signed up for the field trip.

Recruiting students at the conference has become a cooperative endeavor. UT Austin is collaborating with The University of Texas at San Antonio to host a special reception at the conference, which will introduce students to our faculty and discuss campus features and facilities.

For more information about UT Austin’s presence at the conference, please contact John Dalton at jdalton@austin.utexas.edu. For further information about SACNAS, please visit www.sacnas.org.

September, 2013
by Meg Askey

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