Five biology majors from St. Joseph’s University, New York’s Long Island Campus presented at the 55th annual Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists (MACUB) Conference in November.
The conference, which focused on hidden pollutants in the environment, was held Saturday, Nov. 5, at SUNY Old Westbury.
“I think the most rewarding part of the conference was after hearing my name and my classmates names, I just felt so proud to be a part of a group with such driven people,” said Grace Curcio ’23, whose poster, “Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) and their Effect on Agriculture,” earned first place honors in its category.
“It took a while for me to find a major I wanted to stick with, and this showed me I made the right choice in field and school,” she added.
Curcio, who is minoring in environmental studies, explained that the conference helped her gain the confidence to speak in front of experts in the field she’s researching.
“I am only a senior in my undergraduate degree, and I still have a master’s and a Ph.D. to obtain,” said Curcio, who hopes to continue researching in this field as part of her future career. “It’s exciting to be recognized when I’m still only in the beginning stages of my career.”
Karina Antunez, a senior with a minor in chemistry, won second place in her category with her poster “To Study the Effect of AuNPs on C.elegans Gamete Formation and Reproductive Cycle.”
“This experience helped me gain insight from other young scientists,” Antunez said. “The most memorable part, though, was being able to explain and present my thesis to the judges. This is something I have been working on for several months, and it’s something I’m very passionate about.”
St. Joseph’s biology majors Amanda Gennardo, Elizabeth Nevadomski and Jennifer Puleo also presented at the conference.
Thankful for Their Time at St. Joseph’s
Both Curcio and Antunez credit St. Joseph’s with giving them the tools they need to get where they are today.
“St. Joseph’s University and the biology department have given me a place where I can flourish,” Curcio said. “I have found lifelong friends at this University and professors I respect and aspire to be like in the future. I have gained confidence as a woman in STEM and feel like I can leave St. Joseph’s University knowing my knowledge has value.”
Antunez said her time at St. Joseph’s has helped prepare her for her future career as a physician’s assistant.
“St. Joseph’s University has not only helped me grow professionally but also personally,” she said. “The University cares about their students and offers all the tools you need in order to succeed. My time here has helped me gain important connections with different professionals.”