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Iota Sigma Pi Presents #BlackinChem Travel Award

For the second year, Iota Sigma Pi participated in #BlackinChem by awarding a $500 travel award to a woman graduate student. This year’s awardee is Idil Adam Ismail, a student at the University of Warwick in England, UK.

Idil described her work in this statement (Note the British spelling!): "I would like to thank you and the Iota Sigma Pi organization for sponsoring this award; I'm honoured to have been selected.

Currently, I'm finishing up my second year of PhD work in Computational Chemistry at the University of Warwick, UK, where I work primarily on developing new computational methods to accelerate the prediction and characterization of complex, multi-step chemical reactions. This is an exciting area of research as it is very multidisciplinary in nature, where I utilize physics, computer science, and mathematics to study complex chemical systems.

However, I wasn't always interested in the theoretical/physical sciences. I started my career journey as a life sciences student, where I earned my bachelor honours degree in Biochemistry. It was at some point in my second year that I realized that I had more of an affinity for the physical sciences and so started researching graduate programs willing to accept a biology student. Here in the UK, we are very much restricted to studying modules in our degree programs, and so I couldn't take classes in chemistry or physics to explore my interests.

Regarding career goals, I hope to pursue a career in academia and would look to apply for post-doctoral positions once I complete my PhD."

When asked if she would travel to a conference, she replied, “I would love to attend one of the upcoming ACS conference meetings, although as you know, the current pandemic situation has made it difficult to travel. I am currently trying to seek approval from my University to attend international conferences and hope that I can use this award to allow me to attend a conference in the near future.”

The award also included a free one-year membership in Iota Sigma Pi. Idil commented, “Thank you for the society membership; I am glad to join such a wonderful and supportive community with a really powerful mission statement.”

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