Spring Conference Digest (2017)

Spring Conference Digest (2017)
translated into English by Erika Yamschikova, second-year student of Chemistry Department

Nadezhda Petrunina, Asst. Prof. Department of Foreign Languages, the meeting holder:
    'Take a Gander at Chemistry: Popularize, Experiment, Theorize' English-only conference was a second attempt for chemist-students to talk on theoretical and practical problems of Chemistry using English language only; to demonstrate the beauty and complexity of this science; to show the experimental work results.

   Our meeting should not be considered as an academic conference due to the understanding of this event in a traditional way. It would be better to call it a “workshop” or a “science drama”. I am not even afraid of a word “show.” While dealing with the organization, I’ve realized the main problem of the modern realty: we live in a world that is full of stress, time management blocks, and loads of unhit targets. Therefore, it was decided, as chemist would say, to “dilute” the seriousness of the meeting with some experimental breaks, interactive games with treats and movie demonstrations (which, by the way, were shot, edited and duped by students themselves!)

   Did I succeed? It’s hard to provide a final verdict. I think that students’ feedback, quoted below, will represent all the strong and weak sides of the “chemical Thursday”. Besides, the sincere children’s happiness at the sight of the experimental ice-cream, that became the feature of the evening, smoothed all the problems.

    The discussion of the best presentation resulted in hot debates. Finally, a decision was made to award the winners from linguistic and academic points of view within each subsection. Here goes the list of the winners: Margarita Grefenshteyn & Svetlana Zhuk (first-year students, stream 08602), Alexander Gordeev (second-year student, stream 08502), Rostislav Gukovich & Karina Kurmanbaeva (first-year students, stream 08602), Vladislav Korostelyov & Mikhail Kovtunov (first-year students, stream 08601), Ekaterina Mileshkina & Maxim Semennikov (first-year students, stream 08602), Eduard Sayfulin (second-year student, stream 08501), Anastasiya Silina (first-year student, stream 08602).

    Thankful to colleagues and to members of the expert team, I decided not to stop and thought up an exclusive nomination for every participant, that were left “overboard”, namely, 'Daring Scientist’ for Irina Popova or ‘Skilful Compilation of Facts’ for Alyona Mudrikova. The ‘awards ceremony’ will take place on Tuesday; all the participants will get designer certificates and special treats.

   I would like to express my appreciation to the deanery of Chemistry Deparment (especially to Vladimir Shelkovnikov, Mikhail Anischenko, Tatyana Ogneva, Marina Akimova) and to the TSU Research Library official Daria Scheludchenko – for collaboration, help, and prompt response. I am thankful to our sponsors: Laboratory of Catalytic Research (especially, Irina Kurzina, Oleg Magaev, Vladimir Botvin) and Engineering Center of Chemical Technologyfor financial backing and general support. I would like to pay reverence to my colleagues: Project Manager Irina Savitskaya (Senior Lecturer, Department of Foreign Languages), Svetlana Martynova (Lecturer, Department of Foreign Languages), and Aleksandra Soboleva (Asst. Prof., Department of Foreign Languages) – for preparing speakers from beginner groups (that requires a lot of work!), for patience and coordinative help on the conference day.  I want to thank my SPG students Polina Kalachikova and Alexander Zorin – for the contribution to the discussion and for help with estimating the best presentations. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my students Evgeniya Vernadskaya, Ekaterina Yepanschintseva, Nikolay Radionov, and Erika Yamschikova  – for invaluable contribution to the preparation and event’s scenario.

   I would like to finalize with a quotation of a famous street-art painter Banksy: “It’s not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster”. We cannot escape from difficulties and mistakes while organizing and holding any significant event. But only they elevate us, as well as encourage to live and to move on.