Chemistry forum aims to inspire young scientists

The UOG Chemistry Program and the College of Natural & Applied Sciences (CNAS) held a Chemistry Forum on Thursday, April 19 at the UOG CLASS Lecture Hall. The forum was open to the public.

With a planning team that included Maika Vuki, Professor of Chemistry, Ph.D., the Chemistry Department and their sponsors, the forum was welcomed with a full house of aspiring students, faculty and staff.

The forum hosted a notable panel of professionals who shared their stories and discussed career opportunities with the students.

In the panel were Monica Salas, a scientist at the Guam Crime Lab; Jon Kristofferson, a senior officer of the US Navy; Karen Song, a pharmacist; John Limtiaco, a UOG Alumnus representing L&K Company; Denise Chargualaf, a teacher at Guam High School; and Claire Perez and Ana Capati, both undergraduate students at UOG.

Frank Ishizaki was the featured guest speaker. Ishizaki is an adjunct instructor at the School of Business & Public Administration and an alumnus of the UOG Chemistry program.

Ishizaki is also a recipient of the 2016 CNAS Distinguished Alumni award, and a former senator, police commissioner, and FBI special agent.

Ishizaki shared stories of his time as a student at UOG. His post-UOG journey took him places from Hawaii, California, to being a University of Pittsburgh student, and back to Guam.

Upon returning to teach at UOG, Ishizaki expressed that he has seen a substantial amount of development in the Chemistry program.

Ishizaki expressed there are many opportunities for anyone but you will have to make tough decisions and take risks along the way

“My chemistry journey took me many places in the world and allowed me to meet with and work with all kinds of people,” Ishizaki said.

“I am very thankful for my UOG education and can say to you that my education was great.”

Gerard Chargualaf, a Tropical Agriculture major, said that it was a great event for the Chemistry Department to present their ideas to students and community members.

“I think science, in general, is interesting because there is many different aspects of science that one can specialize in,” Chargualaf said.

“Information can be shared through a cooperative effort with the science community as a whole to help each other learn about different concepts or to observe a specific phenomenon.”

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