Gannon University Professor Mentors Chemistry Olympiad Medalists

Posted: August 25, 2017

 A Gannon University chemistry professor was one of three mentors to the United States team that turned in a record-setting performance at the 49th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, July 6-15.

Christine A. Saber, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry was selected from a pool of national applicants to serve a three-year term as a mentor for the American Chemical Society's United States National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO).

In the first year of her term, Saber traveled with the U.S. delegation to the 2016 IChO in Tbilisi, Georgia.

This year, her mentorship responsibilities included planning, hosting and training the top 20 high school chemistry students in the nation at a 15-day summer camp held at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The mentors, two from colleges and one from a high school, choose the top four students to represent the U.S. at the IChO through a series of theoretical and practical exams. They then help to prepare the team at a rigorous training camp held this year in June.

"Each year I must be/become competent with all questions that each respective country prepares. These questions require extensive knowledge of all areas of chemistry at a very advanced level," she said. "This year the results included four gold medals, a record for the United States, which is a very gratifying outcome for everyone involved."

In total, 297 students from 76 countries participated in the weeklong IChO competition. The committee awarded 36 gold medals, 65 silver medals and 95 bronze medals.