Benjamin Zaepfel - More than Simply a Symposium

Beckman Conference Center

In the bustling city of Irvine, California, undergraduate Beckman Scholars, Post-Doctoral Fellows, and Young Investigators gathered first and foremost to share exciting new research with their peers. With generous funding from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the conducted research spanned across a diverse range of chemical and biological studies. Among the presented work was that of Ben Wu, a recently graduated UA alumnus, and Jordan Barrows, a rising senior in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology. Notably, Ben was selected as one of only three undergraduates to present his 15-month research project to the entire symposium.
 
Exciting as it was, the sharing of research was but one of many goals of the conference. Beckman Scholars from all different parts of the country also befriended one another throughout the weekend, embodying the idea that science recognizes no borders. These elite undergraduate researchers shared their insights and passion with each other, bringing to light new directions in which to take their ongoing research.
 
2016-2017 Beckman Scholars Ben Zaepfel and Stephen Yao took part in the symposium as spectators, as they have another 12 months to accumulate data before presenting their work at next year’s event.
 
While the scientific achievements presented during the conference are too numerous to list, the resounding mantra that all participants were left with came from no other than the late Arnold Beckman himself: “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re probably not doing much.”