COSAM News Articles 2024 01 Biochemistry undergrad represents Auburn University at invitation-only ACS Leadership Institute

Biochemistry undergrad represents Auburn University at invitation-only ACS Leadership Institute

Published: 02/06/2024

By: Maria Gebhardt

Victoria Cover, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, was one of only 18 students selected to attend this year’s American Chemistry Society (ACS) Leadership Institute from Jan. 26 through 28 in Atlanta. Cover was the only student from Auburn University invited. 

“It was an incredible honor for me to represent Auburn University,” Cover said. “There were more than 250 applicants from around the world and I was proud to be the only student from Auburn at the conference.” 

The conference gave students a chance to network with the ACS CEO and council members of the ACS as well as leaders in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, and related disciplines. The weekend empowers students in an array of leadership opportunities. 

“During the sessions, we learned to develop our leadership skills and how to lead our student chapters,” she said.   

Cover is currently the outreach coordinator for the ACS Student Chapter at AU, a student-led chemistry club with monthly general meetings and science-related service events. The organization is open to all majors and anyone interested in chemistry.

Additionally, Cover works in the lab of Paul Ohno, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who encouraged her to apply for this conference. "From day one, Victoria has been an excellent addition to our team,” Ohno said. “I’m happy to see her leadership be recognized by this award and I look forward to seeing all that she will accomplish in the future.”

“Working in Dr. Ohno’s lab has taught me so much,” Cover shared. “I get the chance to be part of experimental testing rather than producing a certain product, which has been really interesting and a new experience for me.”  

In addition, she has gained critical experience in the Ohno Research Group operating instrumentation that she can apply in her future career.  

“In Dr. Ohno’s lab, I have had a chance to work with UV-Vis spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy,” she said. “I have also developed my manuscript writing skills.”  

During her first internship right after high school, Cover learned about working in the pharmaceutical industry.  

“During my very first internship, I was instantly connected to biochemistry,” she said. “I saw how pharmaceuticals can help save people’s lives and I want to make a difference through research and development as a chemist.” 

In Ohno’s lab, she works with Angel Gibbons, a second-year graduate student in chemistry.  

“Victoria is very eager to learn, and I appreciate how insightful she is in the lab,” Gibbons said. “She quickly picks things up and is excited to be part of the team working in chemistry.” 


Latest Headlines
Select a year below.

Stay Connected