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Speaking out for undocumented students

April 24, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 17

Thank you, Linda Wang, for writing such a great cover story. The story you shared is the everyday reality of many young people who, to this day, are in fear of uncovering their immigration status to others (C&EN, April 17, page 36). Reading the stories of others makes us feel more connected and empowered.

I am an undocumented immigrant, and I’m currently a second-year Ph.D. candidate in chemistry at the University of Rochester. As you wrote in your story, the recent election has really shaken me up and has removed this “blanket” of security that I felt I once had under the Obama Administration.

I have recently been selected as a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. I feel very honored and humbled to receive such a prestigious award, but I continuously question my future prospects of obtaining postdoctoral training and ultimately a position as a tenure-track professor at a research university, given my unresolved immigration status and the political climate.

I am sharing this with you in hopes of bringing to light that there are indeed young undocumented individuals going through the chemical science “academic ropes.” We are in need of answers to our concerns and to whether ACS will do anything to bring to light the issues and concerns. I am myself a proud member of ACS since 2010, and in 2012, I was awarded the ACS Student Leadership Award. Clearly, I have greatly benefited from my relationship with ACS, but I am reaching a point in my education where a career in chemistry seems uncertain. In what ways can ACS help me now?

Thank you again for writing the article.

Antonio Tinoco
Rochester, N.Y.


April 17, page 5: In the science news story about using photoluminescent lanthanide materials to distinguish among solvents, the family name of a Nankai University chemistry professor was misspelled. His name is Peng Cheng.



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