In 2018, over 4,200 attendees gathered in San Antonio, Texas for 2018 SACNAS — our largest national conference to date and 45th anniversary celebration. With the first day falling on National Coming Out Day, conference emcee Dr. David Carreon Bradley opened the conference proudly waving the pride flag in support of our LGBT community. As a national organization we leveraged our position to influence the San Antonio Convention Center and Chamber of Commerce to offer gender-neutral restrooms, marking a new era for inclusivity at large events. Moreover, despite the discriminatory legislation enacted in Texas under HB3859 and SB4, we connected with the Pride Center of San Antonio, RAICES, UTSA Dreamers Resource Center, and other partners to provide on-site resources and support for our Dreamers and LGBT participants. The keynote address was delivered by the 1st Hispanic Woman in Space and Director of NASA Johnson Space Center (2013-2018), Dr. Ellen Ochoa, followed by 3 featured speakers, a 45th Anniversary SACNAS Founders and Elders panel, and closing keynote by Dr. Mica Estrada. Over the three days, attendees packed their schedule with professional development and scientific symposia sessions, several networking receptions (including the longest running LGBT STEM diversity conference reception in the country), field trips, and a powerful science storytelling event in partnership with The StoryCollider. The Expo Hall proudly held over 370 booths from partners such as Texas A&M University, National Security Agency, 23and Me, Google, Glaxosmithkline, Eli Lilly & Co. and many more. Over 1,000 students presented their research and, with the help of 168 mentor-judges, 105 of those students received awards for their presentations.
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