Undergraduate Educator Award
The Undergraduate Educator Award, sponsored by the SOT Endowment Fund and first bestowed during the SOT 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting, is presented to an SOT member who is distinguished by outstanding contributions to the teaching of undergraduate students in toxicology and toxicology-related areas and whose efforts support the Society’s strategic efforts to “build for the future of toxicology.
The 2021 SOT Undergraduate Educator Award recipient will be honored as part of the Virtual 60th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo.
Applying or Making a Nomination
The deadline to submit a nomination or application is October 9, 2020. Required items include an application letter from the nominee (self-nomination) or primary nomination letter from a Full member summarizing career teaching responsibilities, providing evidence of teaching accomplishment, demonstrating participation in the advancement of the SOT educational mission, and describing student outcomes. Also required are a letter of support from a Full member of the Society and a letter of support from a campus administration official, as well as the candidate’s up-to-date CV. For national SOT Awards, such as the Undergraduate Educator Award, the Awards Committee requires a standardized length for CVs included in nomination packages. CVs must be a maximum of 10 pages in length and should highlight the candidate’s most significant professional accomplishments as they relate to the criteria for the award. Awards Committee members are required to review only 10 pages of each CV; therefore, submitting a longer CV does not strengthen an award nomination.
For more information on submitting a nomination or application, please review the “Awards Review Process and FAQs” web page of the SOT website. Please direct any inquiries to SOT Headquarters.
This is an opportunity to highlight outstanding accomplishments in undergraduate toxicology education; you are encouraged to submit your nomination or application by October 9.
Spotlight on the 2020 Bruce A. Fowler Undergraduate Award Recipient Christine Perdan Curran, PhD
Dr. Curran was awarded the 2020 SOT Undergraduate Educator Award for her excellence, creativity, and success in undergraduate instruction in toxicology and the sciences as a whole.
Dr. Curran received her BSJ from Ohio University. Then, as evidence of her devotedness to the field, she began instructing undergraduates even before she received her PhD in environmental health from the University of Cincinnati in 2007. Dr. Curran began her teaching career in 1992 as an Adjunct Instructor and later as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of biology at the University of Cincinnati. In 2008, she joined Northern Kentucky University as an Assistant Professor of biological sciences, where she continues to serve as a Professor of biological sciences and Director of the neuroscience program.
Dr. Curran has played a key role in the environmental science program at Northern Kentucky University, which not only has doubled in size but also has added a bachelor of arts program in addition to the original bachelor of science program since she began her career at the university. Specifically, she has developed a widely popular course in environmental toxicology that combines problem-based, team-based, and service learning to expose students to toxicology concepts and encourage them to apply such concepts to issues in the community. Further, Dr. Curran has integrated her toxicology training into her anatomy and physiology courses, which more than 200 students take each semester.
The Curran laboratory, which focuses on gene-environment interactions during brain development, is primarily composed of undergraduate students. At 90%, the average retention and graduation rate for Dr. Curran’s students is double that of STEM students throughout the nation. Over the past decade, more than 75 undergraduates have trained under Dr. Curran, and during that time frame, her students have delivered 110 presentations—many of which received awards—during regional and national meetings. She also works toward facilitating success in the STEM fields for women, underrepresented minorities, and underserved populations through her involvement in both the Next-Generation Researchers Initiative working group of the National Institutes of Health and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).
Dr. Curran’s exemplary scientific service includes her current role as President of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (formerly the Teratology Society) and participation on several Editorial Boards, including presently, as a member of the Reproductive Toxicology Editorial Board. She also is a FASEB Board Member.
Dr. Curran has been a champion of undergraduate education within SOT as well, including active involvement in the Undergraduate Educator Network. An SOT member since 2004, she not only has co-chaired the K–12 Education Subcommittee and the Undergraduate Education Subcommittee, but also has been making major contributions to the Ohio Valley Regional Chapter since she was a graduate student. In addition to serving as the chapter’s first K–12 liaison, Dr. Curran also initiated the undergraduate poster awards and was the 2015–2016 Ohio Valley Regional Chapter President. Further, Dr. Curran is the inaugural Chair of the Faculty United for Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee, formed in 2019 with the purpose of recruiting, retaining, training, and educating undergraduates with an interest in toxicology and preparing future generations for success in the field.