Deadline January 17: Funding for Undergraduate Activities at Regional Chapter Meetings

By Larissa Williams posted 01-06-2022 16:05


This blog was co-authored by Larissa Williams and Jodi Flaws.

Dr. Slitt provided a virtual lab tour
as part of the NESOT meeting experience
for undergraduates.

The Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee encourages Regional Chapters to apply for SOT funds to support undergraduate-specific events related to the chapter meetings. The deadline is January 17 for meetings in the first half of 2022. More information and the application are found here.

For meetings in the last half of 2021, two Regional Chapters received this support.

The Northeast Regional Chapter hosted eight undergraduates from three institutions—the University of Maine, the University of Rhode Island, and the US Coast Guard Academy—during their virtual meeting December 1 and December 3, 2021. In addition to the keynote presentation and other meeting activities, the undergraduates had a virtual tour of Angela Slitt’s lab at University of Rhode Island. Two undergraduates, Clara Hay and Allison Ruth, both from the US Coast Guard Academy, were recognized with poster awards.

The Michigan Regional Chapter held their virtual meeting on October 15, 2021. Special activities included a career panel and a poster display. Recipients of the undergraduate poster awards include Nicholas Cemalovic, University of Michigan, first; Eleanor Scheeres, Calvin University, second; and Yu-Ting Tiffany Chiang, Wayne State University, third. FUTURE funding supported these awards.

Regional Chapter meetings are excellent opportunities for undergraduate students to learn about toxicology and to interact with a variety of professional toxicologists. A Regional Chapter meeting is often more accessible to undergraduates than a national meeting. Several features of undergraduate-focused programming at the SOT Annual Meeting have been successfully adopted at regional meetings. “Lunch with an Expert” provides an opportunity for undergraduates to interact with toxicologists from alternative career paths to academia. Undergraduate Poster Sessions allow presentation of data that are more preliminary and prepare students to later present at national conferences through practice and supportive feedback. An undergraduate breakout session also has proven popular among attendees; FUTURE can provide examples of case studies that can be presented. A keynote speaker can provide a career-focused talk that describes a pathway to becoming a professional toxicologist.

If you are interested in learning more about how your Regional Chapter can encourage undergraduate participation in your chapter meeting, please contact Jodi Flaws.