This morning, I attended the third annual mentoring breakfast of the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. It is certainly an event that is already a tradition during our Annual Meeting, and I have been lucky enough to participate in the event since the creation, as a facilitator and on the event planning committee.
For those of you that are not familiar with this program, it was created by the SOT's Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group, and it is now sponsored by Career Resource and Development Committee. It began at 6:15 am this morning, and the end goal is to focus on aiding early scientist toxicologists in finding mentors in their sector of choice and to help them in their career development.
During the breakfast, a "facilitator" sits with four potential mentees and discusses their needs and desires. The facilitators then go back home with the mission of finding a match mentor for each one of the mentees that was at his/her table. This year, the event was chaired by Sol Bobst and co-chaired by Barb Kaplan. It started with an excellent breakfast, with plenty of fruits, coffee, and other goodies that I can't name because I try to avoid them all together. Dr. Bobst opened the section and welcomed the attendees, followed by Ofelia Olivero saying a few words representing Council. This year, a mentee from previous years, John Ross, talked to the audience about his own experiences.
Once the short talks ended, I had a nice conversation with the trainees that joined my table. Viny Srinivasan and I were very lucky to share our table with six mentees from all over the US. We had postdocs, grad students, and a master graduate. The trainees received, as a gift, the book written by Ofelia Olivero, Interdisciplinary Mentoring in Science: Strategies for Success.
Going home, my next step is doing an extensive search in the mentor match website to find the perfect match for my trainees.