by Mathew Bogdanffy, 2015–2016 Chair, SOT Endowment Fund Board
Carl Smith and his wife Thelma had a vision that rewarding excellence in graduate toxicology research would promote the science and foster the growth of students through financial stipends to be put toward research and travel to the SOT Annual Meeting. More than 30 years later, the Carl C. Smith Award, which is aligned with the Mechanisms Specialty Section and is among the most successful of the named SOT Endowment Funds with more than $100,000 in net assets, has provided financial stipends to more than 39 graduate students. In fact, in 2015 alone the fund provided awards to 9 talented graduate students. And the award recipients have a history of leadership and accomplishment.
Nikita Joshi, a PhD student at Michigan State University, received the Carl C. Smith Award in 2015. “Receiving the prestigious Carl C Smith award has truly been the highlight of my graduate student career. The award not only helped support my travel to the annual SOT meeting, but it also pushed me to write a high caliber manuscript to be reviewed by experts in the field of mechanistic toxicology. Receiving the award was a learning experience about how to succeed in my career.” Nikita demonstrates the engagement and dedication common to many award recipients and is the Michigan Graduate Student Representative to the Graduate Student Leadership Committee.
The long line of accomplished recipients extends back to the earliest days of the award. Jon C. Cook, SOT President (2011-2012) was the 1984 recipient. “Receiving the Carl C. Smith Award was one of the most memorable moments of my graduate career. The recognition helped reinforce my interest in mechanistic toxicology, inspired my involvement in SOT, and eventually my service as Endowment Fund Board Chair and ultimately SOT President. Recalling how important the award was to me in my early career, I became a contributor to the Carl C. Smith Award and have helped create other student awards.”
The Carl C. Smith award exemplifies the results that can be gained by long-term contributions from impassioned colleagues. Please consider your career, how you have benefited from the SOT, and make a contribution to the SOT Endowment Fund.
Many past recipients of the Carl C. Smith Student awards are now key participants in the activities of the Society of Toxicology