SOT Graduate Student Leadership Committee: Fall Updates

Submitted by Holly Hewitt, GSLC Communications Subcommittee Chair

Graduate Student Leadership Committee: Who We Are
The Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC) is composed of the student representatives from the component groups (Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups) and an Executive Board that includes the GSLC Chair, GSLC Secretary, and three Subcommittee Chairpersons.

The three Subcommittees include Communications, Professional Development, and Programming. The Communications Subcommittee is in charge of the winter Student e-Letter and the ToXchange publishing and written student communications for the Society; Professional Development is tasked with creating webinars and developing the joint graduate student and postdoc scientific session proposal for the SOT Annual Meeting every year; Programming is responsible for preparing for the Annual Meeting events by organizing the Student/Postdoc Mixer, the Chat with an Expert Program, and any other Annual Meeting events. These three subcommittees are made up of Student Representatives that carry out certain functions and responsibilities through task forces. Each Subcommittee also has a Secretary, who is elected from the GSLC.

Benefits of Participating in the GSLC
Participation in the GSLC provides a great opportunity to practice skills in leadership, management, communication, and professional development. Also, the members of the GSLC receive travel funding to attend the SOT Annual Meeting (Executive Board receives funding from SOT and component group student representatives receive partial travel funding both from their component group and from SOT). Complete information on the GSLC can be found on the SOT Website

Join a Regional Chapter, Specialty Section, and Special Interest Group to get the most out of your SOT membership! Each of these component groups offer their own Student Awards.

Submit an Abstract and Apply for Awards at the SOT 53rd Annual Meeting
The GSLC is gearing up for another great year of serving the graduate students of the SOT. We’d like to encourage all students to submit an abstract for the 2014 Annual Meeting—the deadline is October 7, 2013! When you submit an abstract, don’t forget to apply for awards offered by the SOT, Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups. The deadline for applications for Graduate Travel Support for the Annual Meeting, the Syngenta Fellowship Award in Human Health Applications of New Technologies, and the Colgate-Palmolive Awards for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods is October 9, 2013. Check the awards listings for more information.

Participate in Student Events at the SOT 53rd Annual Meeting
There are many great graduate student opportunities at the Annual Meeting, including Chat with an Expert and the Student/Postdoc Mixer. The GSLC has teamed up with the Postdoctoral Assembly to co-sponsor a scientific Symposium session, where research by postdocs and graduate students will be highlighted. We also are working hard to create new programming to address student needs and desires that will be available at future Annual Meetings as well as webinars throughout the year!

GSLC is once again sponsoring the Tox ShowDown. This event is modeled after the successful game show “It’s Academic” and has become very popular, particularly with graduate students. Currently contestants are being solicited. So, if you really want to test your toxicology knowledge, visit the recent Communiqué blog entry for additional information.

The YouTox Video Challenge will be occurring again this year! Prepare a short video with other graduate students, faculty, and staff in your program that describes who a toxicologist is and what it is that they do. Cash prizes will be awarded for the most creative videos. Check out last year’s YouTox Video Challenge winner, can you beat it? Be on the lookout for more information regarding rules and deadlines for video submissions, coming soon to an inbox near you! In the meantime, get those cameras rolling to capture those candid toxicologist moments! For more information, please contact Holly Hewitt, Joy Cavagnaro, or David Rossé.

 New Public Relations Program
Show off your knowledge of toxicology and participate in a new public relations program with SOT. Submit toxicology–related bits of knowledge to Karilyn Sant. These facts will be collected and sent to SOT to be posted on the homepage, under “Did You Know.” Take a moment to see what we’re promoting by viewing the lower left hand section of the SOT website homepage. Facts should be interesting, written for the lay public, and a maximum of one paragraph in length. You will receive attribution for your contributions!

More information on student resources and events can be found on the Graduate Students Section of the SOT website.

Get Involved as a Volunteer at the 53rd Annual Meeting!
There are two opportunities for graduate students and postdocs to volunteer for programs during the SOT Annual Meeting. Volunteers help with the Continuing Education (CE) courses on Sunday, March 23, 2014, and other volunteers serve as peer mentors for the Undergraduate Program on Saturday, March 22 through Monday, March 24.

Students Can Volunteer to Help and Attend a CE Course for FREE!
SOT’s CE courses are a great resource for students and postdocs. All students and postdocs are encouraged to attend, but any student or postdoc registered for the meeting can volunteer to assist with the courses onsite. Student volunteers assist by checking in attendees, distributing the course books, and making sure the course runs smoothly overall. As volunteers, you will not only participate in the behind-the-scenes work and get to meet the outstanding presenters, network over lunch, but also attend the course for free.

Volunteers are taken on a first-come, first-served basis and usually assist with a morning and an afternoon course. Responsibilities include attendance at an orientation meeting and preparation of some materials Saturday evening (March 22) before the Sunday courses (March 23).

To volunteer for a CE course, please contact Sanket Gadhia, Sachin Bhusari, or SOT Headquarters. Please review the list of courses on the 2014 SOT Annual Meeting website and specify your top three choices. Preferences for courses will be taken into consideration as much as possible but are not guaranteed. We also are looking for two “floater” volunteers (one for AM and one for PM) who would not be assigned to one course; rather, this individual would check on all courses to make sure volunteers are in place, assist with the distribution of pens and notepads to each course check-in area as needed, etc. Floater volunteers would attend the AM or PM course of their choice after the courses begin.

Recruiting Undergraduate Education Program Peer Mentors
The Committee on Diversity Initiatives (CDI) is asking graduate students and postdocs to join them in an important effort to recruit the next generation of toxicologists by serving as Peer Mentors for the Undergraduate Education Program. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary at the 2014 SOT Annual Meeting, this program provides the opportunity for promising undergraduates to learn about toxicology and the rewards of careers in biomedical science. About 25–30 undergraduate students will be accepted for the program. Groups consist of about 5 students plus one or two peer mentors and senior toxicologists. These groups interact throughout the program, including meals. Peer Mentors play a key role in helping students learn more about educational and career pathways in toxicology.

Please volunteer to assist by contacting Senthil Kuppusamy, Brittany Baisch, or Susan Simmons. Peer Mentors will need to plan arrivals in Phoenix so that they can be at the training session Saturday afternoon, March 22. This year, the Monday program has been expanded and we will be looking for Peer Mentors who can stay with students through the close of the program late Monday afternoon.

As always, if you have any questions about student membership or suggestions for new programming, please contact the GSLC Chair Jeremy Larson, GSLC Communications Subcommittee Chair Holly Hewitt, or GSLC Secretary, Alessandro Venosa. We are always looking for ways we can serve the students of SOT!


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