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Graduate Students

Welcome to the Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section Graduate Student Representative and GSLC Section!

We encourage all Graduate Students to join SOT and become actively involved as a graduate student representative in a selected Regional Chapter (RC), Special Interest Group (SIG), or Specialty Section (SS). The graduate student programs with RC, SIG, and SS are linked to SOT via the Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC). The GSLC facilitates the scientific and professional development of graduate students through networking, scientific programs, and other SOT activities. These include the development of email, ToXchange threads, and other communications directed toward informing and increasing the student membership, the hosting of a popular Student/Postdoctoral Mixer at the Annual Meeting, the organization of mentoring activities such as Chat with an Expert, and a myriad of other programs at both the national and component group level. The student leadership provides important direction through representation on SOT committees and alignment of their programs with SOT national strategic objectives and representation on SOT committees.

About the GSLC

What’s New

Student e-Letter

Winter 2013–2014 Student e-Letter

YouTox Video Challenge!

The YouTox Video Challenge is a competition for students and postdocs to make a video about toxicology, more specifically, what are the positive merits of becoming a professional toxicologist. Videos should be less than ten minutes long and those on the YouTox task force will be judging them for creativity, originality, and how well they answer the question, “Why Did I Become a Toxicologist?”

The SOT Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC) is excited to announce the winners of this years’ YouTox Video Challenge!

  • 1st place ($300): Valerie Minarchick from West Virginia University. | View the video.
  • 2nd place ($200): Alessandro Venosa from Rutgers University. | View the video.
  • 3rd place ($100): Murli Mishra from the University of Kentucky. | View the video.

The goal of the YouTox Video Challenge is to communicate to the general public the importance of toxicology by answering questions about  topics such as: Who is a toxicologist?, What is it they do?, Why is toxicology research important?, and How does toxicological research occur?

Congratulations to the winning videos for taking very different and creative approaches in tackling some of these topics.

Be on the lookout for future contests and opportunities to spread the word about toxicology and the people behind all the great science!

Thank you for your help in spreading the word about this exciting new contest!

2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership Committee Award Recipients

Award Recipient Shirisha Chittiboyina and 2012–2013 GSLC Chair Tammy Palenski

The GSLC Executive Board is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership Committee Awards: Shirisha Chittiboyina and Hannah Pope-Varsalona.

Shirisha Chittiboyina has been active member of the Special Interest Group (SIG) the Association of Scientists of Indian Origin (ASIO), and has demonstrated outstanding leadership within ASIO for the past several years.  She has assumed several responsibilities to assist ASIO and organize activities for its Graduate Students, as well as Senior Scientist. To name a few, Shrisha has played key roles serving on several committees (Newsletter Committee; Lunch ‘n Learn; Coffee Hour; ASIO Annual Reception) that have allowed ASIO to engage its members in its activities, provide timely updates, and keep the SIG vibrant.  As the ASIO-SIG GSLC representative, she has kept ASIO members and its executives informed of the activities within GSLC.

Award Recipient Hannah Pope-Varsalona and 2012–2013 GSLC Chair Tammy Palenski

Hannah Pope-Varsalona has been instrumental in contributing to the growth and strength of her Regional Chapter, Allegheny-Erie Society of Toxicology (AE-SOT).  In her nine months since holding the position of student representative, she has increased student membership by nearly 40% through recruiting efforts.  She organized a series of field trips to her region’s government entities and local biomedical companies, to provide AE-SOT students the opportunity to gain insight to a variety of career paths, and allow them to network in a unique and intimate environment.   She has also kept students informed about different opportunities available through A-E SOAIMRules7760

T, such as research and travel awards.  In February 2013, Hannah organized a workshop for AE-SOT students called “Seeking Careers in Toxicology.”  The workshop invited a lecturer from the University of Pittsburgh to come and speak to students about job possibilities for those with a PhD or Masters in toxicologically-related fields after graduate school. 

SOT 2013 Annual Meeting Highlights

Attendees at the Mixer

Every year the GSLC hosts the Student/Postdoctoral Mixer for students and postdoctoral fellows to gather, meet new colleagues, and re-establish relationships in an informal atmosphere. The 2013 Mixer was held on Sunday night, March 10, 2013, and nearly 410 students and postdocs attended.The Mixer was a great opportunity to network with students from across the nation, as well as learn more about the different Regional Chapters (RC), Special Interest Groups (SIG), and Specialty Sections (SS) of SOT. A RC/SIG/SS poster interaction game was enjoyed by over 100 attendees, and prizes were raffled, including an iPad Mini, iPod Shuffles, and a popular toxicology textbook.

The Chat with an Expert (CWAE) program provided a special opportunity for small groups of students and postdoctoral scholars to meet with Associate or Full SOT member Experts to network and gain insight into the field of toxicology over an informal discussion over coffee or snacks. The groups met at the CWAE poster board in the Convention Center at the appointed time and then proceeded to the selected spot for their discussion. For the 2013 Annual Meeting, many graduate students and postdocs signed up for informal meetings with nearly 85 expert toxicologists. Feedback on these meetings has been extremely positive and the program will continue in the future. In addition, postdocs and graduate students participated in an offshoot program called “Chat with a Postdoc,” where the postdoc serves as the “expert” and informally meets with a graduate student.

Tox ShowDown

On the evening of Tuesday, March 12, the GSLC sponsored the 2nd Annual Tox ShowDown, an engaging quiz game patterned off the popular long-running show It’s Academic. Teams of three contestants competed at answering questions concerning toxicology not only in its scientific context, but as it relates to society, the arts, and culture. Organized by Phil Wexler and Dr. Sue Ford, the Tox ShowDown created a truly festive atmosphere and the audience participated in a door prize raffle, while the winning teams enjoyed restaurant gift certificates and toxicology books. 

The winning team at the 2013 Tox ShowDown


SOT —Dedicated to Creating a Safer and Healthier World by Advancing the Science of Toxicology.

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