The Society of Toxicology's Undergraduate Education Program for Minority Students will include 30 undergraduate students and 5 faculty advisors from groups that are underrepresented in the sciences. The number of minority students pursuing graduate school in the sciences is far from parity with their proportion among the US population, and the Society of Toxicology strongly supports efforts to increase the diversity of the scientific workforce. Selected from a national pool of applicants, these students and advisors will receive travel support and participate in a 2.5-day program March 10-12, 2012, in San Francisco, CA, in conjunction with the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting.
The aims of this program are to 1) increase awareness of undergraduate students majoring in science and science advisors at undergraduate institutions about career choices and opportunities in toxicology and 2) increase interest of undergraduate students in graduate biomedical education and motivate students to obtain research experience especially that pertinent to toxicology. Participants will hear specially selected lectures from toxicologists whose work exemplifies high profile diverse research interests, participate in research poster sessions, and meet with academic program directors and internship sponsors. Participants are assigned to small groups, composed of graduate student peer mentors and toxicologist host-mentors who provide informal interaction and mentoring. Potential career choices are examined in a panel discussion will featuring toxicologists who share experiences in different employment sectors (academia, government, and industry). The program is based on the experience from, and evaluation and refinement of, activities across the 22-year history of the Undergraduate Education Program.
Toxicology is a discipline and profession that is dedicated to identifying the adverse effects of chemical, physical and biological agents on living organisms and the ecosystem, and to prevent and ameliorate such adverse effects. The SOT Undergraduate Education Program for Minority Students supports a critical need during the undergraduate years to encourage students to apply to graduate school in the biomedical sciences and strengthen the pipeline of future toxicologists. Apart from further developing the talent pool, this program benefits public and environmental health by advancing research to protect society and the environment from adverse health risks resulting from exposures to hazardous agents.