Virtual Undergraduate Diversity Program

Recipients of the 2021 Undergraduate Diversity Program Student Awards participate in a two-week virtual program to learn more about toxicology and careers in biomedical research. All program activities will be virtual this year; event links will be shared and posted on this webpage once these become available. The 2021 Undergraduate Diversity Program Student recipients are already registered to almost every event, except the activities under the “Other Required Activities,” which will require a student sign-up. The recipients will also participate in the Virtual SOT Annual Meeting scientific and poster sessions and other activities available on the meeting platform as part of the Undergraduate Diversity Program.


Saturday, March 13

2:30 PM to 3:45 PM (US EST, UTC -5)

What Is Toxicology and Why Should I Care: Live Introduction to Toxicology Presentation and Q&A


Speaker: Marquea King, USDA, Beltsville, MD

Students will learn about toxicology and careers related to the discipline. The session opens with a welcome, and then the presentation by Dr. King will introduce the students to the breadth and importance of toxicology. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding toxicology in general.

5:00 PM to 6:30 PM (US EST, UTC -5)

Undergraduate Diversity Program: Opening Event


This is the kick-off event for the Undergraduate Diversity Program (UDP) in which CDI volunteers welcome the 2021 UDP student awardees to provide an overview of the program events and engage in a series of networking and icebreaker activities. Additionally, this event will include the presentation of the 2021 Perry J. Gehring Diversity Student Award.

Thursday, March 18

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (US EST, UTC -4)

Undergraduate Diversity Program Student Happy Hour 1

This relaxing happy hour will consist of networking between UDP students and CDI members. This is an opportunity for UDP students to ask any questions about the program activities, and any general topics, and also to get to know each other, share their thoughts, and learn more about SOT resources, Annual Meeting activities, and others.

Saturday, March 20

12:30 PM to 1:30 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)

Ins and Outs of Graduate School in Toxicology: Insights into Admissions, Training, and Finding Success


This live session will provide students with the opportunity to meet and engage with experts on graduate study in toxicology in small discussion groups. Each will be moderated by a graduate student and a graduate program advisor. Students will learn tips about applying for and succeeding in graduate school, gain insights into admissions, and get answers to any questions they might have about toxicology graduate school and programs.

3:00 PM to 4:15 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)

Interactive Case Study for Undergraduate Students: Metal Levels in Whales from the Gulf of Maine: A One Environmental Health Approach


Facilitators: Mindy F. Reynolds, Washington College, Chesterton, MD; and John P. Wise Sr., University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

Designed for undergraduates, this special introduction to environmental and ecotoxicology includes an opportunity to explore and interpret real data in small groups. After a brief presentation by Dr. Wise on research techniques and how sampling of whales is conducted, participants will analyze toxicology research data using the case study “Metal Levels in Whales from the Gulf of Maine: A One Environmental Health Approach,” led by Dr. Reynolds.

Wednesday, March 24

4:30 PM to 5:30 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)

Toxicology Career Roundtables


Undergraduate students will meet in small virtual discussion groups with SOT members who are employed in different areas of toxicology, learn what their career paths were like, and explore how these toxicologists manage work-life balance. Each group will meet with three toxicologists—one from academia, one from government, and one from industry or consulting. These toxicologists will describe what working in their employment sector is like and compare the different types of work. Students will gain insights into where they might find their best balance and how to use their interests and aptitudes in pursuing a career in toxicology.

Thursday, March 25

2:45 PM to 3:45 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)

Undergraduate Networking with Graduate Students

Preregistration Required, register by February 26 to participate.

In this informal virtual session, undergraduates will network in small groups with peers and graduate students to learn more about graduate school and graduate student experiences. Each group of undergraduates will network sequentially with several teams of graduate students. Students can peer into their toxicology future by hearing directly from graduate students what graduate school is like.

5:30 PM to 6:30 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)

Undergraduate Diversity Program Student Happy Hour 2

This relaxing happy hour will consist of networking between UDP students and CDI members. This is an opportunity for UDP students to ask any questions about the program activities, and any general topics, and also to get to know each other, share their thoughts, and learn more about SOT resources, Annual Meeting activities, and others.

Saturday, March 27

3:00 PM to 4:15 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)

Undergraduate Diversity Program: Closing Event


Speaker: Kenneth Ramos, PhD, ATS, Texas A&M University, Houston, TX

Students will attend the closing event, which will include a career development presentation “To Know the Road Ahead, Ask Those Who Traveled before You: A Modified Chinese Proverb Mixed with LINEs” by Dr. Ramos. The event will end with networking activities between students and CDI members.

Other Required Activities

Visit Mentor-identified Poster or Scientific Session with Mentoring Group Participants

The UDP recipients will visit or watch on-demand Annual Meeting poster or scientific session(s) identified by their mentors and discuss scientific content. Students must participate in mentoring group meetings and engage in discussions.

Time with Academic Program Directors: Graduate School Virtual Career Fair

Students will meet virtually at least one representative from a specific academic toxicology program to discuss the merits of the program, support available, and application requirements. The list of programs including the contact information and availability of program directors and representatives to meet with students is available here. To arrange a session, undergraduate students must contact the program representative by phone or email at least 48 hours before the desired time. To comply with the program’s criteria, students should inform SOT Staff which programs they selected for a virtual appointment.

Visit Scientific Posters from the SOT Undergraduate Research Award (SURA), Undergraduate Diversity Program Student Award (UDP), and The Perry J. Gehring Diversity Student Award Recipients

All 2021 Undergraduate Diversity Program awardees must select poster session(s) to attend during their scheduled time through the Annual Meeting Platform. UDP students are required to select at least one poster session to attend. You can access the sign-up form here.

Other Annual Meeting Platform Events

The details for the following events are available through the online planner and Annual Meeting platform. All UDP recipients are encouraged to explore the annual meeting platform and all the events and features offered on the Virtual SOT Annual Meeting. All categories below can be accessed by typing them on the online planner search bar.

  • Featured, Plenary, and Award Sessions and Lectures—Times and dates vary
  • Scientific Sessions (Symposia, Workshop, Roundtable, Informational, and Poster sessions, etc.)—Times and dates vary
  • Component Group Meetings (Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections)—Dates and times vary
  • Tiny Tox Talks—Dates and times vary
  • ToxExpo Exhibits—Mondays through Thursdays, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT
  • Hallway Huddles Lounge—Mondays through Thursdays, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT
  • Student and Postdoctoral Mixer—Thursday, March 18, 4:30 to 6:30 PM EDT
  • Tox ShowDown—Monday, March 22

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 1R13 ES032741-01 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.