SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
17 December 2015
Volume 16 Issue 12
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SETAC North America Student Advisory Council’s Perspective of SETAC Salt Lake City

Austin Gray, NASAC Out-Going Chair, Medical University of South Carolina Blair Paulik, NASAC Chair, Oregon State University David Dreier, NASAC Vice Chair, University of Florida

SETAC student corner
Students lounging between breaks at the Student Corner located in the Exhibit Hall

A Message from SETAC North America Student Advisory Council (NASAC) Chair, Blair Paulik

Greetings! In October 2014, I was elected into a three-year position of leadership in NASAC. I knew then that my relationship with SETAC would never be the same. I knew this meant I would be NASAC Vice Chair for a year starting at the annual meeting in Vancouver, and that this would be followed by two subsequent years of leadership as NASAC Chair and NASAC Outgoing Chair. I knew this would require a lot of extra time devoted to SETAC, but I was excited about giving back. I could already see how big an impact SETAC was going to have on my career, and I wanted to help create that experience for other students too. What I didn’t know was how many opportunities this position would bring me.

One example, I traveled to the SETAC Barcelona meeting last spring to represent the students of SETAC North America. This was an incredible opportunity to network with the students and professionals of SETAC Europe. At the SETAC Salt Lake City, however, my position became simultaneously even more rewarding and challenging. I helped plan and lead multiple student events, including the Career Navigation Event and the Student Assembly. While this took time, it was rewarding to see these events come to fruition, and especially rewarding to receive positive feedback from students. While at the meeting in Salt Lake City, I also found myself in numerous one-on-one conversations with some of SETAC’s top professionals. This was truly networking at its finest, and a huge bonus of these student leadership positions. In Salt Lake City I also became an ex officio member of the SETAC North America Board of Directors, through which I have the honor of representing the students of SETAC North America in the Board’s discussions. So, students of SETAC, please reach out to me and your other student leaders! Feel free to email me if you have any thoughts, ideas or feedback.  I want to truly represent you.

NASAC

Austin Gray, Out-Going NASAC Chair
This year marks my fifth year as a student member of SETAC North America. Each annual meeting I have attended has left me with memories and friendships that will stand the test of time. This year’s annual meeting was particularly special to me, mainly because I ended my tenure as Chair of NASAC. A big priority for me at this meeting was to ensure that students in attendance had a positive experience. I was really impressed with how everything came together. The SETAC staff did a great job setting everything up and ensuring everything flowed well during our time in Salt Lake City.

Students are the future of the Society and what stood out for me most at this year’s meeting was the number of students that truly have a desire to become more involved. It shows that NASAC is doing a good job and proving to be a very effective group within SNA. Each activity that was available for students at the annual meeting was designed to benefit students in unique ways. I received great feedback from dozens of students showing their appreciation for our efforts. Having invigorated students, as well as an awesome group of student leaders in NASAC, makes me confident that the future of SETAC is in great hands for us soon-to- be professionals. Look forward to seeing you all in Orlando for the 7th SETAC World Congress/SETAC North America 37th Annual Meeting in 2016. This meeting will be one that this student does not want to miss out on.

Short course
Students at the Student Short Course led by Dr. Tamara McNealy of Clemson University: Short Course topic was “Using Improv Skills to Communicate Science to Everyday People

David Dreier, Vice Chair of NASAC
SETAC Salt Lake City was a whirlwind of opportunities for the students of SETAC. I was particularly impressed by the diversity of student activities, which included the Student-Mentor Lunch, Career Navigation Event, Noontime Seminar, Student Assembly and a student party. In addition, our student-organized Reddit Ask Me Anything was an incredible success and answered hundreds of online questions related to environmental toxicology and chemistry.

During the meeting, I participated in the North America Workshop for the Global Horizon Scanning Project, continuing an effort to identify priority research needs for environmental science and sustainability. We are excited to have students rank these research questions to communicate our biggest environmental priorities to SETAC leadership. In addition to this project, the annual meeting also highlighted other approaching opportunities for students, such as the Young Environmental Scientists (YES) Meeting in Gainesville, FL. As with all SETAC meetings, it was great to see familiar faces in Salt Lake City, and I look forward to seeing some of these younger faces at the YES meeting in the spring!

Daniel Millemann, NASAC Rep:  Hudson- Delaware Chapter
Each year the SETAC North America annual meeting surprises me with new opportunities for networking, as well as the high level of student involvement. Salt Lake City was my third national meeting, but first working with some of the NASAC members. Student events including the mentor lunch and the student social really stand out as being welcoming events for students to interact with their peers and established professionals in their field. I'm already looking forward to Orlando!

Adric Olson, NASAC Rep:  South Central Chapter
I have found SETAC North America annual meetings to be very useful and this year was no exception. I enjoy the varied session tracks that allow me to further my knowledge in both my primary research topic and other topics of interest. Being able to present and discuss my research with knowledgeable professionals helps improve the quality of my work. I also enjoy the opportunity to meet and network with students and future colleagues at events like the student-mentor lunch, the student noontime seminar, and the student social.

Authors’ contact information: graya1@citadel.edu, paulikl@onid.oregonstate.edu and dadreier@ufl.edu

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