Discipline: Science & Mathematics Education
Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Celia Dodd - Fort Valley State University
Co-Author(s): Dr. Robin Brigh and Dr. Tiffani Holmes, Fort Valley State University
The discipline of toxicology is critical to the protection of ecosystems, humans, and natural resources. Demand for toxicologists is at an all-time high due to expanding global threats of chemical exposure linked to increased reliance on fossil fuels, threats to food security, aging hazardous waste sites, and recent natural disasters. Moreover, while populations at a higher risk of contamination are underrepresented minorities, there remains a paucity of minorities choosing careers in toxicology. Over the course of a targeted infusion project awarded to Fort Valley State University in 2015, the Departments of Biology and Chemistry have worked toward promoting student interest in toxicology to address the global need for qualified toxicologist through the development of two course, Principles of Toxicology and Investigations in Toxicology, the establishment of a toxicology teaching laboratory, undergraduate research experiences in toxicology at FVSU and with collaborating institutions, and faculty development in toxicology research and course instruction. Overall, 12 males and 46 females, all underrepresented minorities, have participated in toxicology related activities including the toxicology courses, the summer research internship, and conference attendance. In addition, over 30 more FVSU students were exposed to toxicology through the Southeastern Society of Toxicology career panel held at FVSU and over 60 more FVSU students were exposed to toxicology through the keynote speakers at FVSU. In three years 16 students have completed summer toxicology research internships. Of these 16 students, one has been accepted to an MPH program in environmental health, one has been accepted to veterinary school, one has been accepted into a MS program in biomedical sciences, two are applying to medical school, two are applying to dental school, two are applying to PA school, and five are applying to graduate school. Student surveys report an increased interest and understanding of the importance in toxicology as a discipline.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF HBCU-UP Award#1533498
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,