21 Mar 2024

SETAC North America 44th Annual Meeting: The Students’ Version

Adam Wronski, Bonnie Ertel and Katie Mayer, North America Student Advisory Council

The SETAC North America 44th Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, marked the culmination of another busy and successful year for the North America Student Advisory Council (NASAC). In addition to our monthly meetings throughout the year, we returned to a full slate of programming during the annual meeting, with highlights including a sold-out student seminar and an exciting night of socializing and trivia in downtown Louisville for our Student Mixer. As we look forward to the upcoming SETAC North America 45th Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, we want to highlight some of the great student events and opportunities at the Louisville meeting and encourage any interested students to get involved with NASAC!

After a lively start to the meeting at the opening ceremony, complete with some fantastic local music, events truly got underway on Monday at the first-time attendee breakfast. This event encouraged first-time attendees (especially students) to meet current members of SETAC working in their area of interest and begin to build their network. It also helped them learn more about how to benefit from the meeting. From there, a busy day of sessions and posters culminated in the ever-popular Student/Mentor Dinner, which provided incredible opportunities for students to expand their professional network. Beyond networking, this dinner also highlighted the unique tripartite nature of SETAC by allowing students to interact with SETAC members from government, academia and business, all seated at the table. As we heard from several graduate and undergraduate students who attended the dinner, this tripartite mentoring focus was very helpful for considering future career paths and opportunities. On behalf of NASAC, a huge thank you to all the mentors who volunteered their time for this event and shared their valuable expertise with so many students.

On Wednesday, a sold-out crowd at the Noontime Seminar heard an excellent presentation from Marlo Jeffries, Biology Department Chair at Texas Christian University. A long time SETAC member and 2024 annual meeting co-chair, Jeffries’ presentation, “From student to professional: What you can do today to land a job tomorrow,” focused on how students can best prepare themselves now to have the best chances in competitive job markets in the future. Drawing on her own personal experiences, Jeffries encouraged students to get involved, both at their own campus and with international organizations like NASAC and SETAC, a recommendation we certainly agree with! Following the afternoon platform and poster sessions, a lively evening of trivia and socialization kicked off at the Student Mixer, giving the many students joining us from across North America and around the world a valuable opportunity to not only relax after a busy week of science but also to keep building their professional network of peers.

On behalf of NASAC and all student members of SETAC, a huge thank you to all the staff, volunteers, members and sponsors who made the SETAC Louisville meeting so successful and beneficial for our student members. As we work towards the SETAC North America 45th Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, we are excited to announce that in addition to our usual slate of programming, we plan to host a special student-focused platform session, highlighting global student perspectives on contaminants of emerging concern. More details on this and our other annual meeting events will be released in the coming months, but in the meantime, we continue to meet monthly to plan, discuss and advocate for all student members of SETAC. We are always looking to grow our group and encourage all students in North America to join one of our meetings to learn more about who we are, what we do, and how you can be involved. If you are interested, please join our group at and see the meetings tab for our next scheduled gathering.

Author's contact: [email protected]