Pre-Meeting Workshops​​

All pre-meeting workshops take place on Saturday, August 6.

Pre-registration is required for all workshops. Workshops can be added to your registration when you first register or added by modifying your registration.

Register for a Pre-Meeting Workshop

  • Mentorship in STEM: Constructing an Effective Mentoring Toolkit

    8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    At multiple career stages in STEM, we often engage in formal and informal mentorship of students, junior faculty, and peers. These mentoring relationships are an integral and impactful component of the academic pipeline and beyond. Effective relationships promote positive mentee outcomes like increased commitment to STEM career pathways, fostering self-identity, and enhanced self-efficacy for conducting research. Additionally, it has been well-established that quality mentorship experiences are an important factor in increasing the persistence of women and underrepresented minorities pursuing STEM, which we have failed to do for decades. While the importance and positive impacts of quality mentorship are known, many mentors are not equipped with knowledge on how to establish and maintain effective mentoring relationships. This includes an insufficient understanding of cultural awareness, competency, and responsiveness in the mentor-mentee relationship. Our workshop, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and Valent BioSciences, on mentoring in STEM, including academia and industry, aims to fulfill this exact need. We have asked Warner Santiago, the Senior Director of DEI and Workforce Development at MassBio and Associate Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Title IX Programming at Harvard Law School, to develop a workshop for our specific audience on effective mentorship in STEM. Tinged with his unique expertise in civil and human rights law, Santiago’s workshop could include topics like developing a mentoring philosophy and plan, establishing and maintaining effective communication, fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, promoting universal accessibility, respecting the rights and dignity of mentees, and more. Our hope is that this training will equip our APS members with the information, strategies, and tools necessary to navigate the complexities of mentoring and become effective mentors.

    Learning Objectives

    A) Attendees will have the opportunity to brainstorm mentorship with colleagues, develop a mentoring philosophy, and define how these philosophies meet the diverse needs of their mentees
    B) Attendees will learn core concepts of effective mentorship, including aligning mentor and mentee expectations, cultural awareness (both of yourself and the mentee) and responsiveness, respecting and supporting the rights, dignity, and differences of mentees, fostering equity, inclusion, and a culture of accessibility, creating a mentoring philosophy and plan, maintaining effective communication, and promoting mentee self-efficacy and professional development
    C) At the end of this workshop, attendees will have an introductory toolkit to effective mentorship, including defined relationship and work expectations for themselves and mentees, strategies for implementing and upholding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility principles, resources for supporting their mentees’ professional development, tips on having conversations about mentees’ needs (professionally and culturally) and addressing them, and tools for navigating difficult conversations and conflict resolution.
    D) At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to implement their own mentoring philosophy armed with strategies to successfully handle the complexities of mentor-mentee relationships.

  • Biocontrol Products for the Management of Fungicide Resistance

    8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    Fungicides are key components for the management of plant diseases. However, resistance of fungal pathogens to fungicides has become a limiting factor to prolong the life of these chemicals. The availability of biological control products with acceptable level of efficacy has increased in the last decade. New biocontrol alternatives being commercially developed include products based on microbial agents (fungal, bacterial isolates), microbial fermentation, plant extracts, plant defense inducers and plant breeding and genetics. The main objective of the workshop is to determine and discuss the potential benefits of the integration of fungicides and biological products for the management of fungal diseases and fungicide resistance. This workshop will provide an opportunity to review and critique the available scientific data across diverse crops and pathosystems and will provide the audience with knowledge and ideas for further evaluation.

    Learning Objectives

    1. To have a better understanding of the principals and concepts of effective management of plant diseases with the integration of fungicides and biological control products.
    2. To determine the advantages and limitations that biological control products could have in the management of fungicide resistance.

  • Oxford Nanopore Sequencing Applications for Plant Pathologists

    8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    This workshop targets American Phytopathological Society meeting attendees who are interested in utilizing third-generation sequencing to aid with plant disease diagnosis, identification of disease resistance genes, studying pathogen genome structure and function, identifying emerging infectious diseases, and microbiome analysis. Participants will be led through a hands-on workshop to learn the foundations of third-generation sequencing with a focus on nanopore sequencing. Using samples we provide, attendees will complete library preparation, flow cell loading, sequencing, and data processing. Participants will learn the impacts of DNA yield, purity, and integrity on nanopore sequencing. Basecalling will be demonstrated and subsequent bioinformatic steps utilizing the resulting sequences will be shared with participants. Quality control of FASTQ files will be demonstrated in this full day workshop.

    Learning Objectives

    This workshop will demonstrate a new technology, Oxford nanopore sequencing, and provide comparisons between Oxford nanopore and Pacbio sequencing, so participants understand the mechanisms of third-generation sequencing. At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to use this new technology for their own sequencing projects and be familiar with the tools available for third-generation sequencing. Attendees will be able to apply comparative genomic analyses to answer basic biological questions and use the Oxford nanopore sequencing platform for various sequencing projects. Participants will be able to solve diagnostic challenges including initial identification and phylogenetic comparisons with other organisms.

  • Adapting Effective #SciComm to Ever-Changing Technologies and Shortened Attention Spans

    1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    How do you capture your audience and cater to their specific interests? How do you tell a story that will be attention-grabbing and unforgettable? How do you create a narrative that will leave the audience wanting more? From the digital to spoken word, the Office of Public Relations and Outreach will host a half-day workshop to teach you how to communicate your science in a way that will leave a lasting impact! This workshop will cover multiple communication methods, but will focus on short (1-2 minute) presentations to broad audiences and enhancing your social media presence. The first half of the workshop features speakers who will address the creativity, timing and tools needed to communicate science effectively in both a digital and spoken format. Speakers include Dr. Carlyn Buckler from Cornell, who participated in our 2019 workshop and 2021 virtual Lunch-and-Learn, and Matt Kasson from West Virginia University, who participated in our 2021 virtual Lunch-and-Learn. The second part of the workshop will include break-out sessions; the participants will split up to work with an expert in each category to brainstorm ideas on how to effectively communicate their science to a general audience. In the final 20 minutes, participants will have a chance to practice their new skills in front of other workshop attendees and receive feedback. Don’t miss the Pitch120 event that will take place during the Welcome Reception in the Plant Health Hub Sunday evening.

    Learning Objectives

    At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to verbally pitch their science in an exciting and effective way, independent of time limit or format. They will learn how to make a lasting cyber-impression in an environment where attention spans are typically 7 seconds or less. Attendees will gain confidence in scientific communication, whether it is in public speaking, or tweeting.