Guest Speakers


Daily Plenary Speaker | 13:10–13:50 | Presidential Ballroom CDE

Jeanne Briskin is unable to attend. Susan Sharkey will present in her place.

Susan Sharkey, Hydraulic Fracturing Research, US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development

Speaker Bio

Susan Sharkey is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development’s team that is studying the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Sharkey is the program’s liaison with industry participants; her primary responsibility is the use of industry information collected for the study.

During her 23 years with USEPA, she has worked primarily in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, where she gained expertise in policy, program and regulatory development associated with the manufacture and use of chemical substances.

Presentation Description

"EPA’s Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources"

At the request of Congress, EPA is conducting a study to assess the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of such potential impacts.  EPA has designed the scope of the research around five stages of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle: water acquisition, chemical mixing, well injection, produced water and flowback, and wastewater treatment and disposal. To answer the study’s research questions, EPA is analyzing existing data, creating computer models, performing laboratory studies and toxicity assessments, and examining case studies. EPA released a progress report on the study in December 2012 and held a series of technical workshops in spring and summer of 2013. Jeanne Briskin will provide an overview of EPA's ongoing research, including the 2013 technical workshop series. The progress report and detailed information about the study can be found on the study’s website at


Daily Plenary Speaker | 13:10–13:50 | Presidential Ballroom CDE

Paul Anastas

Paul T. Anastas, Yale University

Presentation Description

"Come Together - Right Now: Chemists and Toxicologists Enabling Reduced Toxicity by Design"

The complementary tools, insights, and capabilities of the fields of toxicology and chemistry are increasingly moving toward a grand collaboration. Toxicology has become increasingly molecular and mechanistic over the years. Chemistry has become increasingly interested in problems of  "chemical biology" at the interface of molecular/biological systems. Both fields have benefited from the tools of high-throughput and computation chemistry and computational toxicology.  The potential is great for a great unification around the goal of being able to inform molecular design for the purpose of minimizing intrinsic hazards.  This talk will focus on recent history, current research, and future potential of this important and emerging research focus area.

Speaker Bio

Paul T. Anastas is the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment. He has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Department of Chemistry, and Department of Chemical Engineering. In addition, Prof. Anastas serves as the Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale. Anastas took public service leave from Yale to serve as the Assistant Administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency Science Advisor from 2009-2012. From 2004–2006, Paul Anastas served as Director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute in Washington, D.C. He was previously the Assistant Director for the Environment in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he worked from 1999-2004. Trained as a synthetic organic chemist, Dr. Anastas received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University and worked as an industrial consultant. He is credited with establishing the field of green chemistry during his time working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the Chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and as the Director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program. Dr. Anastas has published widely on topics of science through sustainability including eleven books, such as Benign by Design, Designing Safer Polymers, Green Engineering, and his seminal work with co-author John Warner, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice.


Women in SETAC Luncheon (ticket required) | 11:50–13:00 | Magnolia Room

Price: $50 regular price after 10 September|$40 student price after 10 September

The Art and Science of Negotiation: Practical, Research-based Tools You Can Learn to Use


Susan Williams

Susan G. Williams, Belmont University

Susan Williams is Professor Emerita of Management in the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business.  Her teaching interests include negotiation, business narrative, continuous improvement, and strategic thinking.  Williams came to Belmont in 1989 and has served the university in several capacities, most recently as Vice President for Administration and Planning before returning to the classroom full-time.

After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, Susan taught in the University of Georgia system and at East Tennessee State University.  She was a business owner and entrepreneur in Nashville for several years before she came to Belmont.  
Williams is an active public speaker and consultant on topics related to management. Representative clients include Hospital Corporation of America, Disney, HealthTrust Purchasing Group, AAA, The United Methodist Church, Cracker Barrel, Vanderbilt University, SunTrust Bank, Tractor Supply and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Williams has been a regular contributor to The Source magazine, authoring a column titled “Management Matters.”

She completed a three-year appointment as a judge for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a Secretary of Commerce appointment. Active in national organizations, Williams is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Eta Sigma professional honor societies.  She served on the ETSU Foundation Board of Directors, the International Storytelling Center Board of Governors, and volunteers her time for a variety of non-profit organizations.  She is a Tennessee Rule 31 listed mediator. Williams has served the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence in various capacities since its inception in 1993, including service on the Panel of Judges.

Williams was the 2009 recipient of the Ned R. McWherter State Leadership Award presented by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. In her teaching tenure at Belmont University, Williams was named Most Inspirational Professor by 14 Massey Graduate School of Business graduating classes.

Laura A. Hollis

Laura A. Hollis, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Laura Hollis is an innovative frontline leader in the perioperative division of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  Her responsibilities as a lead charge nurse for the enterprise include managing patient flow throughout all eight perioperative areas within the hospital, adjustment of staffing allocations during the day, and prioritization of bed needs for frontline staff and their patients.  She partners with other departments within the hospital to assure patients and families are well cared for before and after  patients’ surgical experiences.  

A BSN graduate of the University of Kentucky and 2013 MSN graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Ms. Hollis is certified as a Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) and has worked in both trauma nursing and trauma research at Vanderbilt.   She is a candidate for the DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) at Vanderbilt University.  She completed Vanderbilt’s Evidence Based Practice Fellowship in 2009 and was selected for Vanderbilt’s Front Line Leadership Program in 2011.  Hollis has completed LEAN Healthcare training from Healthcare Performance Partners and works in her area as a process improvement expert.  

In 2011, Ms. Hollis was chosen for Sigma Theta Tau International, Iota Chapter, an international honor society for nursing students.  Her areas of interest include empowering front line leadership, teamwork, and patient advocacy.  She presented “The Hand Hygiene Challenge: Going to Gemba to Protect your Surgical Team and Patients” at the AORN (Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses) 60th Annual Congress in 2013.  Hollis has several national and local poster sessions to her credit, and she has two papers accepted for the coming year.


Daily Plenary Speaker | 13:10–13:50 | Presidential Ballroom CDE

Bill PurcellWilliam Purcell, Jones Hawkins & Farmer, PLC

Presentation Description

"The Next New Generation of Leadership"

Discussion of the next new generation of leadership in the United States with a special focus on what it will mean for science, our professions, and public service.

Speaker Bio

Bill Purcell has spent more than 30 years in law, public service, and higher education. During his eight-year tenure as Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee the city saw unprecedented economic expansion, an increase in Metro school funding of more than 50 percent. During his tenure, Nashville was ranked as the number one city for corporate headquarters and twice ranked as the hottest city in America for expansion and relocation of business.

Following his service as mayor, Purcell was a Harvard University Institute of Politics Fellow in 2007. He then served as Founding and Interim Dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs at Tennessee State University before returning to the Institute of Politics as Director, and a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. In December 2009, Purcell was appointed by Harvard University President Drew Faust as co-chair of the Work Team for Allston and served as Special Advisor on Allston.

Purcell was elected to five terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives (1986-96), serving as Majority Leader (1990-96). During his decade in the General Assembly he sponsored and passed legislation undertaking major reforms in Tennessee’s schools, courtrooms, industrial plants and boardrooms, criminal and juvenile justice, hospitals, and voting booths. He served as Chair of the House Rules Committee, Committee on Open Records, and the Select Joint Committee on Children and Youth, and as a member of the Judiciary, General Welfare, Finance Ways and Means, and Ethics Committees. During his service Tennessee was twice ranked the best managed state in America.

Having represented clients in all of the trial courts of Nashville as well as the federal and state appellate courts, Purcell has been an active participant in the work of the bar. He served as a member of the Commission on the Future of the Tennessee Judicial System, the Tennessee IOLTA Grant Review Committee, and the Board of the Nashville Bar Association, and is a Fellow of both the Tennessee and Nashville Bar Foundations. He has been honored by the Nashville Bar Association with the John C. Tune award for outstanding contributions to his community and faithful service as a member of the bar (2006).