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IEOP 2015 Croatia
Source: Nancy Jackson, AAFS Director of Accreditation & Development
Monday, June 15 – Day 1
Greetings from Zagreb! Travelers arrived safely in Croatia to warm temperatures and sunny skies. The travelers, Peter Ausili (Criminalistics), Moses Schanfield (Criminalistics), Robert Barsley (Odontology). John Gerns (General), Shaku Teas (Pathology/Biology), Danielle Ruttman (Jurisprudence) and I, along with traveling companions, would like to thank AAFS President Victor Weedn for selecting Croatia as the 2015 International Educational Outreach Program’s destination. Although I’ve only been here for 24 hours, I feel completely at home.
Our first day finds us in Zagreb, the capital city and hub of the business, academic, cultural, artistic, and sporting worlds in Croatia. A full day of activities left us overwhelmed – quite busy but incredibly rewarding. I’d like to tell you about the highlights of the day, but every new exchange was a highlight! My mind is reeling, and space and time do not permit so I will say, “Thank you for your hospitality!” to our hosts, Gordon Mrsic, PhD, Croatian Police Forensic Science Centre “Ivan Vucetic”; Professor Vedran Mornar, Minister of Science, Education, and Sports, Republic of Croatia, University of Zagreb; Professor Pavle Rudan, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts; Professor Mario Slaus, Anthropological Centre of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts; and Professor Gordan Lance, Genos Company. Everyone went out of their way to welcome our group into their facilities, demonstrating their dedication to the forensic sciences and to the advances made in the Republic of Croatia. All are highlights of this outreach!
During our visit to the Academy of Sciences and Arts, we were delighted to meet Professor Pavle Rudan. The center is dedicated to the promotion and unification of scientific, cultural, and artistic achievements. Dr. Rudan gave us an hour of his time telling stories of his encounters – the hour seemed mere seconds. He talked of his very dear friend Lawrence Angel. His eyes twinkled as he told stories of “Lucky Larry” and their time together teaching at university. I am not sure how “Lucky Larry” inherited the nickname, but it was evident that Professor Rudan thought very highly of him and had many fond memories. As I said, time passed much too quickly.
There are two highlights I must share! A very special thank you to Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, President of the Republic of Croatia. Yes, I met the President! She is an amazing woman, dedicated to education and forensics, who took time away from her busy schedule and delayed her departure to NATO to welcome us individually and to personally thank AAFS for its support of and heart for Croatia and the International Society for Applied Biological Sciences (ISABS). The time went by much too quickly – I felt I could spend days listening to her sincere love for the people and her country.
Another exciting event took place shortly after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the AAFS and the ISABS. The commitment pledges support between the AAFS and ISABS in the exchange of information and cooperation for a period of five years. However, I can see this cooperation as the “beginning” of a very long-term relationship between the organizations. See following article: Cooperation agreement between the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the International Society for Applied Biological Sciences in Zagreb.
Both events were covered by the Croatian news media and appeared on the news channels and in the papers within just a few hours! (Refer to translated links below.)
The first day was long and exhausting; however, I found it difficult to sleep due to replaying the events of the day over and over in my head. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!