President’s Spotlight—2021–22 Ad Hoc Committees Announced

Source: Carl R. McClary, MS, 2021-22 AAFS President

To keep you, our members, informed of what your Board of Directors and Academy staff are doing to improve the organization and review its policies for potential updating, I have compiled a list of our current presidential ad hoc committees, their chairs, and the missions for which they are tasked. For those committees that are continuing from last year, I thank them for the extensive work they have performed to date. For the new committees, thank you for volunteering and pursuing how the Academy might better operate with improvements, efficiency, and current needs and issues in mind.

AAFS 75th Anniversary 2022 ad hoc—Laura Fulginiti,
Kristen Hartnett-McCann (Co-Chair) (new committee)
Committee is charged with the planning of the Academy’s 75th anniversary celebrations at the meeting in Orlando, FL, in 2023. Dr. Fulginiti is the current President-Elect.

ASB Sustainability ad hoc—Jeri Roper-Miller (continuing committee)
Committee is charged with exploring the present state of Academy Standards  Board (ASB) funding, investigating its long-term sustainability operations, and presenting recommendations for a path forward to the AAFS Board of Directors. The group will identify the needs of the ASB and the AAFS organizations specific to the continued operation of the ASB and provide actionable recommendations to their organizational boards.

Committee Nominations ad hoc—Matthew Wood (Chair) (new committee)
Committee is charged with exploring ways in which to fill the numerous committee positions that open at the start of each new presidential term. The goal is to fill positions with not only experience and, if possible, section representation, but also take into consideration diverse and underrepresented groups. One goal is to cultivate a list of curricula vitae of members who are interested in serving in these leadership positions.

Content Digitization—Douglas Lacey (Chair) (continuing committee)
Committee is charged with seeking and evaluating content of portions of annual meetings and other Academy-related venues to be digitally captured. Placement is then made to the AAFS Connect on-demand platform for access to both members and non-members. This platform currently contains fee-based content, but it is anticipated that free content will also be available.

Judicial Outreach ad hoc—Alison Galloway, Laura Fulginiti (Co-Chair)  (new committee)
Committee is charged with exploring ways in which forensic science education can be provided to the judiciary. An initial concept is the creation of outreach lists of federal, state, district, and city judicial officers and identifying members to participate in the creation of videos/webinars that can be viewed in a short timeframe or “just in time.” The primary goal is the development of a resource to provide an explanation of basic concepts in forensic science with actual case examples. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit will be explored.

Membership Outreach ad hoc—Laura Fulginiti, Jeri Ropero-Miller (Co-Chair) (continuing committee)
This large committee is composed of members from various sections and is charged with reviewing the Academy’s member structure and recommending methods for the streamlining and consistency among the 11 sections with respect to membership requirements and promotion. An investigation into a non-member category is also being pursued. The schedule and framework of our annual meetings is being reviewed, as are ways to improve both our in-person and digital offerings.

Mentorship ad hoc—Chair, Marcus Rogers (continuing committee)
Committee is charged with providing the means to guide and facilitate the development of a robust and sustainable professional mentoring program that fosters member relationships to advance professional development, promulgate integrity, and grow future leaders in the Academy.

Opioids and Emerging Drugs ad hoc—Agnes Winokur (Chair) (continuing committee)
Committee is charged with reviewing and updating the current AAFS advocacy planks and providing ideas, such as workshops and collaboration with other organizations, for the continued education in all matters of the opioid and other emerging drugs crisis.

Sexual Harassment ad hoc—Thomas Vastrick (Chair) (continuing committee)
Committee is charged with review of our current policies on misconduct, with a focus on sexual harassment. This review is to ensure that the Academy is, within practical and legal means, doing what it can to provide not only the proper proactive but also reactive actions to such conduct. Draft policy recommendations were submitted in 2020 and are currently under review.