Criminalistics Section News—May/June 2019

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source: Patrick Buzzini, PhD, Section Chair

Here we are in the second half of the spring season! Spring is a pleasant transitional season and it is with this spirit that I salute the passage between the wonderful 71st AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting in Baltimore and kick-off of the groundwork for the 72nd meeting to be held in Anaheim, CA, on February 17–22, 2020.

I would like to welcome Jason Linder as our new 2019–20 Program Co-Chair. It is a great pleasure to work again with our Section Secretary Noelle Umback and Program Chair Sandra Sachs. I also want to thank our former Section Chair, Kristy Kadash, for her guidance these past three years.

In addition, I commend the great work accomplished by Lynn Schneeweiss, Julie Howe, and Marilyn Miller for the Student Academy. The Program attracted more than 70 registered students, primarily from local high schools, who explored the different facets of forensic science for a case scenario. Students interacted with several faculty from all the Academy disciplines and participated in a trivia session. Special thanks to the Reference Committee chaired by Kim Kobojek for their indispensable work in providing references to qualified individuals who want to join our Section. I also want to thank Tom Brettell for his continuous excellent work with the Regional Association Committee.

Expressing all gratitude to the Awards Committee chaired this past year by Vinny Desiderio, I also want to take a moment to again congratulate our 2019 Award recipients: Jack Ballantyne for the Paul L. Kirk Award, Dragan Primorac for the Mary E. Cowan Outstanding Service Award, David Green for the Meritorious Service Certificate, and Amanda Gonzalez for the FSF Jan S. Bashinski Criminalistics Graduate Thesis Assistance Grant. Way to go!

2019 Section Chair Kristy Kadash with 2019 Criminalistics Section awardees David Green, Jack Ballantyne, and Dragan Primorac, as well as Amanda Gonzalez with 2019–20 Program Chair Sandra Sachs (from left to right).

The theme of the 2020 meeting, chosen by Academy President Zeno Geradts, is “Crossing Borders,” which allows us the opportunity to discuss its wide variety of potential meanings in the context of our forensic science endeavors. Looking forward to the Anaheim meeting, it is now time to start thinking about submitting abstracts to populate the 2020 Scientific Program. Besides the traditional oral and poster presentations, we invite you to consider presenting workshops, as well as breakfast seminars, luncheons, and oral presentations for the Last Word Society. We look forward to high-quality submissions so our Program Chair and Co-Chair will have a large selection of papers with which to build the 2020 Scientific Program agenda. As usual, the Abstract deadline is August 1. We invite you to carefully read the instructions for abstract submissions ( Criteria such as novelty, merit, impact, and clarity are of upmost importance during the review process.

Should you be interested in serving as a moderator for a scientific session, please contact Jason Linder (, or if you wish to be considered for an abstract reviewer, please contact Sandra Sachs (

We strongly encourage our associate members and full members to submit applications for promotion upon completion of all requirements. Promotion reflects your highly appreciated involvement with the organization and particularly within our Criminalistics Section. Although the deadline for membership applications is October 1, it is definitely possible to act earlier!