General Section – January 2016

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:  Joanna L. Collins, MFS, Section Secretary

We hope this finds you all enjoying the holiday season and gearing up for the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting in Las Vegas, NV. Online registration has begun and the Advance Program is available on the AAFS website. Our section membership had impressive submissions and this year’s program will have 3 full-day Workshops, 3 half-day Workshops, 2 Luncheons, 1 Breakfast, 49 Oral Presentations, and 45 Poster Presentations given by General Section members. Our Program Committee Chair and Co-Chair, Steve Chancellor and Melissa Connor, were impressed and excited about the depth, breadth, and number of submissions for consideration this year. If your submission was not selected for presentation this year, we encourage you to resubmit it for consideration in future years. The cutoff date for pre-registration is January 27, so register before the deadline to ensure you are able to attend the special functions (workshops, breakfast, luncheons, and special sessions) of your choice before they fill up.

As a reminder, the General Section Luncheon which immediately precedes the General Section Business Meeting, is an event for which you must pre-register. On-site registration is typically not an option. In response to requests from our membership to bring back luncheon presentations, Special Agent Brian S. Clark, FBI, will provide a case study titled, “Bank Robbery on the South Side of Chicago.” The luncheon is also a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and make some new contacts. If you cannot attend the luncheon, make plans to attend the section business meeting that will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24. Not only is attendance at this meeting required for promotion but there are a number of business items, to include policy and procedure changes and accepted discipline updates, that will be discussed and voted on as well. Look for those items to be sent out prior to the meeting.

The General Section’s Nominating Committee, comprised of Alan Boehm, Frank Horvath, and Kathleen Hargrave, announce the nomination of Claire Shepard and Joanna Collins for Section Chair and Secretary, respectively. Members will receive the nominating committee report and CVs of the nominees prior to the meeting and voting will take place during the General Section Business Meeting.

General Section Award’s Committee Chair Amy Carney and committee members (Daylen Henman, Paul Kish, Brian Clark, Tom Gersbeck, Ivan Kaminsky, and Phil Curran) are pleased to announce the following outstanding recipients who will be recognized during the General Section Business Meeting: Richard D. Walter as the Paul W. Kehres Meritorious Service Award winner; Virginia A. Lynch as the John R. Hunt Award winner; and, Catherine G. Rushton as the Robert Gaffney Achievement Award winner for her presentation titled “Multidimensional Model for Assessing Student Achievement” (E51) given at the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting held in Orlando, FL. Lastly, the Robert “Bob” Thibault Award recipient will be announced during the General Section Business Meeting. Please make plans to attend not only the section business meeting but also the AAFS Annual Business Meeting where our esteemed colleagues will be recognized for their achievements.

Our Long Term Planning Committee, through survey responses received last year, identified several areas of interest to the section membership. One area for improvement identified in the survey was communication within the section; as such, an ad hoc Communications Committee was formed (members: T.L. Williams, Don Hayden, Chad Hutchins, Tom Mariella, Stacey Drake, Heather McKiernan, and Traci Stars Brasses). The committee has divided this process into two phases; the first phase is to solicit ideas and the second phase will work toward implementation of those ideas. If you have suggestions, please send them to any of the committee members (email addresses can be found in the online AAFS Directory accessed through your AAFS Account Portal).

Lastly, our Reception Committee Chair, Sharon Plotke, has been hard at work ensuring we have a great General Section Reception again this year. Make plans to attend this event on Wednesday evening, February 24 (time and location will be announced at the section business meeting). We would like to thank all of our members and sponsors who have made Friend of the General Section (FOGS) donations and encourage you to bring your checkbook or cold hard cash to make your 2016 donation at the meeting.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas! Have a wonderful holiday season and safe travels in February.