General Section News – July 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

It is time to finalize your ideas for your abstract submissions for the 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, LA. The August 1 deadline is nearing and Program Chair Melissa Connor and Co-Chair Gina Londino are looking forward to your submissions and to building a dynamic and engaging program for the meeting. The theme for the meeting is Our Future Reflects Our Past: The Evolution of Forensic Science. Oral presentations, posters, workshops, luncheons, and breakfasts can be submitted through the online system at The August 1 deadline is firm!

The General Section Nominating Committee, consisting of Alan Boehm, Kathleen Diebold Hargrave, and Frank Horvath, announce a call for nominations for Section Chair, Secretary, and Director; elections take place during the General Section Business Meeting in New Orleans. A list of officer responsibilities can be reviewed at in the AAFS Policy and Procedure Manual. Nominees can be placed on the ballot in one of three ways: (1) selection by the Nominating Committee; (2) nomination from the membership by petition, supported in writing by a minimum of three Members or Fellows of the General Section; or, (3) nomination from the floor during the election process at the annual section business meeting. Petition(s) must be submitted to Alan by October 15 in order to verify the nominee’s eligibility, willingness to serve, and to obtain an AAFS-specific résumé. Alan can be reached at

The Awards Committee, chaired by Amy Carney, is seeking nominations for the Paul W. Kehres Meritorious Service Award and the John R. Hunt Award. The Paul W. Kehres Award is intended to recognize a General Section Trainee Affiliate, Student Affiliate, Associate Member, Member, or Fellow for exceptional service to the General Section. This service may include, but is not limited to, performance of section responsibilities under extremely adverse conditions or service to the section far above and beyond that which would normally by expected. The John R. Hunt Award is intended to recognize sustained superior contributions to the General Section, the AAFS, and the forensic science community. To be eligible for this award, a nominee must have been a Fellow of the General Section for the past three consecutive years prior to the award being bestowed and must have attended 50% of the section business meetings in the previous six years. Also, the nominee must have presented a scientific paper or poster, participated as a presenter in a joint or Plenary Session, breakfast seminar, or workshop within the past five years, and must have published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Additionally, the nominee should have served in an elected position within the section in an official capacity for at least one year as chair or as a member of a committee for at least three years. In the absence of one of these criteria, the candidate shall have made a significant contribution to the forensic science community that may not be reflected by a specific section or AAFS effort. Nominations must be submitted to Amy at no later than August 30. Details on awards and the nominating process can be found in the AAFS Policy and Procedure Manual.

For those members who will be submitting abstracts for presentation in New Orleans, please consider self-nominating your presentation for the Robert Gaffney Achievement Award when you submit via the online system. This award is given to promote continual professional growth in the forensic sciences and technologies and to encourage new forensic science professionals in their occupational specialties. Any Trainee Affiliate, Associate Member, or Member of the General Section is eligible for this award, provided he/she has been a registered participant within the AAFS for no more than four years and has proffered a paper at the General Section scientific session or poster session.

Membership and promotion in our organization and section is key to sustainment and growth. Please reach out to colleagues and encourage them to apply for membership in the AAFS and the General Section. If you know someone who needs a letter of reference to complete their application or to promote, please contact Sandra Enslow, the Regional Representative Committee Chair, at

Enjoy the summer and get your abstracts submitted by the August 1 deadline. We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans in February 2017!