General January 2015 News Update

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: Claire E. Shepard, MS, Section Secretary

Online registration for the 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting has begun and the Advance Program is posted on the AAFS website. Don’t forget to complete your registration before the pre-registration deadline (January 21) to ensure you are able to attend selected workshops, breakfast and luncheon seminars, and the many great scientific sessions at the meeting. When registering, also consider registering for the General Section Luncheon held just before the General Section Business Meeting on Wednesday, February 18. It is a great way to interact with your colleagues before the business meeting and have time to meet with section officers or committees before the meeting gets started. If you cannot attend the luncheon make plans to attend the business meeting which will begin promptly at 1:15 p.m. Remember attendance is required for promotion in the section.

At the business meeting, section officers will be elected for the upcoming year. The General Section’s Nominating Committee (Paul Kish, Frank Horvath, and Bill Andrews) announces 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 meeting. During the business meeting there will also be several awards presented to several outstanding members of our section. Joanna Collins, chair of the Awards Committee, and the General Section will recognize Vernon Geberth as the Paul W. Kehres Meritorious Service Award winner. The Robert Gaffney Achievement Award Winner is Maher Noureddine for his presentation titled, “The Development of an Experimental Setup and Recovery of Biological Evidence From Bullets for DNA Analysis” (D41) given at the 66th Annual Scientific Meeting held in Seattle. Finally, the Robert “Bob” Thibault Award recipient will be announced at the General Section Business Meeting. Please make plans to attend both the General Section and the AAFS Annual Business Meetings to honor these great members of our section.

Several proposed policy changes will also be voted on at the section business meeting. Voting members will receive detailed information regarding the proposed changes prior to the meeting. Please make sure to read the information and discuss any concerns with the section officers before the start of the business meeting. Keep a look out for those as well as Section Chair Alan Boehm’s year-end report prior to the meeting.

In addition to the great scientific sessions planned for this meeting the General Section has several members presenting breakfast and luncheon seminars and workshops. When registering for the meeting, consider attending one of these great workshops presented by many outstanding members of the general section. For example Brian Clark will conduct a Breakfast Seminar on Tuesday discussing bank robbery investigations in Chicago post John Dillinger, while on Wednesday morning Chad Hutchins will discuss the crime scene reconstruction of a scene in Kabul, Afghanistan, where members of the Air Force were killed.

Members of the General Section will also conduct several workshops at the meeting including: Vernon Gebreth’s always popular practical homicide investigation workshop, a timely NamUs workshop focusing on forensic collaboration chaired by Steve Clark and Joanna Collins, a public speaking skills workshop chaired by Frank Horvath featuring Tom Mauriello as a speaker and Cliff Akiyama. Janet Duvall will present a workshop on youth street gangs. Finally General Section members Gulnaz Javan and Sharon Plotkin will participate in a workshop entitled, “Hands-On Evaluation of the Thanatomicrobiome and Epinecrotic Communities.” The ever popular YFSF held on Tuesday will be under the direction of YFSF President and General Section member Lara Frame-Newell. If you have not attended a workshop in the past, it is a great way to learn about a new topic, get a refresher course, and network with colleagues in small groups.

Finally, thank you to all the members who took time to participate in the survey emailed to you from the General Section’s Long Term Planning Committee. The data analysis is underway and will be reported on at the General Section Business Meeting in Orlando. See you there!