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The theme for this year’s YFSF Special Session is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Young Forensic Scientists Forum. The YFSF Special Session Chair Christina Hayes, and her Co-Chair Jessica Smith have planned a day-long event entitled “YFSF 20th Anniversary: The Past, the Present, and Our Future,” which includes presentations from numerous speakers from a wide variety of forensic science fields. The YFSF Special Session will take place on Tuesday, February 17.
Special session attendees will start the morning with AAFS President, Daniel Martell, who will speak about the role of young forensic scientists in AAFS. AAFS President-Elect Victor Weedn will discuss highlights of the 2016 meeting and the changes taking place in forensic science. AAFS Membership Coordinator Cheryl Hunter will speak about the process and benefits of becoming a member of AAFS.
Rounding out the morning, attendees will hear from the Questioned Documents Section Director Jane Lewis, who will describe her experiences as a questioned documents expert. Odontology Section Director John Kenney will discuss the history of forensic odontology, the process of becoming a forensic odontologist, and some unique casework involving bitemarks. Toxicology Section Director Ruth Winecker will speak about the history of Forensic Toxicology and future developments in the field. The morning will conclude with Elizabeth Richards, a Pathology/Biology Fellow, who will describe the unique opportunities available for young forensic scientists in the federal government.
The afternoon will begin with Anjali Ranadive, a Criminalistics Fellow, on professionalism in forensic science. Jurisprudence Section Chair Christine Funk will speak about her journey to becoming a lawyer. Mark Pollitt, a Fellow in the Digital & Multimedia Sciences Section, will discuss the ever-changing world of digital forensics. Barry Fisher, a Retired Fellow in the Criminalistics Section and AAFS Past President, will present personal experiences involving mentorship in the forensic sciences. Ken Williams, a YFSF Past President and Criminalistics Fellow, will discuss his journey in the forensic field and his involvement with YFSF and AAFS.
John Nixon, an Engineering Fellow, will speak about an interdisciplinary approach to forensic sciences. Nicolene Lottering, the 2014 FSF Emerging Forensic Scientist Award winner, will present her research on a new approach to age estimation using computed tomography. The afternoon will conclude with Diane Fraser, the first YFSF President and Fellow of the General Section, who will speak about her experiences with YFSF and her career in the forensic science field.
The special session is a day full of great information and opportunities for young forensic scientists. It is a great chance to meet others in your field, as well as an opportunity for attendees to network and to meet more experienced scientists. Bring your business cards, your confidence, and a smile! For those who have never attended an AAFS meeting, it is suggested to wear comfortable business clothes and comfortable shoes.
In order to attend the YFSF Special Session (S2), please register online (www.aafs.org) before the January 21 pre-registration deadline. The registration fee for the special session includes lunch on Tuesday and the YFSF Breakfast Session on Thursday morning. The AAFS website has links to register for the meeting as well as up-to-date meeting information.
Christina Hayes, BS
Special Session Chair
Jessica Smith, BS
Special Session Co-Chair