Young Forensic Scientists Forum Newsletter – October 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.

Editors: Jacob Griffin, MS, and Ashley E. Foster, MAS

A Letter from the YFSF President
As the seasons begin to change, it is time to start travel planning for the AAFS 69th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, which is only four months away!

Hotel and accommodation information can be found at In the coming weeks, meeting registration will open online and it is important to register early to ensure a seat for popular workshops and sessions! Registration is required for those wishing to attend the Young Forensic Scientists Forum (YFSF) Special Session and Breakfast Session. Both of these sessions feature prominent scientists who will share their successes and give advice to the incoming generation of scientists. The YFSF also hosts free events such as the Bring Your Own Posters (YFSF BYOP) and Bring Your Own Slides (YFSF BYOS) Sessions that showcase the research conducted by young scientists and are open to all meeting attendees. While more detailed information can be found below, it is important to note that the abstract deadline for these sessions is December 1.

Immediately following the annual meeting in February, the 2017–18 YFSF Committee will be formed and will begin planning for the next annual meeting in Seattle, WA. Individuals interested in serving on the YFSF Committee are encouraged to bring a CV or résumé to YFSF events and speak with committee members about their experiences working with the Forum. Questions regarding YFSF Committee membership requirements or involvement are always welcome.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Brianna B. Bermudez, BS
YFSF President

A Note from the YFSF Secretary
The YFSF is excited about the AAFS 69th Annual Scientific Meeting! Our committee has been hard at work preparing an outstanding series of events and presentations for this year’s meeting. Whether it is the YFSF Breakfast Session or the YFSF Bring Your Own Slides Session, the YFSF has many wonderful opportunities to gain professional development and learn from several leaders in their respective fields.

Please feel free to contact any of us with questions regarding this year’s meeting or about the YFSF.

Jacob Griffin, BS
YFSF Secretary

Ashley E. Foster, MAS
YFSF Assistant Secretary

YFSF Breakfast Session
The YFSF Breakfast Session, titled “Professionalism and Etiquette Eggs-pectations,” will provide young forensic scientists with the tools to maintain professionalism and etiquette during situations such as interviews or courtroom testimony. While these occasions may seem frightening, this year’s session will help answer any questions and overcome any fears young scientists may have.

The Breakfast Session will begin with a light breakfast, followed by presentations from practicing professionals with years of experience in regard to professional behavior and etiquette. Barry Logan, Vice President of Forensic Science Initiatives and Chief of Forensic Toxicology at NMS Labs in Willow Grove, PA, and Executive Director at the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, also in Willow Grove, will present, “Courtroom Professionalism: Appropriate Courtroom Conduct.” He will discuss professionalism in the courtroom. Dr. Logan has testified numerous times and has vast experience as to how scientists should behave in the courtroom, specifically pertaining to appropriate communication, attire, mannerisms, and scientific language. Charles Williams, Criminalistics Unit Supervisor and Forensic Scientist III at the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences from Hamilton, NJ, will present, “Wouldn’t You Like to Know?!?” He will discuss professionalism and etiquette as it pertains to common areas of involvement for young scientists. Following presentations by both speakers, there will be time for a “Q and A” session. The YFSF Breakfast Session Chairs invite young forensic scientists to present questions to our speakers about their specific presentations or to ask for general advice. As always, to wrap up the breakfast session, a “Résumé Review Session” will focus on refining the résumé and/or CVs of young scientists in a one-on-one setting with professionals from all AAFS sections. The YFSF Breakfast Session Chairs are always looking for qualified résumé reviewers. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact

This year’s Breakfast Session is “eggs-pected” to be exciting, educational, and applicable to all young forensic scientists out there. Hope to see you all in the Big Easy!

Jeremy M. Manheim
YFSF Breakfast Session Chair

Alex J. Krotulski, MS
YFSF Breakfast Session Co-Chair

YFSF Special Session
The YFSF is pleased to announce the 2017 YFSF Special Session speakers:

  • Jeri D. Ropero-Miller, PhD
  • Eric Baccino, MD
  • Dean M. De Crisce, MD
  • Jason H. Byrd, PhD
  • Eugenia Cunha, PhD
  • Joan A. Bytheway, PhD
  • Gulnaz T. Javan, PhD
  • Lauren Traveller, DNP
  • Nicolene Lottering, PhD
  • Peter R. Stout, PhD
  • Kimberly S. Kobojek, MS
  • Megan E. Grimes, MFS
  • Kelsey L. Wilkinson, BS
  • John M. Butler, PhD
  • Roderick T. Kennedy, JD

The speakers represent a wide range of forensic science disciplines, and we are excited to have a few international speakers as well. To highlight some of the presentations, Dr. Javan will give a hands-on DNA demonstration that will include materials and actual specimens. Dr. Byrd from the University of Florida will present “Veterinary Forensic Sciences: Applied Education and Opportunities for Young Forensic Scientists.” Megan Grimes will discuss the visiting science program with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Judge Kennedy will present “Believability, Rules, and Staying Alive in Court.” Please consider joining us for an exciting session this year in New Orleans. If you have any questions about the 2017 Special Session, please contact

Amanda R. Hale, MA
YFSF Special Session Chair

Brittany N. Beyer, MS
YFSF Special Session Co-Chair

YFSF Bring Your Own Poster Session
YFSF BYOP presents an ideal opportunity for students and young forensic scientists to share their research and gain invaluable feedback in a comfortable environment. Mentors, please encourage your students to present their term paper, research, or interesting case at this year’s YFSF BYOP Session.

If you are a young forensic scientist and missed the August 1 abstract submission deadline for the Academy, here’s your second chance! The December 1 abstract deadline for YFSF BYOP provides plenty of time for students and young forensic scientists to put together their summer research projects or case write-ups.

Interested students and young forensic scientists should submit a one-page, detailed abstract as well as their curriculum vitae to by December 1. If you have questions, feel free to email Alicja Lanfear or Vienna Chichi Lam.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Alicja K. Lanfear, PhD
YFSF Poster Session Chair

Vienna C. Lam, BA
YFSF Poster Session Co-Chair

YFSF Bring Your Own Slides Session

Are you looking for an opportunity to enhance your oral communication skills while presenting your research? The YFSF BYOS Session is your chance! We are looking for students and young professionals interested in presenting their research in a casual and relaxed setting at the AAFS 2017 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. This is an excellent opportunity for first-time presenters as well as those who are interested in adding experience to their résumé!

The YFSF is currently accepting submissions through December 1. If you are interested in presenting at the AAFS 69th Annual Scientific Meeting, please submit a one-page abstract and CV to If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Betzaida Maldonado or Alyssa Badgley.

Betzaida L. Maldonado, MS

Alyssa J. Badgley, BS

YFSF Financial Liaison’s Report
Each year during the AAFS meeting, the Young Forensic Scientists Forum organizes a special session geared toward students and young professionals in the field of forensic sciences. This special session includes a full-day session with speakers, a breakfast session with a résumé review panel, a Bring Your Own Poster Session, and a Bring Your Own Slides Session. These events can help motivate and guide those individuals seeking a career in forensic science. The Young Forensic Scientists Forum is able to hold these sessions each year because of the generous support and financial contributions that we receive from the forensic community.

The YFSF has been able to continue to organize the session each year through monetary and educational contributions from the AAFS sections, universities, and various forensic science vendors. There are multiple ways to contribute to YFSF, including donating supplies, financial contributions, or by speaking and participating in the Special Session events. This continued support is necessary for the educational and professional successes of young forensic scientists across the country.

If you or your organization is interested in contributing resources to the 2017 YFSF Special Session, please contact Kelsey Carpenter.

Kelsey A. Carpenter, BS
YFSF Financial Liaison