Greetings ASCLD Colleagues and Friends,
I hope you all are gearing up for another great week! 

Last week, my husband, Bart, and I were excited to watch my daughter, Cadence, participate in her board breaking event for karate. The kids were all excited, nervous and very determined. Their instructor walked them through the process and encouraged them to “reset” and keep trying even if they did not break a board on the first try. I was just amazed at how mentally resilient these kids were. It is a hard thing to focus on foot placement and get yourself in the right headspace while all these eyes are staring at you and cameras are flashing when you are eight years old. None of the kids broke their board on the first kick. Watching them step back, take a breath, reset their form, and try again was rewarding. 

It reminded me of the resilience all of us must display and the upcoming ASCLD Symposium- which features the theme of resilience. We are hard at work getting this event organized and we will be launching the website soon. I hope you have cleared your calendar to join us in Austin, TX on April 30th-May 5th at the Renaissance Austin Hotel. It will be our 50th Anniversary so we need all of you to celebrate with us!

I know many of you utilize, review and reflect often on the Project FORESIGHT benchmark report for FY2021. I am happy to share with you that it is now available here.  

You will see, based on the data, that many of the concerns we have as a community are still reflected. Forensic science laboratories are still observing increasing demands with shortfalls in fulltime positions. 

As we strive to meet demands, we are also striving to move forward with technology and scientific process. The best way for us to succeed in our endeavors is to work together. The ASCLD FRC Collaboration Hub has another opportunity to further communication and cooperation between forensic researchers and practitioners. Recently, a new project was added to the Collaboration Hub that aims to explore factors that may play a role in the decision-making of triaging items collected from crime scenes. The Principal Investigator for this study is Dr. Ifat Levy from Yale University with collaborators from the University of College London. The researchers are seeking volunteers to participate in an online study where participants will be asked to evaluate a forensic casework brief and photographs of items collected from a crime scene. Under a hypothetical scenario in which the participant is the expert assigned to this case, the participant will make a series of decisions about the case. The study will take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete. 
If you are interested in supporting this project and contributing to forensic science research, please check out the ASCLD FRC Collaboration Hub.
Well, I have to finish up my coffee and figure out where to place a broken board in my home office! I hope you all have a fantastic and productive week.
 Be well,
Jennifer D. Naugle
ASCLD President