We sent our formal comment to the NIST Foundation Report on DNA Mixture Interpretation. I sincerely thank everyone for the fast comments, edits, and suggestions. ASCLD’s initial and supplemental responses will be shared on ASCLD’s public facing website soon.

Speaking of the website… the videos from the 2021 Symposium have posted! This is the link: https://www.ascld.org/2021-symposium-presentations/. Many were unable to attend due to COVID. Go to that link and the videos include the titles of the presentations for you to watch. The webpage also has the three opening videos and many of the presentations from the plenary sessions. I watched the opening videos again and loved them all over again! We will doing something similar for the April 2022 Symposium so start collecting your news stories, headlines, and internal videos. This is in the “members only” area of the website. If you haven’t ever logged in there, your email is your Username and your initial password is your member ID number if, I remember correctly. There is an option for forgotten passwords.

Speaking of the 2022 Symposium… registration will open 11/30/2021. The Planning Committee has been hard at work and things are lining up well. Nominations for the Board of Directors are now being accepted and will be voted on by the membership during the business meeting at the symposium in April, 2022 in Reno, Nevada. There will be four (4) vacancies to fill this year. If you are interested in getting more involved in the organization, this is a great way to do so. Please email your nominations to office@ascld.org by December 31, 2021. I highly encourage you to consider running. If you are interested and want to chat about it, reach out to me: Laura.Sudkamp@ky.gov.

Speaking of Board Members for the future… you have to become an ASCLD member before you can be a Board Member. If you have supervisory lever staff in your organization, encourage them to join ASCLD. It’s not just for Laboratory Directors. It is for Leaders. What a great way to help shape your Supervisors into Managers and Directors by including them in an organization that is all about forensic leadership. Get them involved now. The Membership Committee put together some FAQ’s you might want to pass along. https://www.ascld.org/membership/

I close today with a plea for those who have not completed the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories to please do so. The responses have to be submitted by 12/31/21 and there has only been about a 70% response rate. The information compiled on the census report is repeatedly used by our US Congress when evaluating the funding needs of the Forensic Service Providers. It looks at staff, budget, and workloads which is critical in discussions around our needs, especially in the grant funding and resource allocation areas. The last census was done in 2014 with the report issued in 2016. We need more current data out there. If you want to see what they do with our information, here is the link the 2014 census reports. Several people have reported that they completed the survey online but the website would not save or submit their answers. If you are having that problem, find me. We can work through it.

Have a great week!

Laura