By Vasyl Tkach
Welcome to the spring 2021 edition of the President's Corner. A lot has happened since the fall 2020 edition of our newsletter. While the pandemic still continues taking its heavy toll around the globe, there are a lot more reasons for optimism now than a few months ago. Due to the fast development, testing, approval and distribution of vaccines, combined with other public health measures, we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. The number of cases is decreasing across the United States and many, but not all, other countries. As I write this, there has been only one new case today in the (admittedly small) county where I live. We all hope that the situation will further improve, and we will return to our normal activities and have an outstanding in-person meeting in 2022.
Meanwhile, I am looking forward to the forthcoming 2021 ASP meeting. Ever since it was decided to hold a virtual 2021 meeting, the Organizing Committee chaired by Tamara Cook and our Scientific Program Officers, Maria Castillo and Judith Humphries, worked tirelessly to ensure that we have a great meeting where ASP members will have opportunities to present their latest results, exchange research and teaching ideas and just communicate. This will be our first ever virtual meeting, therefore, the organizing committee had to find solutions and overcome challenges not encountered before by the ASP. I can't wait for the meeting and am certain that it will be vibrant and welcoming to everyone. Besides session presentations, we have a great line up of speakers, including invited symposium talks and awardees. That said, I wholeheartedly congratulate this year's ASP award recipients. Both the Award Committee and Student Award Committee had a difficult job selecting winners from a number of outstanding nominees. I would also like to congratulate all newly elected ASP officers and especially the incoming Vice President Reginald Blaylock, and thank them for their willingness to devote their precious time to serve our Society. I also cannot thank enough colleagues who ran for various ASP offices, but were not elected this time. I would like you to know that your dedication is highly appreciated and I encourage you to run again. The ASP’s vitality and ability to accomplish its mission entirely depends on the members like you who voluntarily contribute their time and expertise to the Society.
Although the last several months were busy for everyone, the ASP remained a working, active society. March was marked by the now traditional Parasite Week mostly organized by Christina Anaya. This event was once again a success. I have met with a couple of high school classes and that was a highly positive and rewarding experience. Talking about parasites to kids who are not yet restrained by the predispositions and stereotypes is definitely refreshing and I highly recommend fellow ASP members actively participate in this event next year.
Several of our regional societies had their annual meetings and I had an opportunity to participate in several of them. The amount of great work and great talks done by our colleagues, especially, students, during a very challenging time, is very impressive. These meetings were as productive and vibrant as can be expected under the circumstances and set the stage for the national meeting. I cannot miss the chance to invite everyone to the AMCOP meeting which will be the first in-person meeting since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic which I see as the return to normalcy.
Various ASP committees have done and are doing a significant amount of work. I already mentioned the two awards committees, but others did their part, too. The education, membership and public relations committees were especially active. The Journal of Parasitology is going strong under the leadership of the Chief Editor Richard Clopton. It receives a substantial number of submissions and publishes under the model that is still quite new, but already proved its attractiveness for authors.
See everyone in the cyber space at the 2021 ASP meeting in July!