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President's Corner: Dr. Tamara Cook

By Dr. Tamara Cook

Welcome to the Spring 2023 edition of the President’s Corner. This year has flown by so quickly and it’s hard to believe that it’s time to start thinking about the ASP annual meeting in Kansas City. The local organizing committee (led by Kirsten Jensen) and our Scientific Program Officers (Judith Humphries and Maria Castillo) are busy planning an exciting agenda. I look forward to seeing you there!

My primary goal as the ASP President is the completion of a long overdue update of the ASP Handbook for Officers, Committee Chairs and Representatives. This document is posted on the ASP website and has been my “go to” document when I had questions about my duties and responsibilities and the duties and responsibilities of the various committees. However, since the last revision of this document (2015!), there have been many Council approved changes to society operations. Thus, I quickly realized that if this document is to serve it’s intended function, it needed some serious attention. With the help of our always steadfast and dedicated Secretary-Treasurer Lee Couch, this task is nearly complete and will be ready for Council’s input and approval at our annual meeting in Kansas City.

The ASP continues to be a vibrant, active society, and many of our committees have been very busy this spring semester. Here I provide a few highlights. The Awards Committee evaluated a strong field of candidates to select recipients of the Henry Baldwin Ward Medal, the Distinguished Service Award, and the Ashton Cuckler New Investigator Award. Now that the abstract deadline has passed, the Student Awards committee is ramping up their work to select Marc Dresden Travel Grants recipients and are making plans for the Best Student Paper & Poster competitions at the upcoming meeting. The Lectureship Committee is working to select a recipient of the R. Barclay McGhee Lectureship. The Public Relations Committee, chaired by Joanna Cielocha, and our society Newsletter, edited by Kelly Weinersmith, continue to keep us connected and informed about all things parasitological, including the many accomplishments of our members. Christina Anaya once again organized a successful Parasite Week, and Joanna Cielocha recently participated in “Skype a Scientist” and gave an outstanding presentation to, and thoughtfully answered the questions of, students from grades 3-7. The Education Committee continues their outstanding efforts to curate an archive of Open Educational Resources for parasitology education and build an educational network for sharing resources among the ASP members. And, of course, the Journal of Parasitology, under the excellent leadership Richard Clopton and his team of consulting/associate editors, continues to provide our members interesting and relevant scientific content.

Thanks to all of our members who so willingly volunteer their time and talents to serve on various committees and as members of the Journal of Parasitology Editorial Board. Although the results of our annual election have not yet been announced, I also want to thank our members who agreed to serve the ASP by standing for election. I’m sure you can appreciate that the ASP’s vitality and ability to accomplish our mission is only possible when our members voluntarily contribute their time and expertise. So, when our incoming President, Reg Blaylock, and next year’s nominating committee come knocking (emailing, or calling), please consider serving!

As always, if you have any recommendations for how the leadership can enhance the ASP experience, please share your thoughts with me or any of our council members. Stay well and may all of your parasitological endeavors succeed! Hope to see you in Kansas City!

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