By: Jimmy Bernot, Ben Hanelt, Susan Perkins, and Megan Wise de Valdez
Stage directions from their brilliant performance are in brackets.
And whereas Program Officers Maria Castillo and Judith Humphries assembled an impressive number of 137 abstracts into a 4 day program fueled by pounds of pretzels at The Kansas City Intercontinental hotel where the hotel was chic with only an occasional leak – but we were feeling fine because they did comp our wine.
And whereas the local organizing committee made of Kirsten Jensen, Joanna Cielocha, Kaylee Herzog, Rich Clopton, Deb Clopton, and Ann Adams ensured that the rooms and the venue were comfortable and brought new flare and identities to each of our name badges no matter which way they flipped. They elevated our conference with fancy signage, a program cheat sheet, and those new-fangled QR codes.
And whereas the successful addition of the workshops allowed attendees to learn how to write a press release and sequence a parasite genome in their hotel room.
And whereas while many attendees never left the hotel, they still managed to experience severe weather, including tsunamis on the rooftop, frostbite in Salon III, and gale force winds on the escalators.
And whereas the only person who felt the power outage was Julián when stuck in the elevator.
And whereas the Hotel bar’s back patio provided a perfect gathering spot for good conversation despite chairs that had us looking at the stars rather than each other.
And whereas the moderators did a fabulous job keeping us all on schedule even when it meant invading personal space at the podium to effectively communicate that your time was up. [Approach the speaker stage right, and the speaker should say “oh sorry didn’t see you there.]
And whereas a pinched nerve kept fooling the moderators that Matt Bolek had infinite questions for all speakers, but he did. [ALL POSE]
And whereas students experience a vortex of advice and direction from learned elders holding court at tables.
And whereas students could showcase their own prowess in parasitological trivia: A team of three Canadians won [Side comment, “yeah, because all the answers were “eh””.]
And whereas the Student Auction raised a record-breaking $12,000+ due to generous donations including Clopton’s Triptych, a museum phallic, Porcupine roadkill, many paintings by Bill, oh, and Jimmy had to wear the sweaty hookworm costume.
And whereas by executive order there were four, not three, speakers in the President’s Symposium who had us thinking about research involving undergrads and the value of the teacher-scholar model.
And whereas our president, Tami Cook’s grace & humility trumped her nervousness as she used her time to praise the accomplishments of others and reminded us that our small society is fueled with Big Science done by undergraduates who are mentored by faculty at institutions that put them first.
And whereas our society is bolstered by the younger generation, we never knew some would be wearing diapers and princess dresses.
And whereas the participants and members of the American Society of Parasitologists came once again well prepared and full of enthusiasm to deliver fascinating information on:
Parasites of camel breed; infected flies and how they feed
Crickets and their mating calls; Eimerian sutures of sporocyst walls
Mushroom juice as a cure for ‘Toxo”; my faith in Clopton as the next Picasso
Hairworms changing host condition; predicting factors of brainworm transmission
Tapeworm co-evolutionary history; how Scott Gardner’s talk ends-a mystery!
Turtle acanth abnormalities; snail behavior and their personalities
Parasites picked up while diving and dabbling; worms that turn croaking to babbling
Fish of lakes in New York state; cestode worms in rays and skate
A hookworm strain referred to as “Bean”; YOUR parasite museum vouchers--yet to be seen
Systematics of the flea; studying parasites with noted glee
And whereas we all be rocky mountain high celebrating the 100th Birthday and 99th meeting of ASP in Denver Colorado!
Let it be resolved that the 98th annual meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists was a rooftop leaking, BBQ seeking, last-minute tweeking, Taxonomy critiquing, AV-tech weeping, on-time speaking, salon door creaking, parasite geeking resounding success!