From the President

 
09/15/2015

From the President

From the President  

 


Stanley Harris, ELD/TS(ABB)

So over the summer I found a new toy. I’m pretty sure this will expose just how far behind the times I have become, but this inescapable parlance of the virtual social world has been responsible for some of the highest highs and the lowest lows of my cybernetic life. I’m speaking, or course, of the meme, and I just happened to stumble upon a meme generator app for my phone. Sure, at about this time I imagine more than half of you are rolling your eyes and thinking “what a dweeb”, but if you only knew how utterly ignorant I can be with the interweb, you’d realize why this particular foray into developing my digital moxie excites me so. Finally, it will be my turn to post witty one-liners pasted strategically over the face of Kim Kardashian, or over the back drop of the next politically incorrect flag-waving-media-driven-cause-du-jour. These are life skills for today’s generations, people! We, as a professional organization, can’t possibly expect to have any respectable social media presence (and we aspire to do so) if we can’t first master the art of meme-driven dialogue. In fact, just because I can, I’m going to finish out this column in meme format. So forget for a moment this is me, but rather I’m now an anonymous interweb user posting my blog about the wonders of the 2015-16 AAB/CRB year. Oh, my handle is SpermLord 451, and my avatar is a cat dressed as batman… just for the visual.

FYI, the AAB Conference and workshop will be 5/12-5/14/2016, and it’s true, only the really cool people attend. The 2016 conference will mark the 3rd year we will meet at the swank accommodations of the Red Rock Hotel and Casino just outside Las Vegas. Last year was well attended and feedback indicates that the Red Rocks continues to receive high marks as a conference venue. I have heard some lament regarding the bygone era of holding the meeting downtown, and I get it. I, too, dig the funky vibe of Fremont Street. But if you haven’t been to the annual conference in a while, I want to strongly urge you to consider it in 2016. The facilities are top notch, and I might be wrong, but I thought I heard that Don Draper was our keynote speaker this year. Again, I’m probably wrong.

Also, let’s not forget how important it is to be recognized during the conference by submitting an abstract.It would be great if we could exceed the volume of abstract submittals for previous years, and in case you have forgotten, or never knew, monetary awards are given for best oral presentation and poster. That’s mula, greenbacks, fat stacks, cheddar. As the saying goes, “It’s the best odds you’ll see in Vegas to take home money”. Also, it became very clear this past year at the oral and poster sessions that some programs have made this an excellent teaching opportunity for junior lab staff by fostering their experience throughout the entire process; from generating the hypothesis, to experimental design, to abstract, and on to presentation. The publications committee has been working to secure an avenue for abstract publication into a peer review journal in our field. It would be a major benefit to be able to reference the work presented at AAB.

The theme of the 2016 AAB Conference is centered on program QA/QC. Look for the preliminary program in early 2016. Carli Chapman, chair of the Meeting Committee and CRB past president, is working to secure speakers and to shore up plans for the perennial preconference workshop. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the AAB conference than to attend the CRB pre-conference workshop and expand on what I think I know. Recent workshops have covered time lapse culture, embryo biopsy, vitrification, and generalandrology. Look for more information on this year’s workshop in the coming weeks.

The first third of my CRB Presidency has been filled with new and exciting ventures. The first Board meeting, just following the 2015 conference, was an impressive show of formality, determination, and focus, but those participating never lost the levity that is part of what makes up the fabric of a laboratorian, despite the day and a half length of the meeting. My report to the board centered on much of what I have already discussed, the initiatives needed to promote the CRB agenda, especially as it pertains to generating interest in the annual meeting, abstract submissions, and sponsorships. But we also have initiatives and ideas for a larger CRB footprint. We continue to develop an online presence for the CRB, whether that is through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or something yet to be determined. We have volleyed the idea of developing a Regulatory Advocacy Kit similar to the one available through ASRM, but specific to the needs of the reproductive lab. The assembled CRB committees have been charged with finding ways to make these things happen, and I am pleased to report that everyone seems to be heading towards these common goals.

I know I will see some of you throughout the year as part of the many educational opportunities we have available to us, but it is my utmost sincere hope that it will be Vegas, at the CRB symposium (or perhaps at the craps tables, bowling alley, or trails just outside the resort) that I will see many of you. And I truly hope you will consider the benefits of submitting an abstract for 2016 AAB, and if not, why not mentor a junior member of your lab to do so.  It’s a win-win proposition. My virtual (and actual) door is always open. Please feel free to contact me through the CRB office at crb@aab.org and just be sure to put Stan Harris in the subject line. Or email me directly at Stanley.harris@nmhs.org, but be sure to CC the CRB addy as well. I’d like to know your thoughts and how we can improve the CRB so it meets as many of our needs as it possibly can.

Stanley G. Harris, B.S., T.S. (ABB), E.L.D. (ABB)
CRB President

 

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