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Canadian Society of Microbiologists Untitled 1

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WHAT'S NEW  ::  CSM & Microbiology

CSM & Microbiology

November 9, 2021
CSM President Letter -November 2021

This is my first letter as the President of the CSM, having received the President’s hat from the outgoing President Dr. Ayush Kumar this past summer. I would like to begin with thanking Ayush for his service to the Society as the President last year, helping navigate an unprecedented time in our society and our Society. We are grateful that Ayush continues to provide his advice to the Executive committee as the Past President and as chair of the EDI committee that he established. The Society is in great shape and that is in no small part due to his effective leadership over the past year. Thank you Ayush.

I would like to welcome Dr. Sarah Piché-Choquette, our new Postdoctoral Representative and thank Dr. Stephanie Jones, our outgoing representative. I am also pleased to welcome Dr. Kari Dunfield, who has just started her term as 2nd VP. I look forward to working with her over the next year - both in this capacity and as co-chair (alongside Dr. Cezar Khursigara) of the most highly anticipated CSM Annual Conference: Guelph 2020 2021 2022! On that front, we are planning for an in-person conference from June 26-29 at the University of Guelph. Please save the dates and look for future announcements by early 2022.
Speaking of dates, we have a few important announcements concerning our annual awards. The application deadline for the Armand Frappier, Thermo Fisher, CSM Murray, and Undergraduate Awards is January 21, 2022 (3rd Friday in January). This change will allow us to announce the award lectures before conference registration and is intended to increase applications for all our awards. A reminder that applications for these awards can come in at any time prior to the deadline. Please consider nominating yourself or one of your colleagues for one or more of these awards. We are genuinely interested in receiving both a greater number of applications for each of these awards and a greater representation of our membership in the nominations that we receive. Please reach out to the Executive or members of the EDI subcommittee if there are particular barriers to nomination that you would like to discuss. Please note that we have paused adjudication of the CSM Ambassador awards until the second half of 2022 as the major component of that award involves travel and in-person activities.
While we were again unable to meet in person this year, the 2021 Annual Conference was a resounding success. It was a great chance to celebrate our award winners, our trainees, and the fantastic science that has been moving forward despite the considerable headwinds that many in our community have faced. Personally, I felt like I got a chance to “catch up” with many of you despite the online format. Many thanks to all the participants and to all those behind the scenes who made it possible. Where possible, the Society is interested in using what we have learned from our online pivot to extend the reach and inclusivity of our in-person conferences going forward.
As a Society, our commitment to building a strong, inclusive microbiology community extends beyond our own conference. Recent examples include our sponsorship of Black in Microbiology Week for the second year in a row and our pledged support of the upcoming 2022 BiSP conference (Le congrès de Bactériologie intégrative: Symbiose - Pathogenèse) in Montreal. BiSP is a French-language conference for microbiologists (historically centred around broad aspects of bacterial symbiosis - including pathogenesis and commensalism). BiSP provides a unique forum for many of our trainees to present their science in their native tongue and we are pleased to support these members of our community.
As a member of the CSM, you have access to a number of benefits that are highlighted on the webpage http://www.csm-scm.org/english/mem_join.asp. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch. There are various upcoming opportunities to get engaged with the Society and shape the future of CSM. A call for nominations and volunteers to fill positions on the Executive and various committees of Council will be distributed in early December, so please consider getting involved with your CSM! As always, the easiest way to support CSM is to keep your membership in good standing and to encourage a culture of sustained participation in our Society from your colleagues and trainees.
Please feel free to contact us (info@csm-scm.org) with any suggestions and comments.
Take care,
Alex Ensminger, President
Canadian Society of Microbiologists

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