SOFTopics Information

Clear your calendars for the Next SOFTopics on February 8th at 11:00 am Pacific/2:00 pm Eastern. SOFTopics is only available to members of SOFT. 

Troubleshooting in the New year

Register for SOFTopics

We’ve been away for a while, but we’re back and ready to dive right into our next, hot topic! Join us on Wednesday, February 8, at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern for a discussion on method troubleshooting. If you have a hiccup that’s preventing a validation from moving forward, or a change in your method that you just can’t pinpoint, let’s talk about it and see if we can help brainstorm ideas!

SOFTopics is offered at no cost to all SOFT members.

To participate in the ‘Troubleshooting in the New year' SOFTopics session, click here to register.

SOFTopics began during 2020’s SOFTember as a platform to encourage some social interaction in a virtual world. This event is an open forum style discussion, where a topic is specified as the focus for a given session. Participants can discuss the topic with colleagues, or bring their own related questions to the group. SOFTopics will take place over Zoom, which will allow for smaller break-out groups and a more intimate discussion. We encourage participation from everyone, but please remember this is not a platform to solicit products or services.

For information, questions or feedback regarding SOFTopics, please contact Dani Mata, Vanessa Meneses, or Alanna de Korompay.

What is SOFTopics?
SOFTopics is an open forum style discussion, where a topic is specified as the focus for a given session. Attendees will be split into smaller breakout sessions to allow for a more intimate discussion. At the end of the breakout session, everyone will rotate onto a new group for further discussions. Attendees are encouraged to pose questions or discuss observations and trends they have encountered. SOFTopics is an interactive experience, so we ask all attendees to use the video and microphone functions whenever possible. We want to see all of your faces!

Will there be a panel discussion?

No, SOFTopics is an interactive platform. All attendees are encouraged to participate in discussion, ask questions, and engage in conversation as you would at an in-person program!

What are breakout sessions?
Breakout sessions are small chat rooms where the topic of the day can be discussed in a smaller group to allow more opportunity for everyone to participate. Each group will have a moderator who will lead the discussion. Breakout sessions will be timed, and at the end of the period, attendees will switch rooms to interact with a new group of people.

How long are breakout sessions?
Breakout sessions will be about 20 minutes, but may change based on the number of attendees.

How can I prepare for SOFTopics?
Check out the planned topic for the next scheduled SOFTopics. Come with any questions you may have for the group – maybe method development, interpretation, or what people are generally seeing. If you have any interesting case studies, or general information you’d like to share, please do! The more participation, the better the discussion will be!

I don’t have access to a camera and microphone, can I still participate?
ABSOLUTELY! Use your full name and laboratory, school or organization, in the Zoom application so everyone will know who you are, even if you don’t have a camera available. Each breakout session will also have a running chat box that can be used if you cannot use a microphone in your work space. Submit any questions or comments, and the moderator can speak on your behalf. However, we strongly suggest you call in using the audio code. It is more important to utilize a microphone/phone than video, if you have to choose one or the other.

Will there be future SOFTopics?
YES! If you are interested in participating in future discussions, please let the event coordinators know. We are also open to suggestions for new topics and even people interested in moderating! Check the webpage periodically for updates on future meeting dates and topics.

Current Moderators

Alanna de Korompay, San Diego Sheriff’s Department
Alex Krotulski, Center for Forensic Sciences Research and Education
Dani Mata, Orange County Crime Lab
Dayong Lee, Houston Forensic Science Center
Elisa Shoff, Miami-Dade Medical Examiner
Erin Karschner, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Division of Forensic Toxicology
Kayla Ellefsen, Travis County Medical Examiner
Luke Rodda, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, City and County of San Francisco
Marilyn Huestis, Huestis & Smith Toxicology, LLC
Nick Tiscione, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office
Sheila Arnold, Indiana State Department of Toxicology
Svante Vikingsson, RTI International
Sue Pearring, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, City and County of San Francisco
Vanessa Meneses, Orange County Crime Lab
Brennon Foster, Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory
Celeste Wareing, New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory
Sara Schreiber, Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office
Denice Teem, NMS Labs