Greetings and salutations! As the world continues into a second topsy-turvy year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we persevere and adjust to unexpected perturbations to our work, school, and home life. Similarly, the American Society of Biomechanics and its members have continued to achieve great things.

ASB had another successful virtual 2021 Annual Meeting from August 10-13 that was again hosted by Meeting Chair Young-Hui Chang and crew at Georgia Tech/Emory University and organized by 2021 Program Chair Alena Grabowski. For a meeting that was held on Zoom and Spatial Chat, there were 745 registrants from 14 countries with 51% as students, 12 conference sponsors, 10+ hours of networking, affinity, and research group meetings, and 40+ hours of programming across 144 podium presentations, 321 posters (69 of which were in exciting thematic poster sessions), 18 PhD and MS 3-minute thesis competition pitches, 3 tutorials, 2 symposia, 1 workshop, and talks by the Society’s top award winners! See the section by 2022 Program Chair Jason Franz to read about this year’s joint meeting on August 21-25 with the Canadian Society for Biomechanics at the North American Congress on Biomechanics (NACOB), which will hopefully be in-person in Ottawa, Québec, Canada. And if you are looking even further into the future, the in Knoxville, Tennessee hosted by Meeting Chair Jeff Reinbolt and Program Chair Ross Miller. Contact President-Elect Rakié Cham if you would be interested in hosting the 2024 Annual Meeting.

Many of you attended one of the five virtual 2021 Regional Meetings (Midwest, South Central, Great Plains, Rocky Mountain, and Northwest) that were supported with grants provided by the ASB Education Committee. Refer to the ASB website for upcoming spring 2022 Regional meetings. These smaller regional meetings are great places for students to practice delivering presentations or posters and getting to network with other students and faculty in a more intimate and low-key environment. Regional Meetings are free or low-cost to participants. For more information about activities and available grants by the Education Committee, see the section by Education Committee Chair Louis DiBerardino.

As a consequence of conversations during the 2021 Annual Meeting, it became evident that the pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. Therefore, in late 2021, ASB conducted a survey to collect insights into the various impacts that have been felt by the biomechanics community at large. The official ASB COVID-19 Impact Statement will be available in early 2022 on the ASB website. The biomechanics community will be able to cite this statement for their annual evaluation needs, or as needed for other purposes.

This year, ASB continued to ramp up our engagement with Podium Conference Specialists, a professional association and conference management company. ASB worked with Podium on the planning and delivery of the 2020 and 2021 Annual Meetings. Going forward, Podium will increase its management involvement of the Annual Meeting and work directly with the Program and Meeting chairs to reduce many of the logistical challenges that past local hosts and their committees had to navigate. For example, at future Annual Meetings, you may likely see Podium personnel running the registration and help desks, freeing up local students and faculty to enjoy the science of the meeting. Recently added services from Podium also include helping with the management of the Society, including Executive Board support and elections, communications, membership management, website content management, and financial management. Hopefully, you have already noted some of the changes thanks to Podium in Society communications such as the new ASB logo, upgraded website, monthly email news blast, and of course the format of this newsletter. Contact Communications Committee Chair Srikant Vallabhajosula if you have suggestions or comments. Throughout this newsletter you will read about additional valuable assistance from Podium and our special manager for ASB, Cendrine De Vis. Podium and Cendrine are helping to move ASB communications and management from our humble grassroots efforts to those appropriate for one of the leading professional societies in our field with continually growing membership and opportunities.

Speaking of opportunities, existing and new award, funding, mentoring, professional development, volunteer, and leadership opportunities for our student and regular members continue to abound. In 2021, ASB offered dozens of awards to our members totaling over $47,000 and ranging from the Borelli life-time achievement award to student annual meeting travel awards and small grants for students, early career members, and regional meetings. Awards Committee Chair Missy Morrow highlights many of the award winners that were announced during the 2021 Annual Meeting. For example, the Student Committee and Student Representative Evan Dooley have been busy with many mentoring and professional development activities and they seek involvement from both students and professionals, see the Student’s Corner section by Evan. Impressively, the ASB Student Chapter Initiative was started in 2020 and has already grown to nine student chapters. New awards and funding opportunities to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion of ASB members at all levels have been announced. Read about the ASB Council of Fellows sponsored Up and Comer Award for post-docs and early career members, and the Diversity Committee Chair Ajit Chaudhari’s update on the B-SURE summer internship program for undergraduate students and GRADE grant to provide support to programs or projects by biomechanics organizations that target under-served groups but are not eligible for funding from other sources. Additionally, ASB will provide complementary student registrations to NACOB 2022 for the recipients of the new National Biomechanics Day Disability Biomechanics Outreach Award.

These education, outreach, and diversity initiatives would not be possible without financial support. In the section by Treasurer Jill Higginson and Treasurer-Elect Maria Pasquale, they explain the need to modestly raise the annual membership fee and the new Corporate Partnership program to help the Society support its programming. A huge thank you to ASB members that contributed donations when you completed your annual membership renewal. If you would like to make an off-cycle donation, contact the Treasurer. The Society is also indebted to Nike Corporation for its support of diversity initiatives, and Dr. Savio Woo and the Asian-American Institute for Research and Education for their support of the Up and Comer Award for the next several years.

ASB is a volunteer organization. Our members help the Society to achieve its many activities and initiatives. As noted in the Secretary’s section by Ana Ebrahimi, we have recently been tracking member engagement, which can help with identifying individuals for awards. From this information, at least 10% of the membership served on a committee chaired by an Executive Board member. However, this number does not capture the many more volunteers that help with abstract reviews, regional and annual meetings, or ad hoc activities. Thank you to all for your help to make ASB the top-notch biomechanics organization that it is.

Stay safe, healthy, and happy.

One final a shout-out, to our new Newsletter Editor Cara Lewis for helping to shepherd this revised newsletter format.