Meet Your ASTMH Staff

Posted 9 May 2019

Judy DeAcetis, Administrator

You may not recognize the photo but you probably know the name. Judy DeAcetis has been with ASTMH for 25 years, longer than any other staff member. Her primary responsibility is to support the Scientific Program Committee as it plans the Annual Meeting. She coordinates the Call for Symposia and Call for Abstracts and manages the database that houses all of the Annual Meeting program data. In addition, she assists with planning the Soper/Craig Lecture, Commemorative Fund Lecture, Marcolongo Lecture, Meet the Professors sessions and TropStop Career Chats.  Once the meeting content and schedule are finalized by the Program Chairs and various planning committees for nearly 175 sessions, Judy coordinates production of the Program Book, Abstract Book, Pocket Guide, Session Guides and Late-Breaker Abstract Presentation Schedule.  She also spearheads communications with abstract presenters, Symposium Organizers and speakers regarding details like session schedule and audio-visual arrangements.
Judy also manages the Society’s accreditation process as a provider of Continuing Medical Education (CME). She works with the Society’s CME Liaisons and the organizers of ASTMH’s courses, webinars and Annual Meeting, carrying out a number of program planning processes to ensure our CME events meet the criteria set forth by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).  She also coordinates the Society’s administration of continuing education credit for veterinarians.
Another aspect of her job is to assist with the nominating and election process for the Board of Directors.  She provides logistical support to the Nominating Committee to identify a slate of candidates for the Board of Directors each year, then coordinates the election with the Society’s voting members.
Judy began her career in nonprofit association management after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served on the staff of professional societies such as the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the International Society for Stem Cell Research and the Academy for Eating Disorders.

What brought you to ASTMH and what do you bring to the Society?
I was very early in my career when I joined the staff of ASTMH, so in a way, I feel like I’ve grown up with the Society.  I began working with ASTMH when the Society became a client of The Sherwood Group association management company (Deerfield, IL) in 1994.  I had been working with non-profit associations for a few years and ASTMH was my first experience with a scientific society.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen at ASTMH?
The Annual Meeting.  Back in 1994, abstracts were submitted by mail on floppy disks and we logged each submission by hand.  Today we receive over 2,600 submissions collected through an online database that houses all of our Annual Meeting program information.  In 1994, the Annual Meeting featured a total of 43 sessions. At the 2018 conference in New Orleans, we presented over 180 sessions.  With respect to meeting technology, I remember when teams of local volunteers managed the Speaker Ready Room and ran through the hallways delivering carousels of 35 mm slides to meeting rooms. Today our Speaker Ready Room is staffed by IT professionals and our meeting rooms are networked together so that presentations can be delivered with the push of a button.  

What do you find most rewarding about your work? 
To see the all the pieces of the Society come together every year at the Annual Meeting is very fulfilling. Every area of the Society is represented at the meeting, from awards and fellowships to subgroups and committees, and everything in between. Every year in November, 12 months of work by our Board members and volunteers culminates at the Annual Meeting. I also find it very rewarding to support the wonderful work of our members in improving the lives of people around the world. I feel very fortunate to work with such kind, committed professionals.

As the main contact for attendees submitting abstracts, what advice can you offer?
Read the Call for Abstracts thoroughly to familiarize yourself with the submission process. Take time to view the ASTMH webinar Tips for Submitting an Abstract.  Follow the instructions pertaining to abstract topics and format. And prepare your abstract early so you can finalize the text, seek necessary approvals and coordinate arrangements for the abstract payment.