Arizona Branch History

AZAALAS Branch History

What will this year bring, only time will tell.  Be sure to join or renew your membership to join in all the fun!

2015: We all had fun during the regional International Technician Appreciation Week celebrations.  We had an interesting presentation by Caitlin Johnston, PhD candidate in ASU’s Interdisciplinary Program for Graduate Neuroscience, on Social Stress-induced Vulnerability to Amphetamine: The Role of mu-opioid Receptors in the Ventral Tegmental Area of the Rat Brain at the spring video conference;  and Communicating with Color: The Complex Chromatic Language of Chameleons by Russell Ligon, Doctoral Candidate in the School of Life Sciences, at Arizona State University at the fall video conference this year.  Flagstaff hosted our Fun Event at Bearizona Wildlife Park and everyone who took part had a wonderful time taking the tour, watching the free flight show, and enjoying catching up with branch members and their families.  The Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle and our Holiday Installation Event on December 5th in Chandler was a great chance for everyone to get together, enjoy the game, find out who won the raffle, awards and the new board members. Congratulations to Technician of the Year Eilene Janke, and Member of the Year Pam Bortz.

2014: We all had fun during the regional International Technician Appreciation Week celebrations.  We had an interesting presentation by Dr Julie Miller on Zebra Finch Birdsong at our spring video conference this year.  Phoenix hosted our Fun Event at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale and everyone who took part had a wonderful time with bears, wolves, wildcats and javelina.  The Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle and our Holiday Installation Event on December 6th in Mesa was a great chance for everyone to get together and put a face to the email or phone voice. Congratulations to Technician of the Year Mark Lindholm, and Member of the Year Cindy Madura.

2013: There were some great regional International Technician Appreciation Week celebrations in January.  We had some great presentations this year: Kari Taylor gave us and educational talk in the spring about Shivering Mice, and we had an interesting presentation on Flagstaff Skunks by Tad Theimer for our fall video conference this year.  Tucson hosted our Fun Event with a behind-the-scenes tour of Reid Park Zoo and everyone loved the interesting clinic stories and getting up close to scrub the rhino!  The Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle and our Holiday Installation Event were held December 7th in Mesa due to wintry weather in Flagstaff...a fun time was had by all. Congratulations to Technician of the Year Mike Comroe, and Member of the Year David Lopez.

2012: We had some fun regional International Technician Appreciation Week celebrations, a great way to start out our year!  SwAEBR/MSMR hosted another great IACUC, IBC & IRB Conference the first week in May in Tempe.  We were lucky to have Kevin Donnelly present on Dinosaur Pathology at our spring video conference this year.  Flagstaff hosted our Fun Event at Bearizona and everyone who took part had a great time.  The Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle and our Holiday Installation Event in December 1st in Chandler was a great chance to everyone to get together but also sad to say goodbye to many new friends as Covance closed its doors. Congratulations to Technician of the Year Sandra Schenone, and Member of the Year April Wagner.

2011: We all participated in the International Technician Appreciation Week at the end of January.  SwAEBR/MSMR/CBRA hosted the IACUC, IBC & IRB 3 I's Conference in La Jolla, CA.   We held  video conferences on rodent research at NAU this year.   The Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle was drawn at our Holiday Installation Event in December 4th in Flagstaff on a particularly snowy day but those hearty folks who made the drive enjoyed it.  Members gathered to congratulate our new board members and Technician of the Year Eric Tolotti, and Member of the Year Grace Aranda.

2010: We all participated in the International Technician Appreciation Week at the end of January.  SwAEBR/MSMR hosted the IACUC, IBC & IRB 3 I's Conference in conjunction with the District 8 AALAS Meeting and a Charles River Rodent Genetics Course the first week in May in Tempe.   We will be holding 2 video conferences this year.  Phoenix will be hosting our Fun Event at the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium.  The Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle was drawn at our Holiday Installation Event in December 4th in Mesa.  Members gathered to congratulate our new board members and Technician of the Year Kahrin Romer, and Member of the Year Tim Martin.

2009: We all participated in International Technician Appreciation Week at the end of January.  SwAEBR/MSMR hosted their 3rd IACUC, IBC & IRB conference in Tempe March 5 & 6th.  We held our biennial Spring Symposium on April 10th at the Sheraton Tucson Hotel and Suites.  Phoenix hosted our summer video conference with Rick Roth, President & CEO, Arizona Heart Foundation on The Power of Three:  A Discussion of Management Issues on July 17th at ASU.  The branch Summer Fun Event was cancelled due to a lack of time in everyone's busy schedule.  Our Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle was another success even in this difficult financial climate raising about $$ for our 3 charities at our Holiday Installation Event held in Phoenix at the Arizona Heart Institute Translational Research Center on December 5th. Members gathered to congratulate our new board members and Technician of the Year Tom Greene, and Member of the Year Chrystal Redding.

2008: We all participated in International Technician Appreciation Week at the end of January.  SwAEBR/MSMR hosted another IACUC, IBC & IRB conference in Tempe February14-15.  We held 2 video conferences this year: Betsy Lagos, Educational Director, Adobe Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on Raptor Rehabilitation on April 18; and Craig Ivanyi, Associate Executive Director for Living Collections & Exhibits at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on Research & Conservation Projects at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on September 26.  The branch Summer Fun Event was held in Phoenix at the Chase ballpark watching the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Florida Marlins with family & friends.  The Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle was a huge success raising about $3000 for our 3 charities at our Holiday Installation Event held in Tucson at the home of member Jedd Nelson and on December 6th. A great crowd was there to congratulate our new board members and Technician of the Year Cindy Madura, and Member of the Year Grace Aranda.

2007: We took part in the International Technician Appreciation Week on a regional basis as usual.  We co-hosted our Biennial Spring Symposium in February and the meeting was a big success in part to piggy-backing with the MSMR/SwAEBR IACUC IBC Conference in Phoenix.  Tempe hosted our guest speaker for the Summer Video Conference: Dr. Keith Ameiss, Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology on Avian Flu: Past, Present and Future.  The Fall Fun Event in October at the Kartchner Caverns in Benson with a Bat Presentation by Debbie Buecher was a big hit and everyone enjoyed the Big Room Tour.  The Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle results will be available soon.  The Holiday Installation event was December 8 in Mesa where our new board was named and Barbara McNally received Technician of the Year and Grace Aranda was named Member of the Year Awards.

2006: We took part in the International Technician Appreciation Week on a regional basis as usual.  Tucson hosted our guest speaker for the Spring Video Conference: Dr. Peder Cuneo, Emergency Veterinary Corps, Veterinary Relief Efforts Following Hurricane Katrina.  The Summer Fun Event was at the Flagstaff Arboretum and everyone who attended had a great time and enjoyed the tour, lunch and Birds of Prey show.  The Fall Video Conference was a presentation by K9 officers and their counterparts Officer Dennis Maciborski and Officer Kyle  Morrison, Police Detection Canines: Best Partners in Law Enforcement.  The Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle was a big success and was a hit at this years Holiday Installation event at Incoming President Jeri's house.  Most notable was the achievements of Dustin McAndrew who won the Technician of the Year Award and Chrystal Redding who won the Member of the Year Award.

2005:  The year started off by us first recognizing the importance of you through celebrating the International Laboratory Animal Technician Appreciation Week.  Our biennial Spring Symposium in Tucson, was an excellent learning and social affair for all who attended.  The highlights of the Symposium was Dr. Mary Kay Klein's, keynote address stressing the importance that biomedical research has played in her ability to treat her patients; and, also, the unexpected arrival of a large mariachi band during the dinner.  The Summer Video Conference in July went well and featured Kathie Schroeder, certified wildlife rehabber on Wildlife Rehabilitation: Living in Harmony with our Wildlife Neighbors.  Kathie brought 2 guests with her that made the conference fascinating - a bobcat and a hawk!   Thanks to the hard organizational work of Dr. Martin, the Fall Fun Event at the Phoenix Zoo was extremely worthwhile and enjoyable.  It began with a tour of their veterinary facilities, which was very impressive. We ended the year with the Holiday Installation Event held at Dr. Martin's mansion.  It was worth attending just to see the interior displays and decorations!  Most notable was the achievements of Rebecca Hyzer who won the Technician of the Year Award and Grace Aranda who won the Member of the Year Award.

2004:  We are happy to have had such great participation by all regions in this year's International Technician Appreciation Week in February.  Our Summer Fun Event on Mt. Lemmon with Special Guest Speaker: Josh Taiz, district wildlife biologist was very well attended.  We have begun two new items in our newsletters:  Member profiles and TBR corner.  We have also expanded our charitable activities to include two new organizations.  Our fall video conference with Dr Rand on Dealing with Animal Loss went well though there were technicial difficulties.  The Holiday Installation event was held at President Elect Rand's home and a good time was had by all those attending.   New board members and awards winners were announced.  Technician of the Year - Dana Jansen, Member of the Year - Grace Aranda.

2003:  We started out our year with great participation by all regions in the International Technician Appreciation Week in February.  With great planning and a nice site we had a good turnout at our Spring Symposium in Mesa with Special Guest Speaker: Dr Richard Linnehan from NASA.  Technician Branch Representative Jane Criswell won one of only 3 travel awards to the National AALAS meeting in Seattle, WA.  The Holiday Installation event was at President Elect Wagner's home in the early evening so that folks statewide might attend.   New board members and awards winners were announced. Technician of the Year - Andi Mitchell, Member of the Year - April Wagner.

2002:  AZAALAS has 136 members!  Held Spring general meeting video conference with speaker on Biomedical Engineering.  Summer Fun Event held at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum with a behind-the-scenes tour.  Fall general meeting video conference with two speakers on "Dressing for Success - appropriate dress in an rodent room" was well received.  Kathy Stollberg won the National AALAS Technician of the Year Award.  Holiday Installation Event was held at President-elect Martin's home.  It was fun and a great chance for the folks in Phoenix and Tucson to get acquainted.  New board members and awards winners were announced.  Technician of the Year - Larry "Skip" Moe, Member of the Year - Grace Aranda.

2001:  Spring Symposium in Tucson with guest speaker Dr Mark Haines from the National Institutes of Health on "The Hot Zone: Ebola virus in the United States"   Summer fun event at Justin's Water World.  Louise Brooks Memorial Raffle raised $690 for the Child-Life Activity Center at the Holiday Installation Event at President Criswell's home.  Technician of the Year - April Wagner, Member of the Year - Grace Aranda.

2000:  First  general meeting video conference in the spring with guest speaker. Summer river float social event in East Mesa. Fall videoconference with speaker in Tucson co-sponsored by Southwest Association for Education & Biomedical Research and University of Arizona University Animal Care. Louise Brooks memorial raffle raises $600 for the Child life Activity Center at the Holiday Installation Event at Dr Johnson's home. Technician of the Year - Kathy Stollberg-Zagar, Member of the Year - Stephanie Munger.

1999: Spring general meeting with speaker on Biology and Husbandry of Nonhuman Primates.  Summer fun event was a behind-the-scenes tour of Reid Park Zoon in Tucson.  Fall Symposium in Phoenix at Barrow Neurological Institute.  Fall general meeting speaker on Allergies to Lab Animals.   Louise Brooks memorial raffle raises $800 for the Child life Activity Center at the Holiday Installation Event at Dr Besselsen's  home. Technician of the Year - Jose Padilla, Member of the Year - Grace Aranda.

1998: July - Summer social event held at Mormon Lake Lodge in Flagstaff. August - Branch symposium held at the Doubletree Hotel in Tucson. Rodent lab held in conjunction with the symposium. Technician of the Year - Jessie Loganbill, Member of the Year - April Kern. Louise Brooks Memorial raffle benefiting sick children raises $700 for the Child life Activity Center. October - Branch sends Indian papoose wall hanging for the AALAS Foundation auction. December - Holiday Social/Officer Installation held at DeYoung's home.

1997: February - Suggestion was made and decided to produce a buyer's guide in place of printing ads in the branch newsletter. This was decided to provide more exposure for our advertisers, handy reference for our members and reduce the cost of printing and mailing our newsletter. Branch decided to not use membership cards and instead institute expiration dates on our mailing labels. April - It was decided to set a publishing schedule for the newsletter (January, April, July and October) and buyers guide (June). April - Newsletter format is changed and approved by all members. June - Summer social event held at Justin's Water World. July - Branch begins setting written policy concerning Member and Technician of the Year awards. August - It was decided to post meeting minutes in the newsletter for those members unable to attend. Branch performing financial audit. September - Branch contacted to become member of the states biomedical research association SwAEBR (Southwest Association for Education in Biomedical Research. December - New Officer Installation and Holiday awards event held at Old Tucson Studios. The branch donates 10 meals to the Boys & Girls Club for disadvantaged kids. Technician of the Year - Vangie Patula, Member of the Year - Grace Aranda.

1996: April - Proposed changes to bylaws and constitution concerning non- regional voting for regional board members defeated. Proposal to make technician branch representative a nonappointed position passes. May - Branch hosts district 8 meeting in Tucson. August - Branch to hold raffle benefitting sick children through the Child life Activity Center. Branch sends an authentic Indian wedding vase to the AALAS Foundation auction. October - Awards event held at the Phoenix Zoo. Technician of the Year - Leigh Kleinert, Member of the Year - Jane Criswell.

1995: Branch decides to hold a raffle benefitting sick kids at the Arizona Cancer Center. July - Branch sends an Arizona Highways gift bag with southwest book, shirt, jellies, etc for the AALAS Foundation auction. It was proposed that the branch make a donation to the children's playroom of the Arizona Cancer Center. In order to make a larger donation a raffle was proposed to benefit these sick children. August - Summer social held at Tucson Park West Community Pool. November - Annual Dinner at the Holiday inn Palo Verde in Tucson. Technician of the Year - Cynthia Richner, Member of the Year - Louise Brooks. The raffle benefitting the Child-life Activity Center raised $500 for toys for sick kids.

1994:  June - Summer social at Reid Park in Tucson with a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo. September- Annual Fall Symposium held at the Little American Hotel in Flagstaff. Branch decides to name the Technician of the Year award for Stuart Houston for his many years of service as Regional Examining Board member and the Member of the Year after Grace Aranda for her many years of service with the branch. Technician of the Year - David Williams, Member of the Year - Tim Martin. October - Branch contributes authentic Mexican rug for the AALAS Foundation auction.

1993: May - Summer social held at Ft Lowell Park in Tucson. September - Annual Fall Symposium held at the Doubletree Hotel in Tucson. Technician of the Year - Cheryl Johnson, Member of the Year - Grace Aranda.

1992: February - Branch approves joining National AALAS as a Member Branch to allow branch members national membership benefits. May - Summer social at Ft Lowell Park in Tucson. September - Annual Fall Symposium held at the Hotel Park Tucson. Technician of the Year - Kathy Stollberg, Member of the Year - Jose Orozco. December - Christmas social/Installation event held at the Patula home.

1991: February - Grace Aranda begins collecting and keeping meeting dates of district 8 branches to try and keep meetings from conflicting on the same day. Dedicate this year's Fall Symposium the Year of the Technician. First summer social event planned for May. May - Suggestion was made to give prizes for the top 3 posters at the Fall Symposium. September - Fall Symposium held at the Radisson Inn Suites in Tucson. Technician of the Year - Kathy Aprahamian, Member of the Year - Margaret Kilcullen-Steiner. November - Suggestion made and carried to donate $1000 to the hosting branch(es) in district 8 of National meeting. December - Holiday social/Installation event at the Stone home.

1990: March - Proposal to raise membership dues was defeated. (To date no the branch has never raised it's dues from the original $5.) November - Arizona Fall Symposium held at the Doubletree Hotel in Tucson. Grace Aranda receives the branch first Member of the Year award. Technician of the Year - Vangie Patula. December - Holiday Social/Installation Event held at the El Parador restaurant in Tucson.

1989: January - Suggestion was made to make a donation for the incurably ill For Animal Research (iiFAR). Branch purchased official branch stationary. June - Idea was suggested and approved to have a seminar including training sessions, technician techniques and will be combined with the annual dinner and award event. October - First Arizona Branch Fall Symposium held at the Holiday Inn Palo Verde in Tucson. Annual Dinner and awards event held  during the symposium. Technician of the Year - Louise Brooks. December - Christmas social at Aprahamian's home.

1988: May - The suggestion made and accepted to create another branch award for those persons who do much for the branch but are not technicians. Branch provides training classes for those wanting to get AALAS Certified. July - Suggestion was made to have general meetings at noon and include an educational speaker or program. October - Annual Dinner and awards event held at the El Corral restaurant in Tucson. Technician of the Year - Bill Schechner. Certification pin awarded for those persons receiving certification.

1987: Past National AALAS President Dr John Mulder joins the Arizona AALAS branch. May - Arizona Branch hosts their first District 8 meeting in Tucson. Peggy Kundrat receives the branch first Technician of the Year award. Arizona Branch Constitution and Bylaws undergoes its first revision. July - Branch votes to send award winner to the next District 8 meeting. Transportation and registration will be paid.

1986: First Technician awards criteria are established. Casey Kilcullen first editor of the Arizona Branch AALAS Newsletter. June 1986 Ruben Tello designs the first logo which we still use.

1985: First meeting was July 11, 1985. On July 12 we petitioned National to become the Arizona Branch. Our application was considered and accepted at the National meeting in Baltimore in November of 1985.  Founders: Casey Kilcullen (-Steiner), Peggy Kundrat (Levy), Robert Protell, Susan Wilson (Sanders), Jean Raviola (Chvapil), Douglas McKelvie, Louise Brooks, Karen Blohm (Mangone), Harry William Schechner, Lois Jones, Cynthia Luedke, Kari Nicosia, Cheryl Johnson, Jane Stone (Criswell), Otakar Koldovsky, Jack Copeland, Donald Speer. Notable Events - Dues remained the same for 17 years ($5) and were only raised recently in order to pay for expanded benefits:  listserve distribution of timely information and announcements as well as continuing video conferenced general meetings and a constantly changing website which allows the Arizona Branch, which covers the 6th largest state, to service all its members, statewide.

Branch was founded in July 1985.