Volume 37 Number 2 | April 2023
Nicholas Moore, PhD, D(ABMM), ASCLS Joint Annual Meeting Steering Committee Chair
Maddie Josephs, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, ASCLS Joint Annual Meeting Host Liaison
This summer, ASCLS along with our partner organizations the Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT) and Society of American Federal Medical Laboratory Scientists (SAFMLS), will welcome laboratory professionals, faculty, students, and industry colleagues to Providence, Rhode Island, for the 2023 Joint Annual Meeting. Scheduled for June 26-30, the meeting will be anchored by the ASCLS Board of Directors Meeting and a pre-conference workshop on Monday and the ASCLS House of Delegates on Friday. LabJAM will be packed with educational sessions and networking events, along with opportunities to reconnect with old friends and meet new peers for the first time. Outside of the meeting, there will be ample time to go out and see the sights of Providence before, during, and after the meeting.
Rhode Island was one of the original 13 colonies of the United States and became the 13th state to join the Union. Though it may be known for being the smallest state—with a little more than 1,200 square miles of land—there are plenty of activities that make Rhode Island worth visiting. In fact, Providence is often ranked as one of the most walkable cities in the United States. Three rivers—the Providence, Seekonk, and Woonasquatucket—converge in the downtown area. A district packed with attractions, nightlife, restaurants, and numerous shopping are all within easy access.
The city of Providence underwent a Renaissance in the 1980s and since then the food scene has grown exponentially, and visitors can enjoy some of the best cuisine the Northeast has to offer. Whether you want some of the freshest seafood available, traditional Italian, authentic Indian, Ramen, Korean, southern comfort, or vegan, Providence has something for everyone.
The headquarters hotel for LabJAM will be the Omni Providence Hotel, which is connected directly to the Rhode Island Convention Center. The hotel has sweeping views of the Providence skyline and rivers. The Providence Place Mall, conveniently connected to the hotel, offers three floors of shops, stores, and restaurants to enjoy during your downtime. Hotel rooms are also available at the Hilton Providence Hotel, which is adjacent to the convention center.
The architecture and style of Providence is anchored by the Rhode Island State House, a beautiful neoclassical building constructed with white Georgia marble and 15 million bricks, making it the fourth largest structural-stone dome in the world. Perched atop of the dome is “The Independent Man,” representing freedom and independence. The State House is open on weekdays for visitors.
If you have some downtime, there are numerous opportunities to enjoy different walking tours available through the Rhode Island Historical Society. Tours run regularly in June and typically last 90 minutes. The Providence Performing Arts Center hosts Broadway touring shows, plays, contemporary acts, concerts, and much more. Providence is also home to the Rhode Island School of Design and the Providence Art Club. Be sure to also visit College Hill, home to Brown University. Founded in 1764, Brown is the third college in New England and the seventh in colonial America. The neighborhood has many eclectic shops and restaurants to visit.
Roger Williams Park, named after the founder of Providence, is a beautiful 427-acre city park. It has numerous outdoor activities and recreation, and the botanical center allows visitors to enjoy beautiful foliage and a distinct rose maze. The Roger Williams Park Zoo and Carousel Village are also nestled within the park. The zoo is home to more than 100 rare and fascinating species from across the globe, including the only Komodo dragon in all of New England!
If you’re looking for an experience like no other, then you have to check out WaterFire, Providence’s signature event that is typically held on two Saturdays each month. At the time of this writing, the 2023 WaterFire schedule was not yet available. Created by artist Barnaby Evans, WaterFire is a true celebration of community and beauty. There is no one single place in Providence to see WaterFire, but you can wander around Waterplace Park and the ¾ mile cobblestone pathways along the river walk as it is lit literally by hundreds of small bonfires. Enjoy the sounds of wood crackling while experiencing unique local artists and music along the Woonasquatucket and Providence Rivers and throughout Memorial Park.
Our host society will have tons of information available to JAM attendees, including suggested attractions, entertainment, and dining options to keep your taste buds working in overdrive. We look forward to seeing you in Providence very soon.
Nicholas Moore is the Associate Director of Clinical Microbiology, Director of the BSL-3 biocontainment laboratory, and an Associate Professor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Maddie Josephs is the Chair of the Allied Health Department and Director of the MLT and Histotechnician programs at Community College of Rhode Island in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Photo at top: Waterplace Park in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo by NicholasMillard, GoProvidence.