While kicking off the opening morning of the ASET 62nd Annual Conference with the Lewis Kull Memorial keynote, author and renowned motivational speaker Steve Gilliland emphasized what he calls the three Ps: purpose, passion, and pride.

The motto fit his audience well — a group of neurodiagnostic professionals convened in San Diego to learn, network, and prepare for the challenges of the year ahead.

A year after holding its first-ever virtual conference, ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society enjoyed a sense of normalcy thanks to a return to face-to-face interaction from Aug. 19-21. This year’s annual meeting was another first — a hybrid event that combined an in-person convention in Southern California with virtual sessions accessed remotely.

Organizers plan to have an in-person event next year in Louisville, Kentucky.

Themes from the opening day included pediatric neurodiagnostics, electroencephalogram (EEG) key topics, and nerve conduction key topics. Presenters tackled intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) fundamentals, long-term monitoring, and evoked potentials the second day. The final sessions covered advanced IONM, advanced practice for EEG, and polysomnography.

The well-attended conference opened with the Gilliland’s keynote, where he aptly bounced between a standup comedy routine and motivational speech in his lecture, “Making a Difference.” Gilliland showed how easy it can be to positively influence people and featured several hilarious anecdotes, including a detailed recollection of his disastrous first date with his wife.

He expressed disdain for the expression, “It is what it is.” Instead, Gilliland encouraged his audience to adopt the belief that any scenario “is what you make it.”

The second day began with the Ellen Grass Lecture presented by Dr. William J. Bosl, and new-age technology took center stage. Bosl compared today’s technology collecting and interpreting EEG recordings to a similar shift when human “computers,” who performed calculations for the federal government’s Manhattan and Apollo Moon Projects, were displaced by new computational tools.

Many professionals at the time seized on the new opportunity to become leading computer programmers. Neurodiagnostic professionals are in position to follow suit, he said, creating a whole new field — neurodiagnostic sciences.

Bosl insisted EEG remains the “brain management tool of the future” and, more than any other technology, serves as the “window into the mind itself.”

Saturday opened with the Kathleen Mears Memorial Lecture given by Dr. Lawrence Wierzbowski. His keynote centered on the value of simulation for neurodiagnostic professionals.

The annual conference marked the end of Connie Kubiak’s term as society president. An emotional Kubiak reflected on her presidency during Thursday’s awards luncheon and tearfully thanked numerous colleagues and her husband. Adam Kornegay — system director for neurodiagnostics at Hartford Health Care — is succeeding Kubiak as ASET president and, along with Executive Director Kevin Helm, will drive a new five-year strategic plan.

During the luncheon, ASET awarded several grants and scholarships. This year’s ASET/ABRET Leadership Academy graduates and the ASET Fellows Class of 2021 were announced.

The Maureen Berkeley Award, given annually for the most outstanding educational article written by a neurodiagnostic technologist and published in The Neurodiagnostic Journal, went to Armin Nikpour and Sumika Ouchida. Martha Coyne won the Theda Sannit Outstanding Educator Award.

Additionally, Petra Davidson and Brett Netherton were installed as new trustees.