ESA Names 2011 Honorary Members

Lanham, MD; August 31, 2011 – The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is pleased to announce the selection of four new entomologists as Honorary Members of the Society. Honorary Membership acknowledges those who have served ESA for at least 20 years through significant involvement in the affairs of the Society that has reached an extraordinary level. Candidates for this honor are selected by the ESA Governing Board and then voted on by the ESA membership. All four will be honored at the Awards Ceremony at Entomology 2011 in Reno, Nevada this November.

Marvin K. Harris is a professor of entomology at Texas A&M University. A joint research (TAMU Texas Agricultural Experiment Station) and teaching (TAMU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) appointment during most of his career allowed participation that focused on basic and applied entomology primarily involving pecan insects and teaching and mentoring students at all levels. This facilitated developing and applying new knowledge in the classroom, scientific forums and the pecan agroecosystem, serving as major professor for 40 students who received degrees to date, teaching 2-4 courses annually that reached 800+ students in all, and interacting with colleagues and pecan producers to bring science to agriculture. Dr. Harris also served as an advocate for students, particularly undergraduates, on using professional societies to "Transition Their Educations Into Careers" as preparation for life after graduation.
His service to ESA includes: Chairman of Section F, 1984; Chairman and organizer for 1st and 2nd Robert H. Nelson Symposia; Chairman of Publications Council, 1985; Governing Council Representative of Amer. Reg. Prof. Entomol. (ARPE), 1985-1988; Southwestern Branch Representative to the Governing Board, 2003-2009; Chairman of the editorial board of Insecticide and Acaracide Tests of ESA, 1986; Chairman, Continuing Education Committee, ARPE, 1987; and Examiner for Pest Management Category of Certification for ARPE, 1986-1988.

Gail E. Kampmeier is a senior research entomologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, where she has been employed since 1979. She received her B.A. in French from Allegheny College (1973), and her M.Sc. in entomology from the University of Illinois (1984). Kampmeier’s scientific research interests are in the epidemiology of aphid-vectored plant viruses and the dynamics of arthropod movement and their implications in IPM programs. She has worked on multidisciplinary long distance movement projects with the corn leaf aphid in Illinois and the Russian wheat aphid in Colorado, and was secretary/treasurer for NCR-148 (Movement & Dispersal of Biota) from 1985-2000, and served as vice-chair (2001) and chair (2002).
Kampmeier has been an ESA member since 1979. She was elected to serve in the leadership of Subsection Cc (1993-1995), Section C (2002-2003, Program Committee for 2003 meeting), and as Section C Representative to the Governing Board (2004-2006; Executive Committee, 2006-2009). She served on the Membership Committee as Vice-Chair (1998-99) and Chair (2000-01), and was Governing Board liaison to that committee in 2004-2005. She served on the Strategic Planning Committee for two terms (2000-2005), representing Section C, and was Chair for 2002-2003. She served as subject editor for Arthropods in Relation to Plant Disease for the Journal of Economic Entomology from 2002-2005. For the North Central Branch, she has served on the Program Committee (1986-1987; 1989; 1993-1994; and 2002-03) and the Local Arrangements Committee (2005-2006).

Most recently she served as the organizer of the Annual Women in Entomology Breakfast at ESA Annual Meetings (2007-present), as ESA representative to the American Institute of Biological Sciences Council (2007), and as ESA Nominations Committee Chair (2008). She was elected the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section Representative to the ESA Governing Board (2008-09), Chair of the Presidential Task Force on the ESA Website (2010), and currently serves as network administrator of the Women in Entomology Network (

Kampmeier also works with biodiversity informatics and designed a database system called Mandala, which catalogs systematics and biodiversity research. She is involved in the development of biodiversity information standards, sharing of scientific data, and the preservation of orphaned and endangered datasets.

Kevin L. Steffey devoted his career almost exclusively to two endeavors: extension education related to insect management for field crops (supported by applied research activities) at the University of Illinois, and service to ESA. In mid-May 2009, following 30 years of dedicated and exemplary service, Kevin retired from the University of Illinois and started a second career as a technology transfer leader in insect management for Dow AgroSciences, where he is able to continue his training of young agriculturalists on the proper use and position of agricultural technology. While at the University of Illinois, where he was an extension specialist (100% appointment) since 1979, first with the Office of Economic Entomology, then with the Department of Crop Sciences (since 1996), his applied research and extension activities focused on management of some of the most important insect pests of field crops in the Midwest, including corn rootworms, European corn borer, and soybean aphid. During the course of his career, he has published numerous book chapters and invited monographs, peer-reviewed articles in journals, and more than 240 extension publications, including many extension and industry conference proceedings.
Dr. Steffey served the ESA as President of the North Central Branch (1998), as a member of the ESA Governing Board (1990-1993, 2000-2005), as ESA President (2004), and as a member of numerous committees, including the Restructuring Advisory Council (2006–2007). He was co-editor of the ESA’s Handbook of Corn Insects, published in 1999. He currently serves a co-editor of ESA’s Journal of Integrated Pest Management.

Michael L. Williams is a professor with the Auburn University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. He obtained his B.S. in biology from Arkansas State University (1967) and his M.S. (1969) and Ph.D. (1972) in entomology from Virginia Tech. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses and directs graduate student research. Williams’ research interests include biosystematics of scale insects, with emphasis on the soft scale insects (Homoptera: Coccidae); scale insects of Central and South America; natural host plant resistance to attack by scale insects; and factors involved in coevolution of scale insects and their host plants. Applied research interests include biology and control of ornamental plant pests, and integrated pest management tactics for scale insect populations.

Williams received the Southeastern Branch’s (SEB) Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching (1981). He has been active in ESA since 1973. On the national level, he served as the Southeastern Branch Representative to the ESA Governing Board (2005-2010), has served as the Secretary, Vice Chair, and Chair of ESA’s Teaching Subsection (1979-81), and as Chair of Symposia at ESA Annual Meetings (1978-81). He has served as a member of the Committees on Professional Training, Standards and Status (1980-83), Common Names of Insects (1982-84), Public Information (1986-89), and Education and Training (1989-91). He also chaired four special committees (1989, 1990, 1991, and 1997) and the Entomological Foundation’s undergraduate scholarships judging panel (1997). In the SEB, Williams has been a member of the Membership (1980-83) and Executive (1994-95) Committees and Chair of the Constitution Revision (1984-85), Meeting Site Selection (1989-90, 1999), Local Arrangements (1991, 2000) and served as Co-chair (2009).

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 6,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are students, researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, and hobbyists. For more information, please visit