Sharron S. Quisenberry, ESA Fellow (2002)

Dr. Sharron Sue (Grogan-Bailey) Quisenberry, emeritus professor of entomology at Iowa State University (ISU), was elected as Fellow in 2002. Quisenberry is recognized nationally and internationally for her work in host plant resistance to insects and insect-plant interactions. Her dedicated and innovative leadership has been successful in multiple levels of university administration, from division chair to vice president. Quisenberry’s leadership has facilitated growth and success of units by looking to the future, empowering and networking individuals, enhancing resources, improving infrastructure, and encouraging the transfer of knowledge and technology to improve external economies.

Quisenberry was born in Kirksville, MO, on 19 April 1945. She received her B.S. in education in 1966 from Truman State University (TSU). She received an M.A. in environmental biology at Hood College in 1975. She earned her M.S. in 1977 and Ph.D. in 1980 in entomology at the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC). Quisenberry began her career in entomology as an assistant professor at ISU in 1980. Moving to Louisiana State University, she attained the ranks of associate (1985) and full professor of entomology (1990). She moved into administration as division chair at the University of Idaho (1991–1995), department head at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1995–1999), dean of agriculture at Montana State University (1999–2003), dean of agriculture and life sciences at Virginia Tech (2003–2009), and vice president of research and economic development at ISU (2009-2013).

With a colleague, Quisenberry co-authored a seminal book on conservation of germplasm for insect resistance, which is used globally. She has published more than 95 articles, books, and book chapters, with over 150 other technical publications, including a patent and three registered germplasm/cultivars. She has presented over 140 lectures at international and national meetings. She has received more than $10 million in research funding as principal or co-principal investigator from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Murdock Trust, Ford Foundation, and industry.

Quisenberry has been a leader within numerous professional societies as well as many international, national, regional, state, and university committees and boards, but her service and contributions to ESA have been extraordinary, earning her the status of Honorary Member in 2010. Since becoming an ESA member in 1975, she has worked at the Branch, Section, and ESA Central levels, contributing to over 30 committees and numerous leadership roles, including ESA President in 2000, a time of extreme organizational and financial challenges affecting ESA's very solvency. Quisenberry has served on the prestigious National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (U.S. Presidential appointment).

Quisenberry and her husband Larry were named Alumni of the Year at TSU in 2010. She is committee chair of TSU’s “Pursue the Future” five-year development campaign, with Larry as a committee member. Quisenberry is an avid birder with over 1,400 species on her life list. In retirement, she and Larry are traveling internationally, primarily to bird. They are playing golf again and pursuing other activities.

(updated February, 2015)