Leadership Happy Hour: Why and How to Get on the Ballot

Wednesday, May 13
6:00-7:00 PM Eastern │ 3:00-4:00 PM Pacific

Grab a beverage, grab a snack and join us for a fun, but informative discussion series to provide a remote and relaxed platform to help ESA members to know different leadership positions, what these positions are about, and how to nominate candidates. Via this approach, we help to all members to engage in the society, especially women and minorities.   

To lead or not to lead, that is the question! The nomination process for elected national, branch and section positions opens May 1 and closes June 1.  If you are even considering leadership positions within ESA, now or in the future, please join an interactive webinar to answer all of your questions, such as – Why should I consider a leadership position within ESA? What positions are open? What is the process to get on the ballot? Join a live Q&A and hear about the experiences from fellow ESA members from all career levels that have served in a range of positions, from a student Governing Board representative to President! 

View the list of panelists below:

Lina Bernaola

Lina Bernaola received her PhD in Entomology from Louisiana State University (LSU) under the direction of Dr. Michael Stout. Lina earned her B.S. in biological sciences from San Marcos National University, Peru, and later completed her M.S. in agronomy at LSU. Her research interests include plant-insect and plant-pathogen interactions as well as host plant resistance. Her project involves investigations of the mechanistic basis of plant resistance against above-ground and below-ground organisms in rice. Primarily, she studied the effects of mycorrhizal fungi, a symbiotic soil-borne organism, on rice resistance to insect herbivores and pathogens. The ultimate goal of Lina’s research is to provide a better understanding of plant-insect-mycorrhizae interactions in rice pests of Louisiana, which will help to develop more effective pest management programs in rice. Lina has been actively involved in the Entomological Society of America since 2013. She has presented her research at several international, national and Southeastern Branch meetings; she has also participated in LSU’s Linnaean Games and Student Debate teams. Currently, she serves as student representative to the Governing Board and Chair to the Student Affairs Committee. She has served on the P-IE Governing Council as the Student Representative and as president of LSU’s Entomology Club, coordinating many of the club’s educational outreach events about insects to kids. She is very grateful to the society for the many opportunities it has provided her. She has had a lifelong interest on science and looks forward to sharing this passion with younger generations.

Student Representative to the Governing Board
Student Affairs Committee Chair
Student Representative to the Annual Meeting Program Committee
Southeastern Branch Early-Career Professionals Committee Chair 
Early-Career Professionals Committee Member

Chris Geden

Chris Geden received his M.S. and PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1979 and 1993, respectively. After working as a research associate at NC State University and Cornell, he joined USDA’s Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida, where he has been a research entomologist since 1992. His research has focused on IPM, behavior, and pathogen relations of muscoid flies affecting livestock, poultry, and humans. Biological control of flies has been a long-standing interest, and he has investigated beetle and mite predators, hymenopteran parasitoids, and fungal and viral pathogens of flies. He also has research interests in pathogens of beneficial insects and the potential effects of climate change on fly populations. Dr. Geden has published >130 papers in refereed scientific journals, four book chapters, two patents, one book (as editor), and 45 articles in trade journals and extension publications. He has presented >100 papers and 30 invited seminars in the U.S. and has given 26 invited international presentations. He has been an active member of ESA since 1977 and attended most national meetings of the Society since then. He has organized three symposia at national meetings, participated in 12 other symposia, and served as moderator and student competition judge. Other ESA service has included the editorial boards of the Annals of the ESA (1991-1995) and the Journal of Medical Entomology (2007-2011, 2020-present),  MUVE President ( 2012), MUVE secretary (2020-2022)  ,subject editor for the Journal of Medical Entomology, MUVE Representative to the Governing Board (2013-2016), and Program Co-Chair (2020-2022)

Secretary of MUVE Section
Annual Meeting Student Competition Co-Chair
Past MUVE Representative to the Governing Board
Past Executive Committee Member
Past MUVE Section President

Jennifer Gordon

Jennifer Gordon has received three degree in entomology: a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, M.S. from Louisiana State University and B.S. from Purdue University.  Her graduate research focused on better understanding insecticide resistance in mosquitoes and bed bugs to help professionals manage populations of these insects.  She specialized in investigating the efficacy of different commercially available products and active ingredients, the underlying mechanisms of resistance, the evolution of resistance in different populations, and how to use this information to create strategies for insecticide resistance management.  After leaving academia, she spent four years in the consumer packaged goods industry developing new products and protocols for bed bug management, creating domestic and international academic-industry research collaborations, and training different groups of people about how to best use pest management and disinfectant products.  Recently, Jennifer began working in the structural fumigation industry as a field scientist supporting urban and quarantine pest management and developing stewardship trainings for fumigators.

Jennifer has been active with ESA since she began her graduate career and has attended branch and national meetings.  She has been a student volunteer, organized symposia, judged student competitions, served as the Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology (MUVE) Science Policy Committee representative, and worked as a Science Policy Fellow for the association.  Community service is one of her core values, which drives her to volunteer in her home and entomological communities.  Service to the society has developed her professionally and created many opportunities that have directly influenced her success as an entomologist.

Past MUVE Representative to the Science Policy Committee
Science Policy Fellow
Student Volunteer

Floyd Shockley

Dr. Floyd Shockley is the Collections Manager for the Department of Entomology at the National Museum of Natural History. In that capacity, he is responsible for all aspects of collection management, logistics, shipping, regulatory compliance, purchasing, property management and IPM for the National Insect Collection, which includes more than 35 million specimens. He is Entomology’s liaison with collections and research staff from other departments, executive staff, exhibits, public relations, and non-scientific technical staff (security, building, facilities, and IT). He participates heavily in public outreach efforts for the Department and is the primary contact for media inquiries and the general public. Shockley has overall curatorial responsibility for the collections and also conducts original research on the evolution, taxonomy, morphology, and natural history of fungus feeding beetles. He has authored or co-authored more than 70 publications and presented his research more than 80 times at professional meetings. Dr. Shockley has served as the President of the Entomological Society of Washington, the Entomological Collections Network, the Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity section of the Entomological Society of America, and the American Association for Zoological Nomenclature. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. He earned his B.A. in Biology from Westminster College (1996) and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Missouri (2000) and the University of Georgia (2009), respectively. He joined the staff of NMNH in 2010.

President of Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity Section

Susan Weller

Dr. Susan Weller is the director of the University of Nebraska State Museum (UNSM) and professor of Entomology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to her appointment in that role, she was the executive director and curator at the J.F. Bell Museum of Natural History, where she was its first woman director. She was a professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota. Her research is focused on the systematics of Noctuoidea and the evolution of tiger moth-host plant interactions. Dr. Weller earned her PhD in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989.

Dr. Weller became a member of ESA as a graduate student and attributes her academic career successes to the colleagues and mentors she met through ESA. She has since served ESA in diverse roles throughout her career, from scientific symposium organizer to the highest possible elected office as ESA President in 2017. She was the 2002 chair of Section A (now SysEB). In 2005, Dr. Weller served as national Program Co-Chair for the 2005 Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, which was disrupted by Hurricane Wilma – canceled and then rescheduled for six weeks later. Dr. Weller was elected to serve as the North Central Branch Governing Board Representative from 2009-2011. She has served on several ad-hoc and standing ESA committees, including Vice-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee (2003, 2004), which gathered member insights and input on the restructuring of ESA into its current four-Section structure. She served on the presidential committee of Student and Young Professionals/ Early Professionals (SYP/STEP 2011-2013) during its transition. She was elected to Vice-President Elect in 2015 which led to her presidency in 2017. Dr. Weller continues to be active in the Society as past-President and encourages others to be involved as well.

Chair of Section A (now SysEB)
Annual Meeting Program Co-Chair (2005)
North Central Branch Governing Board Representative
Vice-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee 
Student and Young Professionals/ Early Professionals Committee Member
Co-Chair of the Awards and Honors Canvasing Committee
ESA President