Michelle Smith Elected as Next Vice President-Elect of Entomological Society of America

Four others earn positions on ESA Governing Board

Annapolis, MD; September 9, 2019—Michelle S. Smith, leader of the North America Region Integrated Field Science team in Corteva Agriscience Research and Development, has been elected by members of the Entomological Society of America as the organization's next Vice President-Elect.

She will begin her term as VP-Elect at the conclusion of ESA's Annual Meeting, Entomology 2019, November 17-20, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. She will then serve as ESA Vice President beginning in November 2020, President beginning in November 2021, and Past President beginning in November 2022.

ESA members have also elected four other members to begin or continue positions on the ESA Governing Board:

  • Dr. Faith Oi, University of Florida: Treasurer (newly elected)
  • Mustapha Debboun, Mosquito & Vector Control Division, Harris County Public Health: Medical, Urban & Veterinary Entomology Section Representative (newly elected)
  • Jennifer A. Henke, Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District: Pacific Branch Representative (newly elected)
  • Dr. Karla Addesso, Tennessee State University: Southeastern Branch Representative (re-elected)

ESA members also voted on several other volunteer positions within the Society and ESA Sections and Branches, as well as Honorary Members:

For more information on the entomologists elected to the ESA Governing Board, see below:

ESA Vice President-Elect

Michelle S. SmithMichelle S. Smith
Corteva Agriscience

Michelle Smith is leader of the North America Region Integrated Field Science team in Corteva Agriscience Research and Development. Prior to this role, Michelle worked on integration of research and development (R&D) organizations during merger and earlier led a Dow AgroSciences team responsible for early-stage development of traits in corn. She has held other leadership and technical roles, including leading a U.S.-based field science group developing products for the urban pest, turf and ornamentals, and range and pasture markets and leading a global biology team for the Sentricon system.

Michelle has over 20 years of business and R&D experience in pest management, technology transfer, and communications. Michelle received her B.A. from Hollins University and her Master's in entomology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is a Board Certified Entomologist and has served ESA in numerous capacities including currently serving as Treasurer. Michelle has served ESA through the Education and Youth Committee, North Central Branch Honorary Awards Committee, Stan Beck Fellowship panel, and Science Policy Capability Committee as well as Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Section Treasurer and co-organizer of member symposia and a program symposium on diversity in entomology.

Michelle engages in outreach as a Corteva Agriscience Science Ambassador for science programs directed to children and is active in the Corteva Grows Food Security network. Michelle is an advocate for encouragement of women in the fields of agriculture and entomology and was a driving force behind formation of the ESA Special Committee on Diversity & Inclusion.

ESA Treasurer

Faith OiFaith Oi
University of Florida

Faith Oi, Ph.D., is an urban entomologist in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida (UF). She has actively and continually served the Entomological Society of America at the branch, section, and national levels since 1995. Leadership capacities include two terms on the ESA finance committee (2008-2014); Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology (MUVE) Section president (2015), which also included participation in the program planning committee; and Southeastern Branch nominations chair (2016). She currently chairs ESA's Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is MUVE's representative on this committee. Her service on the D&I Committee began as an ESA presidential appointee during the founding period of this committee (2015-2017). She then rotated to section representative (2017-2018).

As an urban entomologist at UF, she is the Director of Pest Management University (2007-present), whose mission is to be a world leader in training the pest control industry by delivering quality instruction using science-based information on current technologies, with concern for the environment and human health and well-being. This Extension-led program continues to grow because of a team of experts with similar core values. Experts include business consultants who provide guidance on how to sustain this cost-recovery program to ensure continual service to stakeholders. Oi also has completed LEAD21 and LEAD IFAS training and is a recipient of the PCT-Syngenta Crown Leadership Award, Class of 2018. Additional service to ESA: SEB-ESA Program Chair (2008), SEB-ESA Student Awards Committee (1995-1998, chair 1997-1998).

MUVE Section Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Mustapha Debboun
Mosquito & Vector Control Division, Harris County Public Health

Colonel (Ret.) Dr. Mustapha Debboun is a medical and veterinary entomologist who is currently the Director of the Mosquito and Vector Control Division in Harris County Public Health in Houston, Texas. He earned his B.A. in cellular and molecular biology from Skidmore College, M.S. in medical entomology from the University of New Hampshire, and Ph.D. in medical and veterinary entomology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has worked in military public health entomology, vector-borne diseases, IPM operations, and research and development of arthropod repellents. This work has taken him to 35 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America. His main goal is integration of medical entomology with other operational public health fields to provide efficient and sustainable management of disease vectors and personal protection from the vector-borne disease threat. 

He is currently serving as ESA's Science Representative to the Vector-Borne Disease Network and as MUVE Vector Emergency Response Entomologists Initiative Lead and has previously served as MUVE Section President and Vice-President, Director on the ESA Certification Board, Chair of the Journal of Medical Entomology Editorial Board, Chair of ESA's International Affairs Committee, and an ad hoc ESA BCE Military Liaison to promote ESA's Certification Program within the Armed Forces. He has authored or co-authored over 110 peer-reviewed publications and three books. He also organizes ESA symposia, serves on eight journal editorial review boards, and is a reviewer for six peer-reviewed journals. His professional ESA Awards include the Distinguished Service Award to the ESA Certification Program and ESA Fellow.

Pacific Branch Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Jennifer A. HenkeJennifer A. Henke
Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District

Jennifer A. Henke is the Past President of the Pacific Branch. She is the Laboratory Manager at the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. She has a Bachelor's of Science in biology from the University of Alabama and a Master's of Science in entomology from the University of Georgia. Jennifer began at the District in 2011 as the Environmental Biologist. Since 2015 she has managed the laboratory group, which conducts adult mosquito surveillance, tests for arboviruses, examines pesticide product efficacy, and evaluates control products and strategies targeted at mosquitoes and fire ants. Her work includes collaborating with researchers from universities and government agencies to explore novel control strategies for vectors in the desert.

Besides organizing the 2019 Pacific Branch Annual Meeting in her role as President, Jennifer currently serves on the Linnaean Games Committee and served as the moderator of the competition at the 2016 and 2017 annual meetings. She has chaired the Regulatory Affairs Committee of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California since 2017. She is a member of the American Mosquito Control Association's Science and Technology Committee, where she organizes the Poster Judging Competition (2018-present). Outside of work, Jennifer is likely to be found taking pictures, travelling to new places, or watching live music in southern California.

Southeastern Branch Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Karla AddessoKarla Addesso
Tennessee State University

Dr. Karla Addesso received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in December 2007. She completed postdoctoral work in the Chemistry Unit of the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology. She was awarded the Henry and Sylvia Richardson Postdoctoral Award by the Entomological Society of America in 2009.

In 2012, Dr. Addesso joined Tennessee State University as an Assistant Professor in ornamental entomology. Her research focuses on management of woody ornamental pests including wood borers, ambrosia beetles, mites, scales, and regulatory pests including imported fire ants and Japanese beetle. In 2014, Dr. Addesso was awarded the College of Agriculture Young Researcher Award for her program initiation. Since joining TSU, she has advised 11 graduate students and published several dozen peer-reviewed, extension, and trade papers. She was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in August 2018.

Dr. Addesso participates in the Ambrosia Beetle Working Group, the Wood Borer Working Group, and the NCERA224 Multistate Project and has served on several USDA and foundation grant panels. She has served ESA as a judge for student competitions and for the Monsanto Graduate Student Travel Grant panel, and last year she stepped in as the SEB Representative to the Governing Board. She is a judge for the Sydney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund. She is active in the Tennessee Entomological Society, previously serving as Member-at-Large and Editor, and is currently President-Elect. Dr. Addesso is an Associate Editor of Environmental Entomology and serves as a reviewer for other ESA and topical journals.

CONTACT: Joe Rominiecki, jrominiecki@entsoc.org, 301-731-4535 x3009

ABOUT: 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 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the Society stands ready as a non-partisan scientific and educational resource for all insect-related topics. For more information, visit www.entsoc.org.