Inaugural class of Public Health Entomology for All program joined CDC Division of Vector Borne Diseases in June
Annapolis, MD; July 7, 2022—The Entomological Society of America congratulates the 2022 class of interns and fellows selected for the Public Health Entomology for All program.
In partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ESA created the Public Health Entomology For All (PHEFA) program to encourage students and recent graduates interested in social justice and health equity to pursue entomology as a career and work toward a future in which all communities benefit from creative, inclusive, and equitable scientific processes and solutions.
The PHEFA interns and fellows are students or graduates of Minority Serving Institutions who have demonstrated a commitment to scientific inquiry and equity. Interns began their 10-week positions in June at the at the CDC Division of Vector Borne Diseases (DVBD) in Fort Collins, Colorado; the DVBD Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch in Atlanta, Georgia; and the CDC Dengue Branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fellows started their positions in June and will work for one year at the CDC in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The following individuals were selected as 2022 PHEFA interns and fellows.
Southern University A&M
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Tess Brown has completed her third year at Southern University A&M and focused her studies on urban forestry. Previously, Tess interned in the Department of Plant Pathology at Southern and received the Louisiana Forestry Foundation Scholarship. Tess will work at the CDC in Fort Collins.
Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College
Kaitlyn Gorby has completed her third year at Sul Ross State University where she is a biology major and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Kaitlyn previously interned at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. Kaitlyn will work at the CDC in Atlanta.
Tennessee State University
Aaleyah Kelso anticipates graduating in May 2023 and has been on the Dean’s List at Tennessee State University in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Biology is Aaleyah’s academic focus. Aaleyah will work at the CDC in San Juan.
North Carolina Central University
Durham, North Carolina
Kelsey Lewis received her B.S. in biomedical science from North Carolina Central University in May 2022. Prior to attending NCCU, Kelsey attended East Carolina University and Durham Technical Community College. Kelsey served as vice president of the Tri-Beta Biology Honors Society and was a fellow in the Atlantis Fellowship Program in Merida, Spain. In addition to being a full-time student, Kelsey was employed as an emergency medical technician for Chatham County, North Carolina. Kelsey will work at the CDC in San Juan.
Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Ryan Noah anticipates graduating in May 2023 with a B.A. in biology with a concentration in biotechnology and molecular biology. At Fayetteville State University, Ryan is a student researcher mentored by Kristen Delaney Nguyen, Ph.D. Ryan is a member of the McNair Scholars Program and Phi Eta Sigma and was on the Dean’s List in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Ryan will work at the CDC in Fort Collins.
Carolina Yara Cespedes
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Carolina Yara Cespedes graduated from Antillean University after majoring in biology with a minor in education. Yara was on the Dean’s List in 2019 and 2021. Carolina volunteered with the Puerto Rico Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Punta Guanajibo and was a member of the Science and Technology Club at Antillean University. Carolina will work at the CDC in Atlanta.
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, California
Jacoby Clark received an M.S. in biology with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology/microbiology from San Francisco State University in 2022 and B.S. in biological sciences from North Carolina State University in 2020. Jacoby was a graduate student researcher mentored by Andrea Swei, Ph.D. Jacoby studied the interactive effects of climate change and wildlife defaunation on pathogen prevalence and diversity in tick vectors. He has been awarded the Provost Scholar Award, NIH RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) Fellowship, and National Science Foundation REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) in integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Juan De Leon Rivera
University of Puerto Rico
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Juan De Leon Rivera received a B.S. in crop protection in 2021. He was a student researcher in the Biology Department, Ecology Laboratory, and was mentored by Dimaris Acosta Mercado, Ph.D., in a project titled “Preliminary analysis of composition of insects in three forests of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.” After graduating from college, Juan taught science at Petra Zenon de Fabery High School, in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.
Joe Rominiecki, ESA Manager of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-731-4535 x3009
Stacie East, ESA Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, email@example.com, 301-731-4535 x3030
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