Candidates for the North Central Branch Election

Elections will be held by electronic ballot and voting will open January 11, 2021 and close February 10, 2021 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time US. For additional information on voting, please refer to the ESA voting instructions.

Contact with any questions. 

President-Elect Candidate
Member-at-Large Candidates
Student Affairs Committee Chair-Elect Candidate

President-Elect Candidate

Dr. Jeff Bradshaw is an Associate Professor of Entomology and Extension Specialist for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Interim Director, Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. He received a B.S. (1998) and M.S. (2001) in Zoology from Southern Illinois University, and a Ph.D. (2007) in Entomology and Plant Pathology from Iowa State University. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Illinois (2008-2009). His research interests concern agroecology and IPM with 55 peer-reviewed research publications and several Extension products. Bradshaw currently is ESA Past President Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section. He has served on numerous other ESA branch, national, and international committees since 1998 – ESA-National: Monsanto Award Committee; Special Presidential Committee on Membership, Student, Transition, and Early Professional Committee; Insect Calendar Committee; YouTube Your Entomology Awards Committee; Special Committee on New Section Governing Councils; Presidential Special Committee on Linnaean Games; Student Affairs Committee; and Common Names Committee. ESA-NCB: Secretary-Treasurer, 2012 Program Committee. ESA-International Congress of Entomology: Student, Young Professionals, and Women Committee. Bradshaw has had a strong interest in entomology from a young age and as such is a passionate supporter of the ESA. If elected, he will use his formal leadership training and prior ESA experience in service and leadership to work with the North Central Branch Executive Committee, committee chairs, and student membership to help strengthen the role of the North Central Branch for all its members.

Member-at-Large Candidates

Anthony “Justin” McMechan is a Crop Protection and Cropping Systems Specialist located at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Ithaca, NE. In 2016, Justin graduated with a Ph.D. in Entomology and Doctor of Plant Health degree from the University of Nebraska. Both of these degrees were centered around multidisciplinary research and he has made this a fundamental part of his program at UNL. His lab currently focuses on pest and beneficial insects in cover crop systems, evaluating hail damage in row crops, and understanding emerging problems such as ear development issues in corn and soybean gall midge. Dr. McMechan utilizes a wide range of technologies in his extension program such as infographics, time-lapse photography and Go-Pro cameras to develop standalone products to reach his clientele and avoid the technical jargon that comes with research. Dr. McMechan has served as moderator and judge a numerous regional and national meetings and he has served as a member of the NCB ESA Professional Awards Committee.

Dr. Rob Morrison is currently a Research Entomologist for the USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan, KS, where his current research program involves elucidating the chemical ecology, behavior, and improving the IPM of stored product insects. He graduated with his B.A. in biology from Kalamazoo College in 2006, then his M.S. in ecology and evolution from the University of Munich in Germany. In 2014, Rob received his Ph.D. from the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University, where he focused on improving IPM for the asparagus miner. From 2014–2016, Rob was a post-doctoral researcher at the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station where he investigated the chemical ecology, biological control, and IPM of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, including attract-and-kill. Rob has been highly active in ESA for the past 10 years, and has served on 25+ committees for ESA at the branch, section, and national level. He has organized 30+ symposia at ESA meetings, regularly acts as a judge for student competitions, and serves as a Subject Editor for Behavior at Environmental Entomology. Rob served as the 2017–2018 Chair of ESA’s Early Career Professionals Committee, as well as the NCB Co-Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee in 2020. He currently serves on the NCB ECP Committee, and is committed to lifting up the voices of all members in ESA’s decision-making process, including underrepresented groups, and ECPs. He is excited for the opportunity to help make NCB as forward-looking and inclusive as possible.

Student Affairs Committee Chair-Elect Candidates

Judith Chiginsky: I am a UC Davis Alumni, having received my BS in entomology in 2014. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work as a research assistant at UC Davis and Oregon State University exploring different insect systems in agricultural crops such as grapes and pear. I am a returned Peace Corps volunteer, having served in both Mozambique as an English and Physics teacher and a Tropical Pest Management Specialist in Mexico. I am currently pursuing my MS in entomology at Colorado State University, exploring the ecology of beet leafhopper-Beet curly top interactions in hemp. I am currently involved in the Student Affairs Committee and am interested in getting more involved. My interests for the position of chair-elect are to increase student involvement, create more career development and networking opportunities connecting insect-interested folks, and cultivate a more diverse and inclusive environment that encourages the involvement of underrepresented communities.

Lauren Fann is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky (UK). Her research focuses on integrated pest management strategies for the brown marmorated stink bug for small fruit and vegetable growers. She completed her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, where she studied Community Health and Double Majored in Entomology. Lauren is an active member of the UK Department of Entomology’s graduate student organization. During her duration, she has held the roles of Graduate Student Congress Representative, Treasurer, and President of the organization. She has engaged in entomology outreach and extension programs at local schools, the Kentucky Arboretum, and works with growers across the state. Lauren has collaborated with other departments in the College of Ag to write grants to fund extension programming. Two programs that she has received funding for are, UK's Graduate and Family Housing Community Garden and begin a graduation regalia lending program. In her current role as the Vice-President of the Graduate Student Congress, she advocates for graduate student concerns to UK’s upper administration. She helps graduate programs across the university get access to funding to support their community and actively works to direct students to resources on campus. Lauren participated in ESA’s former Linnaean Games, now the Entomology Games, and is the current ESA Student Representative for the University of Kentucky. In the role of Student Affairs Committee Chair-Elect, she hopes to encourage participation and be of service to her colleagues and advocate on their behalf.

Lyndsey Gray is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Colorado State University’s (CSU) Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology Department. Her research centers on monitoring changes in vectorial capacity among wild Anopheles mosquito populations throughout a malaria-focused phase III clinical trial in Burkina Faso. Lyndsey’s work also includes developing novel biotechnology for mosquito and West Nile virus surveillance in Colorado. In her research roles, Lyndsey regularly serves as a team facilitator, logistics manager, and communication coordinator among numerous types of groups, including international stakeholders, vector management businesses, local governments, interdisciplinary science teams, and community members. Additionally, she is an advocate for early career professionals and graduate students. When an active Peace Corps Volunteer, Lyndsey was the Lima Central Office’s Education and Resource Manager for the Peer Support Network, which provided mental health support to serving volunteers and educated staff members on mental health concerns for American expatriates. Her advocacy continues as she volunteers on CSU’s Graduate Student Council Health Insurance Committee and petitions for increased health care access for graduate students. Additionally, she is the appointed liaison between the National Science Policy Network’s (NSPN) Science Diplomacy and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees, and is the current President of the Northern Colorado Chapter of Graduate Women in Science. Lastly, Lyndsey frequently works with CSU, 500 Women Scientists, and NSPN to organize fundraisers, conferences, and professional development opportunities for early career researchers. She would love to use these communication and leadership skills, as well as her passion for entomology, within ESA’s Student Affairs Committee.

William Jacob Pitt is an Entomology graduate student at Colorado State University, where he also completed his undergrad in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. In Dr. Punya Nachappa's lab, he is studying the effects of crop diversity on aphid community composition and potato virus Y prevalence through a combination of field experiments and lab behavior/performance assays. He is interested in aphid ecology and biology, and how these areas relate to virus spread. He served on his department's graduate student committee from 2019-2020. Additionally, he volunteered in the P-IE section at Entomology 2019, and will be doing so again at Entomology 2020 where he is serving as the technical moderator for a zoom session. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing music with friends and taking pictures of aphids and other insects.

Andrea Rilakovic is a master’s student of entomology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) working to develop the best recommendations for chemigation and aerial application of insecticides for the western bean cutworm in corn. Originally from Serbia, Andrea finished her undergraduate studies in Plant Protection at the University of Belgrade in 2019. While an undergraduate student, she volunteered in various organizations engaged with science (e.g. “NCWSS Weed Contest”) and cultural events (e.g. International Student Week in Belgrade). During this time, she also completed three internships at UNL, working in weed science in the Pesticide Application Technology Laboratory and in entomology in the Agroecosystems Entomology Laboratory in North Platte Nebraska. Andrea attended her first ESA in 2019, receiving first place for her undergraduate internship research poster. As a new graduate student, Andrea is an active member of the Bruner Club Graduate Student Organization at UNL, currently serves on two leadership committees, and consistently seeks out new opportunities to network and engage with the entomology community. As the North Central Branch (NCB) Student Affairs Committee Chair-elect, Andrea would seek to encourage NCB participation, especially amongst international students, and aid in fostering more opportunities for students to build up connections and relationships that will help them in their future career paths.

Hailey Shanovich (she/her) is a PhD student and research assistant in the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota (UMN) in the Natural Resource Science and Management (NRSM) graduate program and a certificate in Multicultural Inclusive Learning and Teaching, advised by Dr. Brian Aukema. Her dissertation research focuses on the ecology of various arthropod pests of hybrid hazelnuts in the Midwestern United States. She has a Master’s degree in Entomology with a minor in Applied Plant Science from the UMN and a Bachelor’s in Plant Biology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Hailey recently received ESA’s Larry Larson Graduate Student Award for Leadership in Applied Entomology. She has taken on many leadership roles throughout her graduate studies including the only current student reviewer for the North Central Region USDA-SARE Partnership Grant Committee, secretary of the UMN Natural Resources Association of Graduate Students, a member of the UMN-NRSM Advisory Committee and UMN Dept. of Entomology Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Her service to ESA includes recently publishing three papers in ESA journals, serving as a moderator in past P-IE student competition sections, presenting at every annual meeting since 2018, and most recently serving as an organizer for the P-IE Hot Topics Session on Sustainable Pest Management held during the ESA 2020 virtual meeting. She is also passionate about food justice and environmental justice issues and regularly volunteers with organizations doing this work.

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