President's Corner: Brighter Future

Alvin Simmons, Ph.D.

Alvin Simmons, Ph.D.

November 11, 2020

I have mixed feelings as I write my 12th and final monthly “President’s Corner.” On the one hand, the year has gone by contrarily from what I had envisioned, notably because of challenges resulting from the continued pandemic. On the other hand, it has been exciting, and I am delighted to have served with you as we kept moving forward as a premier scientific society. With excellent staff support, leadership, and other dedicated volunteers, we have adapted to our situation and forged ahead.  Some activities had to be delayed, such as Grand Challenges Agenda for Entomology summit on invasive species and ESA’s new initiative to develop increased programming and services for members on non-academic career tracks. But, I am pleased to share that the state of our Society is good. As we transition late next week to a new ESA president, Michelle Smith, please be assured that we will continue to forge ahead, and we will have a brighter future. We will emerge from this pandemic, and we will interact again in face-to-face settings.

Additionally, please join me in recognition of National Native American Heritage Month which is observed each November in the U.S. This is a good opportunity for us to honor the legacy and recognize the heritage, culture, and experiences of indigenous people of America; let’s consider both their past and present. For instance, I reflect on the unincorporated Tuscarora community where I grew up in eastern North Carolina. The namesake of this community is from an indigenous civilization. The Tuscarora tribe was once expansive, with towns and villages throughout much of eastern North Carolina. In the early 18th century, their lives were violently disrupted, and many migrated to Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada to ensure their survival. Among the remaining scattered Tuscarora people in North Carolina, the state does not formally recognize them as a tribe.  

Also, today is Veterans Day, a national holiday in the U.S. Our Society is quite diverse, and we have both indigenous people of America and veterans among our membership. Moreover, as also noted in today’s eNews, we welcome and are excited to have Matt Hudson as our new director of publications, communications, and marketing. Matt joins us after more than 15 years with the Geological Society of America. Let’s continue to recognize and welcome all components of our Society and our discipline as we celebrate “Entomology for All.”

Finally, today is also an exciting day because it is the first day of the Entomology 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, with the on-demand component of the program now open. Anyone can register throughout the meeting. Next week, the meeting will kick into an even higher level of excitement with the addition of livestream programing. Among 87 symposia and other presentations, you are also invited to join in 170 live networking video chats. I look forward to seeing you virtually next week during the livestream program of the 2020 Annual Meeting.

Take care and keep well. 

Alvin M. Simmons, Ph.D., FRES
President, Entomological Society of America
Charleston, South Carolina

Read past editions of President's Corner.