Alvin Simmons, Ph.D.
August 19, 2020
Back to school is in the air for many of our members. Classes are being offered in an assortment of onsite, remote, and hybrid formats. We all do what we need to do to meet our given goals. We have different individual interests in the domain of entomology, but we are connected by the discipline of this science. Through our bond within ESA, it is essential that we work together to continually refine what is already a premier society. How do we do this? This is our Society. Each of us has a voice in what we do as a Society. In today's issue of ESA eNews, we provide a summary of the July 29-30 ESA Governing Board meeting so that our membership could be updated on our progress. I will not recap the update here, but I will reiterate one item. To better serve the membership and to better hear each voice, the board approved a motion to fund a new staff position—the hiring of an ESA Membership and Diversity Program Manager. This staffer will focus on improving the membership experience as well as looking at other ways that the suite of ESA's programming can be made as inclusive as possible.
Looking ahead, I invite you to join me in celebrating Women's Equality Day which is annually observed on August 26 in the U.S. in observance of the certification of the 19th constitutional amendment. Yesterday (August 18th) marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which affirmed that women in the U.S. have a right to vote. Voting is an essential way of letting one's voice be heard. In our Society, every member has a voice that can be expressed through their vote. And so, today, before the midnight deadline for the ESA election, please take a moment to cast your online vote for the candidates of your choice. There are excellent candidates who are willing to represent the membership on the affairs of our Society. Will this be the year with a record percentage of the membership casting their votes? The answer can be yes if you and everyone else take a moment to vote. We can do it!
Meanwhile, there are numerous volunteer opportunities that members can participate in regarding ESA activities that help define our Society and positively impact what and how we do what we do. Other than services such as committees and offices at the Branch and Society levels, there is also continually a need for manuscript reviewers for Society journals an well as for judges and moderators for paper sessions at conferences. Please be willing to serve and please be thoughtful of diversity, equality, and inclusion in our entomological activities.
Finally, the entire scientific community is invited to engage in "Entomology for All" by participating in what will be a dynamic, interactive, and 100 percent 2020 ESA Virtual Annual Meeting. If you have not already submitted a paper or poster to the largest entomological event of this year, there is still time. You will have an opportunity to help shape our 2020 annual meeting. The deadline to submit is August 31. Should you decide not to submit a paper or poster, we welcome you to register to participate in this historical event. Take care and I hope you will join us.
Alvin M. Simmons, Ph.D., FRES
President, Entomological Society of America
Charleston, South Carolina