Six Entomologists Earn Honorary Membership at the Entomological Society of America
Status bestowed upon members demonstrating extraordinary service to ESA
Annapolis, MD; September 1, 2021—In recognition of their long-term dedication and significant contributions to the Entomological Society of America (ESA), six entomologists have been selected as Honorary Members of the Society in 2021.
Honorary Membership acknowledges those who have served ESA for at least 20 years through significant involvement in the affairs of the Society that has reached an extraordinary level. Candidates for this honor are selected by the ESA Governing Board and then voted on by the ESA membership.
This year's honorees will be recognized during Entomology 2021, ESA's Annual Meeting, taking place in-person and online, October 31 – November 3, in Denver, Colorado.
ESA's 2021 Honorary Members are:
- Chris Geden, USDA Agricultural Research Service
- John Heraty, University of California, Riverside
- Steven Naranjo, USDA Agricultural Research Service
- David Ragsdale, Texas A&M AgriLife Research
- Brad Vinson, Texas A&M University
- Frank Zalom, University of California, Davis
Dr. Chris Geden is a Massachusetts native who has worked on pests of veterinary importance since starting graduate school at the University of Massachusetts. After working as a research associate at North Carolina State and Cornell University, he took a position as research entomologist with USDA in Gainesville, Florida (1992-present).
Chris has authored 135+ papers in refereed scientific journals, written 6 book chapters, co-authored a book, co-edited a book, and written numerous popular articles, extension publications and conference proceedings. His research has been recognized in 40+ articles in industry trade journals and popular media, including television and other videos. He has presented 150+ papers at national scientific meetings and numerous academic seminars and technology-transfer presentations to a variety of stakeholders. Chris has also given 25+ invited international presentations, organized three symposia at national scientific meetings, was co-organizer of two national conferences, and helped organize two international meetings.
An active member of ESA since 1977, examples of service to the Society in the past 10 years include: Journal of Medical Entomology subject editor (2017-present), JME Editorial Board member (2020-present), MUVE president (2012), MUVE secretary (2019-present), ESA Governing Board member (2013-2018), and ESA Program co-chair (2021). While on the Governing Board, Chris served on the Executive Committee (2017-2018) and a presidential committee (2017) to draft guidelines for changes in Society governance and development of new ESA policies and procedures.
Dr. John Heraty is a professor in the Department of Entomology at UCR. He was an undergraduate and Master's student at the University of Guelph, where he worked for 10 years as a biological control technician. He then did his Ph.D. with Dr. James Woolley at Texas A&M University. His research focus is the systematics of ant-parasitic wasps, but he has a long research career exploring Chalcidoidea and other Hymenoptera, and he maintains a strong interest in biological control.
John attended and presented at his first ESA meeting in 1981. He has served the Society in various capacities as part of Section A (Systematics) leadership (2000-2003), Governing Board member for Section A and the newly created Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity Section (2005-2012), and GB liaison to the ESA Common Names Committee. He served as the Section representative on a number of editorial boards and also for the ESA Publications Council (2012-2019).
John maintains a strong belief in promoting student participation in the Society. Since starting at UCR, he has trained a large number of graduate students and postdocs, which include a broad mosaic of both women and underrepresented groups. All of these students, including a number of undergraduates, have participated and presented at ESA meetings. John chaired and co-chaired the ESA Presidential Committee on Student and Young Professional Awards (2007–2012), which promoted Society participation. He established and actively promotes the SysEB Student Research Endowment, which supports research travel opportunities for a number of diverse students and their excellent projects.
Dr. Steven Naranjo is director of the USDA-ARS Arid-Land Agricultural Center in Maricopa, Arizona, where he oversees broad programs in crop protection, crop production, crop improvement, and food safety. His internationally recognized research focuses on insect population ecology, conservation and economics of biological control, sampling and decision aids, risk assessment in transgenic crops, and development of IPM strategies for arid-land crops. He has been an ESA member for 40 years and a President's Circle member since 2014. Dr. Naranjo has attended 34 national meetings and also meetings of every ESA Branch, presenting a total of 24 symposia talks and many papers.
Dr. Naranjo served as president of the Pacific Branch in 2014 where he organized and hosted one of the best attended meetings of the Branch in several decades. He served as Environmental Entomology subject editor for transgenic plants and insects (2008-2020), a new section he was instrumental in founding after organizing and guest editing a special issue of 14 papers focused on long-term field studies to assess nontarget impacts of Bt crops. He routinely moderates paper sessions and judges student papers at national and Branch Meetings, has successfully nominated and supported many colleagues for ESA awards including ESA Fellow, and is a regular contributor to the Entomology Foundation and now the Chrysalis Fund. Dr. Naranjo has been the recipient of several ESA awards including the Recognition Award in Entomology, the IPM Team Award and the Pacific Branch Woodworth award. He was elected an ESA Fellow in 2015.
Dr. David Ragsdale serves as associate director and chief scientific officer of Texas A&M AgriLife Research with faculty located at 13 research and extension centers. He is a professor in the Entomology Department at Texas A&M University and served as department head from 2010-2019. Prior to moving to Texas A&M he was at the University of Minnesota from 1981 to 2010. His research focused on insect vectors of plant pathogens, and in 2001 he led a multistate effort on the invasive soybean aphid, where he and his students worked with others in 12 North Central states to establish treatment thresholds and sampling plans and evaluate germplasm for resistance to various biotypes of the aphid. Dr. Ragsdale earned his B.S. (1974) in biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and his M.S. (1977) and Ph.D. (1980) in entomology from Louisiana State University. Dr. Ragsdale published over 100 peer reviewed publications and trained 24 students to the M.S. and Ph.D.
An ESA member since 1976, he joined subsection Cc (Insect Vectors of Plant Pathogens) as a graduate student and later served as its president-elect and president in 1999-2000. Dr. Ragsdale also served on the ESA Strategic Planning Committee from 1998-2001 and was co-chair of the Program Committee for the North Central Branch Meeting and later represented Section C on the Membership Committee. He served as the North Central Branch secretary/treasurer from 2007-2011. Following his move to Texas he was elected as the Southwestern Branch representative to the Governing Board (2012-2017).
Dr. Brad Vinson earned a B.S. in entomology from the Ohio State University (1961); an M.S. in entomology in 1963 and a Ph.D. in 1965 from Mississippi State University, where he began as an assistant professor in 1965 and three years later was promoted to an associate. In 1969, at the invitation of Dr. Perry Adkisson, Dr. Vinson began his 47-years career in the Entomology Department at Texas A&M. During his career of 51 years, he published more than 680 scholarly publications. Over these years he mentored some 76 graduate students (32 M.S. and 44 Ph.D.) and hosted another 44 postdocs and 17 visiting scholars. Dr. Vinson developed three major research programs during his career at Texas A&M leading to international recognition in the area of physiological ecology of parasitic wasps.
During Dr. Vinson's 65 years of service to ESA, he served in five elected offices, organized multiple meetings and symposia, and chaired or served on nearly a dozen committees. Dr. Vinson frequently exhibited his keen interest in encouraging the promotion of entomology across all levels of education, which was evident in his focus on the development and growth of the Entomological Foundation. During his leadership, the Entomological Foundation aggressively promoted STEM education. He was a founding member of International Society of Hymentopterists and is one of the Society's most respected and honored colleagues. Dr. Vinson retired from Texas A&M in 2016 but has remained active in ESA and many other societies in the years after his retirement.
Dr. Frank Zalom is distinguished professor emeritus at UC Davis and currently a recall professor. A 47-year ESA member, he has served the Pacific Branch as president (2002), secretary-treasurer (two terms, 1983-89), and on its Executive (3 terms), Local Arrangements (3X, chair 1X), Program, Site Selection (3X), Nominations (8X; chair 2X), Awards Selection (7X, chair 2X), Operations (3X), Student Paper (4X) and Archives committees. He was ESA President in 2014 and served on Presidential Committees under Presidents Ortman, Gilstrap, and Wiedenmann. National committees included Membership (2004-07), Science Policy (2016-18; chair, 2015), Recognition Award (chair 3X), Fellows Judging (4X), Auditing, and Governing Board (2012-15). He was Entomological Foundation counselor for eight years and Foundation president (2015). Zalom was first Journal of Integrated Pest Management Editorial Board chair (2008-09) and member through 2012. He has been Journal of Economic Entomology editor-in-chief since 2018.
Zalom was UC Statewide IPM Program director for 16 years (1986-2002). A Fulbright scholar (1992-93), he received numerous awards including the BY Morrison Memorial Medal from USDA-ARS and American Society for Horticultural Science (2017), ESA'sRecognition Award(2002), Outstanding Achievement Award in Extension Entomology (1992), Excellence in IPM Award (2010), IPM Team Award (2008), and the Pacific Branch CW Woodworth Award (2011). UC Davis recognitions include the Consortium for Women in Research Outstanding Mentor Award (2013), James H. Meyer Award (2004), and Academic Senate Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award (2017). Zalom is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America, AAAS, California Academy of Sciences, and Royal Entomological Society.
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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.