Congratulations and welcome to the incoming officers of the Eastern Branch!
Congratulations to the members of the Eastern Branch recently elected to volunteer positions beginning in March 2023. The electronic ballot period for branch members began January 9, and was completed February 8, 2023.
Eastern Branch President-Elect
Penn State University
Bio: Dr. Karly Regan is an extension educator at Penn State serving commercial vegetable, berry, and cut flower producers in south central Pennsylvania. She completed a B.S. in Biology at the University of Massachusetts, an M.S. in Plant Science at South Dakota State University, and a Ph.D. degree in Entomology at Penn State. After graduating from Penn State, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University in Geneva, NY. Her research experience has included the impact of drought stress, soil health practices, and nutrient management on pest management in agriculture, as well as improving integrated pest management programs for field and vegetable crops. In addition to research and extension, she has been involved with ESA throughout her career and currently serves as the early career representative on the Eastern Branch Executive Committee.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Regan has been an active member of ESA since 2013 and a member of the Eastern Branch since 2015. She currently serves as the Early Career Representative to the Eastern Branch Executive Committee. Alongside presenting, she has also participated in national and branch meetings by organizing symposia, organizing workshops, and serving as moderator and judge for student competitions. She has previously served on the P-IE awards committee and the DEI Focus Group for the P-IE section and regularly serves as a reviewer for ESA journals. In addition to ESA, she volunteers as a member of the National Science Policy Network and the Pennsylvania Association of County Agriculture Agents.
Candidate statement: I have had the honor of serving on the Eastern Branch Executive Committee as ECP Rep under Presidents Lamp and Kennedy during this transition time of redefining the role of branches within ESA. Their efforts to launch EntoQuest, museum tours, and an educational webinar series have helped establish a stronger future for Eastern Branch. If elected, I would work to increase recruitment to our planning committees for these new activities to ensure they continue to thrive and that Eastern Branch continues to serve as a model for how much a branch can provide to members beyond our annual branch meeting. I will also welcome feedback from our members on other new ideas we can launch to better serve the needs of our branch and support the important activities of our branch committees including the DEI committee and ECP committee to support retention of membership within the branch at all career stages.
Eastern Branch Early Career Professional Representative to the Executive Committee
University of Connecticut
Bio: Doctor Abigail Hayes, better known in some circles as Arthropod Abbey, is an NSF postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Connecticut (UConn) where they are working on the genetic underpinnings of wing evolution with Dr. Elizabeth Jockusch. They completed their Ph.D. in Entomology in 2021 at Washington State University (WSU) with Dr. Laura Lavine. Dr. Hayes’ broader research interests lie at the intersection of evolution, development and local adaptation of arthropod phenotypes. Dr. Hayes has not only developed a competitively funded research program on phenotypic evolution, they also have led a disproportionately large selection of advocacy work in their relatively short career – on behalf of arthropods, the climate and human beings.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Hayes has been heavily involved in both regional and national ESA events: as a participant and eventual judge of student debates, as a competitor and organizer of elevator talks, and as co-captain of an Entomology Games Team. They have given multiple invited talks, organized several symposia, presented posters and more despite the pandemic spanning a large portion of their relatively short career. Dr. Hayes has tirelessly advocated for insects both as the outreach coordinator and curator of a bug zoo during their Ph.D. and in their current postdoctoral position. Dr. Hayes is equally as passionate about arthropod advocacy as they are social justice- serving as postdoctoral representative on DEI committees and in faculty meetings, facilitating and organizing the Queer Science conference at UConn and founding a postdoctoral society.
Candidate statement: I am fresh from the Pacific Branch and come with a plethora of ideas to build Early Career Professional (ECP) community and resources. Not only do I come with ideas, I come with a proven track record of advocating for ECPs. I already have experience meeting with administrative bodies on behalf of ECPs in my current role as founder and president of a postdoctoral society at UConn, resulting in the creation of a resource center. Some initiatives I would like to see through as the Eastern Branch’s ECP representative include creating ECP recognition symposia at the branch meetings, increasing networking opportunities both virtually and in person, and advocating for more funding aimed at ECPs. I value transparency and inclusivity - as the Eastern Branch ECP representative I would hold monthly virtual meetings for the Eastern Branch ECPs to make sure I hear and see everyone’s concern
Eastern Branch Member-at-Large
Bio: Daniel obtained his Ph.D in Entomology from Virginia Tech, an M.S. in Entomology from the University of Florida, and a B.S. in Biology from Utah State University. He currently serves as Director of Pesticide Programs within the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech. In his role, he serves as both IPM and pesticide safety education program coordinator. Before becoming Director of Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs, he was an Extension Specialist and Associate Professor of Entomology at West Virginia University. In 2019, Daniel was named Outstanding Recent Graduate Alumnus of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and was the recipient of the ESA Eastern Branch Herbert T. Streu Meritorious Service Award.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Daniel has been an ESA member for 21 years and an Eastern Branch member for 16 years. He served as Secretary on the Eastern Branch Executive Committee from 2013-2022. Daniel has volunteered his time and expertise in various roles with other scientific and professional organizations including the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators, IR-4, Southern IPM Center, Southern Region Information Exchange Group for IPM (SERA3), National Pesticide Safety Education Center, and Virginia Master Gardener Association.
Candidate statement: As a long-serving member of ESA, I would be delighted to be considered for the Eastern Branch Member-at-Large position. My attendance at numerous Branch meetings, service on the Executive Committee, and interest in the organization would serve me well when acting as a liaison between the Executive Committee and Branch membership. With the initiation of ESA’s Branch Evolution Project, I am interested in helping the Eastern Branch strategically plan for its future. A topic of particular interest for me includes consideration of a new membership section (Formal and Informal Teaching) for education professionals within the organization.