2023 Southwestern Branch Elections


The 2023 Southwestern Branch officer elections, conducted via electronic ballot, will open January 9, 2023, and close February 8, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time. 

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Southwestern Branch Secretary-Elect

Alvaro Romero
New Mexico State University

Bio: Alvaro Romero is an Associate Professor of Urban Entomology at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Romero has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the National University of Colombia, a MSc. in Veterinary Entomology from Kansas State University, and a Ph. D. in Urban Entomology from the University of Kentucky. His urban entomology lab addresses medically and economically important southwestern pests of USA, including scorpions, Turkestan cockroaches and kissing bugs. He has published 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 10 trade journal magazine articles and featured in 20 online articles. Alvaro is currently involved in two NIFA-funded educational projects that help Hispanic students to access natural resource and agricultural careers, and development of a national program for providing extension resources in Spanish.

Past ESA activity or other volunteer service:Dr. Romero is an active member of the Entomological Society of America (since 2002) and has been involved in various activities including member of the ESA Committee on Diversity & Inclusion (2017-2019), regular moderator and judge of the ESA student competition, organizer of national and regional symposia of the same organization. He is a regular participant of the annual NM state fair and outreach activities organized by the department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science. Dr. Romero has been also involved with the organization of the National Conference on Urban Entomology, and regular participant as speaker and symposia organizer. He is active member of Pi Chi Omega which is a fraternal organization dedicated to furthering the science of pest control. He is grant/manuscript reviewer for NIFA-USDA and at least 10 scientific journals.

Candidate statement:It is my honor to be nominated for the SWBESA Secretary-elect position. As an immigrant scientist, I have been interested in serving as role model for other immigrants to accomplish their professional goals in the US. This is reflected by the graduation of four Hispanic students who have completed their graduate studies in my laboratory and pursued careers in the pest control industry or academia. Therefore, my interest in applying to this position is to help boost diversity and inclusion in the organization, not only for Hispanic but also other minorities, by encouraging their participation in regional and national events such as symposia, workshops, and outreach activities. Finally, I am also interested in promoting urban entomology among ESA student members and serve as a bridge between them, the pest control and pharmaceutical industry.

Brandon G. Smythe
New Mexico State University

Bio: Dr. Brandon Smythe currently serves as a Research Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and has been named Director of the Veterinary Entomology Research Laboratory (VERL) where he specializes in ectoparasiticide product development targeting a variety of arthropod pest of veterinary importance. Smythe, having grown up in New Mexico, received his Ph.D. from NMSU where he focused on livestock responses to horn fly infestations. During his time as a graduate student, Dr. Smythe acted as Program Manager of the VERL and began building his own research program that continues to thrive in the area of veterinary entomology.

Past ESA activity or other volunteer service:Dr. Smythe has been a devoted ESA member since his first exposure to the society in 2012. Since that time, Dr. Smythe has regularly attended the National and Southwestern Branch meetings serving in multiple roles including being a member on the Awards and Honors, Student Research Paper & Poster Awards, and Early Career Professionals Committees. Dr. Smythe’s participation can be visualized in the success of his students who have shined, receiving multiple awards for their research presentations in the area of veterinary entomology at both the national and branch meetings. Dr. Smythe’s efforts in the society as well as his success as a researcher were highlighted when he won the ESA SWB first Early Career Professional Award in 2019.

Candidate statement:I am excited to have the opportunity to give back to the society that I have benefited so much from with my own participation at the branch and national ESA gatherings. Throughout my time as an ECP in the society, I have come to realize how beneficial and impactful the guidance, leadership, and friendship of those who assume leadership positions can be on the general membership. As I continue my career, I feel it is not only my desire, but my responsibility to fill the shoes of those who showed me the way and provide insight and mentorship to those who will one day hold the torch of this amazing group.


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