Aspiring Entomologists Selected to Internship, Fellowship Program at CDC

Inaugural class of Public Health Entomology for All program joined CDC Division of Vector Borne Diseases in June

Annapolis, MD; July 7, 2022—The Entomological Society of America congratulates the 2022 class of interns and fellows selected for the Public Health Entomology for All program. 

In partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ESA created the Public Health Entomology For All (PHEFA) program to encourage students and recent graduates interested in social justice and health equity to pursue entomology as a career and work toward a future in which all communities benefit from creative, inclusive, and equitable scientific processes and solutions. 

The PHEFA interns and fellows are students or graduates of Minority Serving Institutions who have demonstrated a commitment to scientific inquiry and equity. Interns began their 10-week positions in June at the at the CDC Division of Vector Borne Diseases (DVBD) in Fort Collins, Colorado; the DVBD Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch in Atlanta, Georgia; and the CDC Dengue Branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fellows started their positions in June and will work for one year at the CDC in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

The following individuals were selected as 2022 PHEFA interns and fellows. 


"Tess Brown"Tess Brown 
Southern University A&M 
Baton Rouge, Louisiana  

Tess Brown has completed her third year at Southern University A&M and focused her studies on urban forestry. Previously, Tess interned in the Department of Plant Pathology at Southern and received the Louisiana Forestry Foundation Scholarship. Tess will work at the CDC in Fort Collins. 


"Kaitlyn Gorby"Kaitlyn Gorby 
Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College 
Uvalde, Texas 

Kaitlyn Gorby has completed her third year at Sul Ross State University where she is a biology major and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Kaitlyn previously interned at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. Kaitlyn will work at the CDC in Atlanta. 


Aaleyah Kelso "Aaleyah Kelso"
Tennessee State University 
Nashville, Tennessee 

Aaleyah Kelso anticipates graduating in May 2023 and has been on the Dean’s List at Tennessee State University in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Biology is Aaleyah’s academic focus. Aaleyah will work at the CDC in San Juan. 


"Kelsey Lewis"Kelsey Lewis 
North Carolina Central University 
Durham, North Carolina  

Kelsey Lewis received her B.S. in biomedical science from North Carolina Central University in May 2022. Prior to attending NCCU, Kelsey attended East Carolina University and Durham Technical Community College. Kelsey served as vice president of the Tri-Beta Biology Honors Society and was a fellow in the Atlantis Fellowship Program in Merida, Spain. In addition to being a full-time student, Kelsey was employed as an emergency medical technician for Chatham County, North Carolina. Kelsey will work at the CDC in San Juan.  


"Ryan Noah"Ryan Noah 
Fayetteville State University 
Fayetteville, North Carolina 

Ryan Noah anticipates graduating in May 2023 with a B.A. in biology with a concentration in biotechnology and molecular biology. At Fayetteville State University, Ryan is a student researcher mentored by Kristen Delaney Nguyen, Ph.D. Ryan is a member of the McNair Scholars Program and Phi Eta Sigma and was on the Dean’s List in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Ryan will work at the CDC in Fort Collins. 


"Carolina Yara"Carolina Yara Cespedes 
Antillean University 
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico  

Carolina Yara Cespedes graduated from Antillean University after majoring in biology with a minor in education. Yara was on the Dean’s List in 2019 and 2021. Carolina volunteered with the Puerto Rico Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Punta Guanajibo and was a member of the Science and Technology Club at Antillean University. Carolina will work at the CDC in Atlanta. 


"Jacoby Clark"Jacoby Clark 
San Francisco State University 
San Francisco, California 

Jacoby Clark received an M.S. in biology with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology/microbiology from San Francisco State University in 2022 and B.S. in biological sciences from North Carolina State University in 2020. Jacoby was a graduate student researcher mentored by Andrea Swei, Ph.D. Jacoby studied the interactive effects of climate change and wildlife defaunation on pathogen prevalence and diversity in tick vectors. He has been awarded the Provost Scholar Award, NIH RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) Fellowship, and National Science Foundation REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) in integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley.   


"Juan De Leon Rivera"Juan De Leon Rivera 
University of Puerto Rico 
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 

Juan De Leon Rivera received a B.S. in crop protection in 2021. He was a student researcher in the Biology Department, Ecology Laboratory, and was mentored by Dimaris Acosta Mercado, Ph.D., in a project titled “Preliminary analysis of composition of insects in three forests of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.” After graduating from college, Juan taught science at Petra Zenon de Fabery High School, in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.   




  • Joe Rominiecki, ESA Manager of Communications,, 301-731-4535 x3009 

  • Stacie East, ESA Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,, 301-731-4535 x3030 

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