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Purdue Reception Recognizes Establishment of John Osmun Endowed Professorship

Jischke and Osmun: John V. Osmun (right) receives honors from President Jischke during a reception to celebrate the Endowed Professorship. (Photo: Dan Moreland)

After more than three years of fund raising and countless meetings, Purdue University has honored Dr. John Osmun, an iconic figure in the pest management industry, with an Endowed Professorship in Entomology. At a reception held at President Martin Jischke’s home on May 14th, more than 100 University Colleagues, industry representatives, and....

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2007 Osmun Award Winner

Thomas J. Henry

Dr. Thomas J. Henry (BS ’71) is the 2007 winner of the John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award in Entomology. In a long and distinguished career, Tom essentially has done it all - and done it extraordinarily well. After graduating from Purdue, he worked for a local pest control company. He worked as a regulatory entomologist in state government for eight years before becoming a research entomologist with USDA-ARS.

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2007 Entomology Educational Project Award

John Obermeyer, Christian Krupke, Judy Loven, Jamal Faghihi (PhD ’83), and Corey Gerber (BS ’93, MS ’95, PhD ’03) are members of a team that received the Entomology Educational Project Award for the Extension Publication, Corn & Soybean Field Guide, 2007 Edition. The award was presented by the Board Certified Entomologists of Mid-America last March at the North Central Branch meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Winnipeg, Ontario. The annually updated publication is an excellent in-field reference, covering topics related to corn and soybean production. It is a quick, go-to reference guide for facts, figures, and pictures on soil fertility, pest management, crop growth and development, along with handy calculations, conversion tables, and Purdue Extension contacts. This revision has new pictures of weeds, insects, and diseases. Over 51,000 copies of the 2007 edition have been sold.

Greg Hunt Receives 2007 J. I. Hambleton Award

Greg Hunt: Hambleton Award Winner for 2007

Greg Hunt is the winner of the J.I. Hambleton 2007 Award. Greg received a B.S. in biology from John Carroll University in 1979 and an M.S. in Plant Pathology in 1984. While working in a research position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he began keeping bees and became interested in studying their behavior and particularly their genetics.

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Gates Foundation Grant

Cowpea Storage: Larry Murdock displays plastic storage bags used to protect cowpea harvest from insect damage.

In Africa, Impoverished Farmers Seek Better Technology
During the last 20-some years I have traveled into the back country of Africa at least 40 times, gotten sick more times than I like to count and invariably returned home exhausted and half in a state of shock. Every time I arrived back I pinched myself and asked, "Was that real what I saw, or just a bad dream?"

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Maymester Study Abroad

Pyrenees Mountains: Undergrad, Katie Buckley at a cirque created by a glacier.

Steve Weller, George Van Scoyoc, and Al York recently completed a Maymester Study Abroad to Southern France and Italy between Naples and Rome. The objective of the trip was to explore the agriculture of the areas and to compare organic and conventional methods. In addition to lots of time spent in rural areas and on farms, the group spent a few days in Paris and Rome for some "cultural enlightenment.” They also spent a night in the Pyrenees Mountains. Eighteen students from six departments, including four from entomology, comprised the group.

Photo Album of the Maymester trip

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6th International Symposium on Fungal Endophytes of Grasses

Doug Richmond attended the 6th International Symposium on Fungal Endophytes of Grasses held March 25-28 in Christchurch, New Zealand. His presentation of the paper entitled “Mediation of herbivore-natural enemy interactions by Neotyphodium endophytes: The role of insect behavioural response” was one of two plenary papers on the subject of endophyte-plant-herbivore interactions. The symposium gathered researchers from a wide range of disciplines including plant, microbial and animal sciences, biochemistry, turfgrass science, entomology, ecosystems ecology, chemistry, microbiology, evolutionary science, and biotechnology. The conference provided an opportunity for researchers to share their knowledge and build collaborative relationships across this wide range of disciplines. The event was sponsored by the Samuel Roberts Nobel Foundation. More than 200 students and scholars were in attendance.

New Staff

Mark Rhainds, from Canada, arrived in June to work as a post doctoral research associate with Cliff Sadof on the dispersal behavior of bagworms and other flightless moths in rural landscapes and nursery production systems. Marc began working with this group of insects during his PhD research on tropical bagworms in Costa Rica. He will be publishing a review article on this interesting family of insects in the upcoming Annual Review of Entomology. Marc comes from the University of Montreal, where he worked on soybean aphids with Dr. Jacques Brodeur.


FROM THE HEAD BUG by Steve Yaninek

Entomology at Purdue: The Early Years

Steve Yaninek

In the previous newsletter, I talked about entomology in Indiana before there was a Purdue University. In this issue, I'll sketch the history of entomology at Purdue during the early years of the University. Purdue was established in 1869, and the first students walked through the door in 1874. The first curriculum in the School of Agriculture and Horticulture was established in 1876, and it would take another 4 years before the first students enrolled in this option.

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Outreach in Entomology at Purdue University

Chalk Talks: Glen Lehker drew cartoons to illustrate entomology presentations.

In modern times, the science of entomology has had a problem in that the general the public has negative feelings about insects. The reasons for such an attitude are unclear. It may be due to the pest status of some insects, the “them versus us” mentality. It might be due to the alien appearance of insects, so different from us as to be frightening. Regardless of the basis for the attitude the result is that historically, outside of finding out how to kill insects, people have not expressed much interest in learning about entomology. To combat this, some entomologists have developed methods designed to entice the public into learning more about insects.

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Ag Ambassador

Amy Lockwood: Selected as new member of the Ag Ambassadors.

Amy Lockwood, an undergrad from Succasunna, New Jersey, was selected to be a Purdue Ag Ambassador. The Ambassadors are student volunteers who typify the best and brightest students in the College of Agriculture. Leading campus tours, giving presentations, and acting as hosts at school and University events are some of the ways these students represent the College of Agriculture.




Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching Award

Teaching Honors: Shujuan Li (center) celebrates with Wan-Tien Tsai, Chris Oseto, Virginia Ferris, and Steve Yaninek.

Shujuan Li received the 2007 Outstanding Graduate Teacher Assistant in Entomology. She was honored in April at the annual Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching. The recognition also earned Shujuan a nomination for the Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award to be presented at the Celebration in 2008.






Summer Graduates

Shujuan Li (PhD ’07) will move to Arizona to work with Dr. Peter Ellsworth as a Research Lab Assistant in the Maricopa Agricultural Center, University of Arizona

Victoria Caceres (MS ’07) will continue at Purdue to pursue a PhD in Entomology. She will be working with Doug Richmond.

Feature Essay - Andy Ammons

Andy Ammons

Bee Genes for Drunkenness
My name is Andrew Ammons, or Andy, and I am a doctoral graduate student in the Department of Entomology at Purdue University. Like most of us that are fascinated by insects, my interest was sparked during childhood. Supposedly, most children go through a phase where they love both bugs and dinosaurs. In my case that passion never waned. It was a fateful day, however, when I realized that there was not a single living dinosaur to be studied. Bugs, on the other hand, were everywhere and in greater numbers than I could ever imagine. So I left dead bones and from then on the creepy-crawlies (worms, parasites, blood-suckers, insects) were in my future.

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Ivan Cruz (MS ’80) is a Senior Researcher at the Brazilian Agriculture and Livestock Research Institution  (EMBRAPA) since 1974. He was the Head of Research at the National Corn and Sorghum Research Center from 2004 to 2006, and currently is the President of the Brazilian Maize and Sorghum Association < http://www.embrapa.br/ > and Editor-in-chief of the Brazilian Journal of Maize and Sorghum. He is also a distinguished researcher by CNPq – Brazilian Scientific and Technological Development Council. A few people that Ivan remembers are Tom Turpin, Eldon Ortman, John Osmun, Broesma, John Foster, Dave Leva, Bob Corrigan (BS ’77, MS ’80, PhD ’95), Jim Dill, Gar Walker, and Larry Godfrey (BS ’78, MS ’80).


Robert Byers, Sr. (PhD ’71) is retired from the USDA and holds an honorary membership in the Entomology Society of Pennsylvania. He is married with two children, a grandson, and a step-granddaughter.



50 Years: Bruce and his wife, Shirley, just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Banjo player: Bruce on the banjo with his bluegrass band, the Narrow Gauge String Band.

Bruce Eldridge (PhD ’65) is an Emeritus Professor of Entomology at the University of California, Davis. Bruce relates a memorable story: “When I was at Purdue we usually had "collection night" on Wednesdays when the grad students worked on insect collections or other things. It is rumored that adult beverages were sometimes consumed, but I can't confirm this. One night one of the hard working grad students donned the suit of armor that used to stand in Agriculture Hall (is it still there?) and was walking around the 2nd floor when Dr. Osmun showed up to check something in his office. As he turned the corner he came face to face with the walking suit of armor. After a pause of about 15 seconds, the suit of armor walked away and Dr. Osmun shook his head and without a word went to his office. Of course the remainder of the grad students scattered quickly. I used to know who was in the suit of armor, but I've forgotten.”

Bruce Eldridge Bio



Resener Family: Happy to have mom at home

Angie Resener (BS ’93) is experiencing a new challenge as a stay at home mom with Katie, 7 and Matthew, 3. Angie and friend, Jaymie Bailey (mother of undergrad Jay Bailey) were recently talking about how the Entomology Department is different than others and relates this story: “She was asking me if I knew Al York, so I told her the story about how I became an Entomology student.  I was a sophomore in pre-vet and had a meeting with my counselor to schedule my classes for my junior year.  I was in serious financial trouble and very worried about it because I saw no way out.  She asked me how I was doing and I told her that I was having financial problems.  She said, "isn't everyone?" and dismissed it.  She told me that I would have to declare another major in case I didn't get into vet school.  I picked Entomology because I was interested in it and knew it would come easy to me.  So she sent me to Dr. York.  He asked me how I was doing and I said that I was having financial problems and he said, "Tell me about it."  So I did.  I was crying and was so frustrated and knew I was in over my head and was on the verge of leaving Purdue.  So he told me that he would check into some things for me and that I should come back in a couple days.  When I came back, he had found me cheaper student housing, he found out that I could get more grant money if I refused work study next semester, and he also got me a job working in the Urban Lab with Dr. Gary Bennett which paid much higher wages than I was getting at the Biology lab where I was working at the time.  He also told me that if I switched over to Entomology as my major I would most likely get a scholarship each year because my grades were good.  If he hadn't taken the time to take interest in me, I probably would have transferred out to OSU or Wright State or something else closer to home.  I think that the Entomology Department cares for its students more than most do. Maybe because it is small. Oh, and I still remember Dr. Fischang saying abDOmen with the stress on the "DO". We all thought that was funny.


Jeff Froehle (BS ’64) is a partner of Lazard Dana LLP, a CPA firm in Savannah, Georgia. A memorable moment was Dr. Osmun’s initial anger when Jeff informed him of entering the Air Force instead of accepting a VP position at a pesticide company in the mid-west. Dr. Osmun got over it and Jeff still considers him one his best professors. Jeff is married with two children and one granddaughter.


Ross Allmon (BS ’52) is retired from Hercules Powder Company and Boots Hercules AgroChemicals Company as Vice President of sales.


Kenneth Bell (BS ’65) retired as CEO of Bell Pest Control, Inc. Ken and his wife, Sue, have two children, Kenneth III and JaneAnne.



Tom Barlow and youngest daughter

Tom’s wife with daughter.

Thomas Barlow (BS ’75) is the owner of Assured Pest Control, Inc since 1983. People he remembers are John Osmun, Leland Chandler, Dr. Dobson, and Tom Turpin. Tom remembers the good old days of working in the field for Horticulture and Entomology to save money for school. He is a graduate of West Lafayette High and remembers great basketball with Rick Mount. Entomology was very small at the time he started with only a few people, but great teachers like Dr. Dobson and John Osmun. He remembers well the old classroom which is now preserved, and glad he contributed to the restoration. Tom has two daughters, ages 12 and 15.





21         Tippecanoe  Butterfly Count: www.entm.purdue.edu/butterflycount


8-19      Indiana State Fair
15         Purdue Day at the Indiana State Fair
30         Entomology Fall Picnic


In this Issue:
Feature Article
  • Purdue Reception Recognizes Establishment of John Osmun Endowed Professorship
Department News
  • 2007 Osmun Award Winner
  • 2007 Entomology Education Project Award
  • Hambleton Award
  • Gates Foundation Grant
  • International Travel
  • New Staff
From the Head Bug
  • Entomology at Purdue:
    The Early Years
Outreach Update
  • Outreach in Entomology
    at Purdue University
Entomology Students
  • Ag Ambassador
  • Summer Graduates
  • Feature Essay – Andy Ammons
Alumni News
From the editor

With each issue of Entomology @ Purdue we keep you up-to-date on what's happening in the Department of Entomology and with Alumni. Will you please take a moment to help keep us up-to-date with you? Paula Layden
Editor, Entomology @ Purdue
Department of Entomology
Purdue University
901 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2089
Phone: 765-496-1119
Fax: 765-494-0535Please include your name, address, degree, major and year of graduation. Photographs, if submitted, will be returned.