Congratulations and welcome to the incoming officers of the Eastern Branch!
- Yong-Lak Park, West Virginia University
Bio: Dr. Yong-Lak Park received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Entomology from Seoul National University, South Korea, and Ph.D. in Entomology from Iowa State University. He worked at the University of California, Riverside as a postdoctoral scholar. He then joined the faculty in the Entomology Program at West Virginia University in 2006 and is currently a full professor. Dr. Park has published about 70 articles and book chapters. His research has focused on the use of technological advances for insect ecology and pest management. Examples include using satellites and drones to detect and manage pests, modeling insect development and distribution, and helping bioinspired engineering with insect systems. He has received six awards for outstanding faculty for research, teaching, and service at West Virginia University and Sigma Gamma Delta West Virginia Chapter.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Park has been active in entomology at international, national, and regional levels. Since joining the ESA in 1999, he served as Chair/Co-chair for the Eastern Branch ESA Registration & Hospitality Committee for three years and Chair/Co-chair for the Eastern Branch ESA Student Presentation Competition Committee for four years. He also served on the National ESA Local Arrangement & Technology Committee and the ESA Task Force on Innovation Committee. In 2020, he organized a social event called “EntoFold” at the first Virtual National ESA Meeting by developing and running an online activity involving insect origami. He was the president of the West Virginia Entomological Society and chair of the Young and Woman Entomologist Committee at the 2012 International Congress of Entomology. He has served as an associate editor and member of editorial boards of entomology journals.
Candidate statement: In addition to the rich entomological history of the Eastern Branch ESA, the branch has a diverse membership from 14 U.S. states and 6 Canadian provinces. The history and diversity in the branch are well-founded, maintained, and enhanced by past leaders and members. Now our era has entered the fourth Industrial Revolution, and the post-pandemic era is on the horizon. The new era of "changes and opportunities" requires leaders with innovative approaches and diverse members. If elected, I will seek innovation in the Eastern Branch ESA by promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity, enthusiastically sharing my expertise with all audiences, embracing leadership, and respecting and representing the diversity of our members.
- Anna Wallingford, University of New Hampshire
Bio: Dr. Wallingford is UNH Extension’s State Specialist in Entomology & IPM, a researcher at NH’s Agricultural Experiment Station, and a faculty member in UNH’s Department of Agriculture, Nutrition & Food Systems. A graduate of Virginia Tech’s Entomology Department, Anna has post-doctoral research experience at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, NY, as well as USDA Agricultural Research Service stations in California and Maryland. In addition to studying practical methods for controlling arthropod pests of horticultural crops, Anna’s research interests include insect behavior and cold weather biology.
Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Dr. Wallingford has been an active member of the ESA since 2005, the large majority of this time as an Eastern Branch member. Anna has published much of her research in ESA journals, and she has played an active role in annual meetings; having volunteered at the registration table as a student, as a judge for student competition during her early career, and has recently played the role of mentor at several recent networking opportunities. Anna has served as Program Co-Chair or Program Chair of the Eastern Branch Annual Meeting since 2019.
Candidate statement: The Entomological Society of America has played an incredibly valuable role in my career and the Eastern Branch has been particularly important to shaping who I am as an entomologist, a researcher, and an educator. I see serving as Secretary of the Eastern Branch as a vital part of maintaining an organization that I find so valuable. The Eastern Branch and its annual meetings serve a unique role for membership by providing a place for professionals in our region to share information and build collaborations in a smaller scale setting than annual meetings. These branch meetings have also served as a friendlier (i.e. less overwhelming) environment for students and early career entomologists to interact with other professionals and to practice their science communication skills. My hope for the future of the Eastern Branch is that all entomological professionals in the region will be able to find this same value in participation that I have over the years.