TYLER, Texas–The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate professor emeritus Dr. Marvin Harris as he received the Ta-que-ne-whap Award from the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America during its annual meeting in February.
Established in 1977 by the branch’s Executive Committee, the award honors members who have contributed exceptional leadership and service to the Branch over their lifetimes. Harris, a Professor Emeritus of Entomology at Texas A&M University, received the award for his outstanding efforts in the organization.
A joint research (Texas A&M AgriLife Research) and teaching (TAMU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) appointment during most of his career allowed participation that focused on basic and applied entomology primarily involving pecan insects and teaching and mentoring students at all levels.
This program facilitated developing and applying new knowledge in the classroom, scientific forums and the pecan agroecosystem, serving as major professor for 40 students who received degrees to date, teaching 2-4 courses annually that reached 800+ students in all, and interacting with colleagues and pecan producers to bring science to agriculture. Dr. Harris also served as an advocate for students, particularly undergraduates, on using professional societies to “Transition Their Educations Into Careers” as preparation for life after graduation.
Harris served as the ESA Chairman of Section F in 1984, Chairman and organizer for 1st and 2nd Robert H. Nelson Symposia, and Chairman of Publications Council in 1985. Harris also served as the Governing Council Representative of the American Registry of Professional Entomologists (ARPE) from 1985-1988, the Southwestern Branch Representative to the Governing Board in 2003-2009, and the Chairman of the editorial board of Insecticide and Acaracide Tests of ESA in 1986. Harris was the Chairman for the Continuing Education Committee of the ARPE in 1987, and the Examiner for Pest Management Category of Certification for ARPE from 1986-1988.
Harris received numerous awards, including an honorary member of the Entomological Society of America, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Superior Service Award in 2011, and the IPM Teacher Award in 2008.
The name of the award (Ta-que-ne-whap) comes from the southern Comanche dialect and means “Chief’ or “Captain”. The Comanche tribe dominated the heart of the Branch area prior to the arrival of the Europeans. They were fiercely independent but willing to defend their “society”, its interests and values regardless of personal risks.
The old chief symbolizes one who has lead and cared for his “society” over a long period, through good times and bad; giving of himself for the betterment of others. His long service is etched in the wrinkles of his face and brow, but his eyes look unblinkingly into the future. His full headdress depicts the many leadership roles, recognitions and honors that he has earned over the years which validate his sage words of counsel and guidance.
It should be noted that such worthy individuals as these recipients are rare and do not pass our way frequently. Therefore, it is the in- tent of the Executive Committee that this award will not be given on an annual basis but only as justified by an exceptional record of leadership and service to the Branch. The 2016 recipient is only the 10th individual recognized for the Award since its inception in 1977.