Grad Students’ Research Presentations Receive Recognition During Forum


The winners of the Seventeenth Annual Graduate Student Forum.

The winners of the Seventeenth Annual Graduate Student Forum. from left: Kevin Deitz – Third Place, Emily Boothe – Second Place, Luciano Cosme – First Place. Photo by Rob Williams.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate grad students Luciano Cosme, Emily Boothe, and Kevin Deitz as they received awards for their talks during the annual Graduate Student Forum.

The students received awards for having the top presentations out of sixteen participants during the seventeenth annual event that was hosted on August 28.

Deitz received third place for his talk titled “Genomic Analysis of Divergence Within the Malaria Vector Anopheles melas” while Booth received second for her talk “A stable isotope mark-capture study of Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes albopictus in College Station, Texas”. Cosme received first place for his presentation “Gene expression changes accompanying behavioral changes in mosquitoes”

Deitz and Cosme are both Ph.D. students and are mentored by Dr. Michel Slotman and Boothe is a Master of Science student mentored by Dr. Gabriel Hamer.

Dr. Charles Allen speaking to the audience. Photo by Rob Williams

Dr. Charles Allen speaking to the audience. Photo by Rob Williams

The event opened with a welcome from Dr. Cecilia Tamborindeguy and a keynote address from Dr. Charles Allen, associate department head for Extension Programs. Allen spoke about his experiences at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and gave sound advice for the new graduate students in attendance.

“There are great opportunities in Extension that will continue to be around,” Allen said.

Allen also spoke about how he got interested in entomology and working with Extension for the past several years and how his experience has helped him to tackle problems such as pests and solving the grand challenges that producers face every day.

He said that having a broad-based knowledge of pests and entomology, as well as working well with people were keys to success working in a position with Extension. He stressed that good work ethic, honesty and the ability to work with a team are also valuable and important skills to have.

Presenter presenting research

Ph.D. candidate Ordom Huot presenting his research. Photo by Rob Williams

“It’s about honesty and integrity,” Allen said.

He also encouraged the new graduate students that there are lots of opportunities if they are interested in helping people, including working as teaching and research at universities, horticulture and nursery industries as an entomologist or consultant, or working with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Held every August, the Graduate Student Forum serves three purposes—to encourage students to share with colleagues and others in the academic community, provide a professional development experience for students, and allow students to practice their presenting skills for upcoming meetings and competitions.

During the forum, participants are given 12 minutes to present their research and allowed 3 minutes to facilitate any questions asked by the audience. The top three presenters are given a certificate and a cash prize during a special awards ceremony.

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