Grad Students Honored with Awards During Seminar

Carl Hjelmen, right, receiving the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award from Entomology Department Head Dr. David Ragsdale, left. Photo by Rob Williams

Carl Hjelmen, right, receiving the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award from Entomology Department Head Dr. David Ragsdale. Photo by Rob Williams

COLLEGE STATION, Texas –The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate two of our grad students as they received top honors during the department’s spring seminar series on February 18.

Ph.D. student Carl Hjelmen received the Outstanding Ph.D. Student while Devin Beach Tillman received the Outstanding Masters Student Award during the special presentation.

Hjelmen is advised by Dr. Spencer Johnston and is currently researching the evolution of genome size in Drosophila species. Hjelmen is a member of the Graduate Entomology Student Organization, where he is serving as the organization’s vice president. He also has served as the chair of the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society’s annual Photo Salon for two years and was Social Activities Chair of the EGSO for a year.

He has been active in several outreach programs, including Creek View Elementary, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences tailgate, and the Boonville Days at the Brazos Center. Hjelmen also has represented the Department at the Entomological Society of America meetings, as well as the Ecological Integration Symposium and Texas A&M’s annual Student Research Week.

Hjelmen was a participant in Texas A&M Research Experience for Undergraduates – Expanding Scientific Investigation Through Entomology (REU-EXCITE) during the summer of 2012.

“Carl is the best student I have had the pleasure of directing and is very deserving of this year’s outstanding graduate student award,” Johnston said.


Devin Tillman. Photo by Rob Williams

Tillman is mentored by Dr. Cecilia Tamborindeguy and is researching the interaction between sugarcane aphids and sorghum plants.

Tillman has been a teaching assistant for several classes, including ENTO 201 (General Entomology) and Applied Forensic Entomology courses (ENTO/FIVS 432), and the Dominica Study Abroad program. She also served as a Texas A&M transfer ambassador in 2012 and a Blinn Ambassador in 2011.

She also was a member of the TAMU Department of Entomology Scholars Society, where she has represented the Department during different activities and has been a liaison between faculty, staff, students, and prospective students.

Tillman was an active member of the Undergraduate Entomology Student Organization and the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Student Organization. She has served as the treasurer of the Undergraduate Entomology Student Organization from 2010-2014, Activities Coordinator for AFIS from 2013-2014 and Vice President from 2012-2013.

Tillman received numerous awards and scholarships during her college career, including the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Diversity Excellence Award, the Perry L. Adkissson, Roger Meola Memorial Scholarship and the COALS International Studies Scholarship.

“Devin has managed an incredible task, she has excelled in every single objective she has set up for her future, and that includes also a good balance between her professional and personal life,” Tamborindeguy said. “Devin will be an amazing role model for our future students.”

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