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Posted by | December 18, 2015

EGSA Meeting Minutes – September 2nd, 2014

Introductions: Welcome, Courtney and Robert!

Overview of Events for New Students:

CAHNRS Fall Festival – September 11th, 4-6pm, Spillman Plaza

  • This is an excellent opportunity for us to advertise our department; we will have a table with live insects, brochures, and other information
  • There is a sign up sheet on the refrigerator on the 3rd floor offices for those who were unable to attend this meeting, please come help for at least one of the slots listed if you are available
  • Free food and a scholarship drawing for those present

Beginning of the Year Potluck – September 12th, 5pm at Natalie and Dan’s

  • 155 NW North St., Upper
  • Curry feed – bring your own meat/tofu, bowls/silverware, and beverage. Curry sauce (vegetarian) and rice will be provided. The curry sauce will be mild, so bring your own spices if you would like to make yours hotter.

Honey Sales – Fall 2014

  • Alix will contact Steve to determine how much honey his lab is donating for EGSA to sell. Sales will take place before the holidays (November).

Insect Feed – Changes

  • Laura Lavine is planning on instituting changes to this event. Previously, it was coordinated by Rich Zack for his Entom 101 class and EGSA served as volunteer food servers and answered questions. The menu items were cricket chili and mealworm tacos. It was hosted in a casual manner as a way for the class (and their guests) to experience entomophagy in a potluck/buffet style. Information about insects and food (honey, mead, and as main dishes) was provided at a series of tables.
  • Laura would like to host the event as a formal affair (similar to the way UC Davis does it). It would serve as a fundraiser, with a set cost per plate, and be a sit-down meal. While this is a great way to raise money and generate interest, it may also exclude the previous audience (students who are unwilling to spend money, but whom we would like to expose to entomophagy).
  • Alix will contact Rich and Laura about potentially hosting two separate events – one formal and one informal.
  • Insect Cinema Cult Classic – Spring 2015, but possible October date

This event has involved hosting 2-3 movies around a central theme (bees, giant insects, flies, to name a few) for the general public, free of charge. This is co-hosted by EGSA and the Sheppard lab. Alix will approach Steve and ask about a potential switch to October. We may get a better turnout if we place the ICCC close to Halloween.

 E. Paul Catts Memorial Lecture and Dinner – Spring 2015 TBA

  • This event is hosted by the department, EGSA members are expected to attend and act as volunteers (serving alcohol) when necessary. A guest speaker is invited and gives a lecture that is available to the public.

Faculty Appreciation Lunch – Spring 2015 TBA

  • This event is hosted by EGSA. We provide a main dish ordered with EGSA funds (Subway sandwiches in the past). Students bring side dishes/desserts.

Student Choice Speaker – Spring 2015 TBA

  • This event is hosted by EGSA. Candidates are nominated in the spring of the previous year; the most popular candidate is contacted first, and then so on. The first candidate that agrees to speak is flown in for a ~3 day long stay. Three major events occur during the speaker’s stay: 1) evening meal with the graduate students (usually at Banyans) where an informal lecture is given, 2) a formal lecture for the public, 3) breakfast prepared by the graduate students in one of FSHN’s kitchen-classrooms.
  • Sign ups are available to meet with the speaker throughout their her/his stay, as either 30 minute talking sessions or meal times. All of the speaker’s meals, lodging, etc are paid for by EGSA.

Insect Expo – Spring 2015 TBA

  • This is an event geared toward Pullman and Moscow area families, tables are set up with a variety of activities: paper plate hats, coloring, roach races, live insect exhibits, and more. Students are encouraged to design their own activity.

BUGGS – March 13th 2015

  • Guest speaker hosted by both U of I and WSU. Lizz, Alix, and Cami are WSU’s student reps for this committee.

Student Choice Speaker:

  • Tentatively Dr. Alper Bozkurt, Date TBA
  • Some difficulty in getting him to commit to a date, may need to move to the next nominee, Deane Bowers.

GPSA Updates:

Robbie CAHNRS District Rep, Liz M.S. Representative, and Karol Ph.D. Representative à none yet, first meeting of GPSA is next week

Faculty Meeting Updates: Eli

  • Graduate Course Restructuring – Current, Pending and Future
  • Taxonomy is the first priority, as Ding Johnson will teach this next semester, but no potential instructors after (both prior instructors, including Ding, are retired). Because taxonomy is not considered modern or interesting enough to WSU, the candidate hired for this position will be a molecular biology/genomics/systematist. Eli has generated a letter and sent it to all department students for input – this letter will be included in the hiring request submitted by the department.
  • We should emphasize the need for both research in systematics/genomics as well as someone skilled in traditional taxonomy: Importance of entomologists in training to learn how to site ID and also use keys, having expert confirmations and advice regarding IDs relevant to our research, other courses in the works (pending new hires): Tree Fruit Entomology, Urban Entomology, Applied Ecology, Medical and Veterinary Entomology is no longer offered. If you are interested in this course, talk to Jeb about independent study. He will arrange a seminar type article discussion, with a research component.

Undergraduate Course Restructuring – Graduate Teaching Assistantships and UCORE:

New undergraduate courses and restructuring of old courses are currently ongoing. Old courses were all 3 credit hours, which do not satisfy the new UCORE requirements of 4 hours, an undergraduate-level Medical and Veterinary Entomology course is in the works. Hopefully, some of the restructuring will increase money available for teaching assistantships.

Graduate Student Handbook – Changes that everyone should know about:

Read your handbook, know your handbook.

  • Some of the requirements may be confusing, clarify what is expected of you with your advisor and other committee members, what you need to do to satisfy your teaching requirement, the form and deadline of your research proposal, when you should give your proposal presentation, the reduction in required credit hours should go into effect this spring.

Hiring – Current, Pending and Future

Taxonomy (Systematics/Genomics), Applied Ecology, Urban Entomology, Tree Fruit Entomology

EGSA – Questions Posed by Students and Answers from Faculty

Currently, credits taken as cooperative courses from U of I show up basically as “pass/fail”, despite being assigned a letter grade. This means that grades in these courses do not affect GPA, which is unfortunate since we would like future employers to know we did well in courses like Taxonomy, Insect-Plant Interactions, Insect Ecology, and Host Plant Resistance. Steve is currently discussing this problem with one of the deans.


  1. CAHNRS Festival: September 11th 4-6pm Spillman Plaza
  2. Entomology Dept. Orientation: Was 29 August, 11:00-2:00 (FSHN 164). See Dory if you missed anything – also, Adam sent out a revised Graduate Student Handbook.
  3. Entomology Colloquium: Wednesdays at noon in FSHN 103/155.  The WECN dial in for all sites is:  5703866.  This number will be the same for all colloquium presentations. Please attend!