Department News | Alumni Newsletter 2010

Faculty and Staff Promotions

Jeff Holland, Christian Krupke, and Doug Richmond were granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor effective July 1, 2010. Upon final approval from the Board of Trustees, Dean Jay Akridge delivered each of the promotion letters with personal congratulations.

Jeff Holland with Dean AkridgeJeff Holland and Dean Akridge
Christian Krupke with Dean Akridge Dean Akridge and Christian Krupke
Doug Richmond with Dean Akridge Doug Richmond and Dean Akridge

Awards & Recognition

John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award

Elizabeth Grafton-CardwellElizabeth Grafton-Cardwell


Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell (MS '80) was honored with the 2010 John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award in Entomology in October. Dr. Grafton-Cardwell received her A.B. degree in Biology from UC Berkeley, her M.S. degree in Entomology from Purdue University, and her Ph.D. in Entomology from UC Berkeley. Following postdoc and research appointments at UC Davis, she accepted an extension specialist position at UC Riverside in 1990. She is the lead extension specialist and researcher on citrus pests for the $1.6 billion citrus industry in California, and currently serves as the director of the Lindcove Research & Extension Center in the San Joaquin Valley just outside of Fresno. Her research and extension program focuses on the major arthropod pests of California citrus. Her program has emphasized establishing or verifying economic thresholds for key pests, studying the efficacy of natural enemies, developing pheromone trapping systems, screening the efficacy and selectivity of new insecticides, and testing Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell pests for resistance to insecticides. She has published 228 articles (journal and web-based) related to pest management including 45 peer-reviewed journal articles. Her achievements have been recognized with many awards including the ESA Distinguished Achievement Award for Extension

Outstanding Service Award in Entomology

Lori Edwards receiving 2010 OSA Award from Steve Yaninek Lori Edwards receiving 2010 OSA Award
from Steve Yaninek


Lori Edwards was presented with the 2010 Outstanding Service Award in Entomology at the annual Awards and Recognition Reception in December. She is the Business Assistant in the Entomology business office and is supervised by Cheryl Bluett, Business Manager. Lori started at Purdue in November, 2001 as a Clerk IV in electrical & Computer Engineering, moved up to Clerk V in Nuclear Engineering in 2005, and joined Entomology in August 2007. Lori lives in West Point where she has resided most of her life. Her hobbies include spending time with her grandchildren, crocheting, gardening, and working at Bruno's for the last 10 years solely for the entertainment value. Lori and husband, Gary, have 4 daughters, Heather, Courtney, Sabrina, and Adriann, and 4 grandchildren.

Training Program for Extension Agents Afghanistan

Larry Murdock and Rick Foster Larry Murdock (left) and Rick Foster


Larry Murdock and Rick Foster participated in a training program for an Indiana National Guard agribusiness development team at Purdue University last week. The training prepared the team to work as Extension agents in Afghanistan. The training included fieldwork at the Animal Science Research and Education Center at 5675 West 600 North, West Lafayette, and at the Meigs apple farm at the Throckmorton-Purdue Agricultural Center in southern Tippecanoe County. Team members are selected from National Guard units statewide based on their agricultural background. The team was deployed to Afghanistan in October for 11 months.


This is the third such training for Indiana National Guard agribusiness development teams at Purdue. The first team has completed its assignment in Afghanistan, and the second team is halfway through its deployment. Both Entomology professors received plaques of appreciation from the Indiana National Guard. The inscription on each plaque read, "For your unwavering support when called upon by the Indiana Army National Guard and the 3-19th Agribusiness Development Team for support of our mobilization to OEF. Because of your assistance, expertise and can-do attitude, the 3-19th ADT will continue to be successful and combat ready to deploy to Afghanistan in 2010. Your professionalism and generosity brings great credit upon yourself, the Indiana National Guard and the United States Army." Colonels Colbert and Millsaps both expressed their appreciation for the faculty assistance. They indicated that they would welcome visits from Purdue faculty in Khowst Province once they are in the field.


2010 PUCESA Career Award


Rick Foster was awarded the 2010 Purdue Cooperative Extension Specialists' Association (PUCESA) Career Award in recognition of his 21-year tenure as Purdue's Fruit/Vegetable Extension Entomologist. His efforts have improved our understanding about the biology and ability to manage key pests by challenging traditional treatment levels that reduced applications of pesticide without sacrificing produce quality.


Innovative examples of Rick's contributions include suppression of potato beetles with straw mulches, preservation of beneficial predators in apples, reducing diamondback moth damage using improved nutrient and irrigation management, and producing better economic thresholds for striped cucumber beetle in cantaloupe. All of these efforts improved pest management with less pesticides and no loss of yield or quality.


Rick has been recognized by his peers for his knowledge and leadership by being called to serve upon numerous departmental, college, university, regional, and national committees including IPM Coordinator, Co-chair of the Small Farms and Sustainable Agriculture Team, Indiana's SARE Coordinator, Executive Secretary of the Indiana Vegetable Growers Association, the Purdue Extension Council, and as current president of the north central branch of the Entomological Society of America.


USDA/NIFA Partnership Award


Eileen Luke and Mike Hill of The Center for Environmental and Regulatory Information Systems (CERIS) have received the 2010 National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Partnership Award for Innovative Program Models. This team award recognizes the tremendous efforts and accomplishments of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) since its inception in 2002. The NPDN is a collection of Land Grant University plant disease and pest diagnostic facilities from across the United States. The National Repository, maintained by CERIS, contains diagnostic information uploaded from five regions. This project is a cooperative effort with NIFA and several land grant universities. The nomination was sponsored by Dr. Neal Van Alfen, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California-Davis.


ESA Fellow


Tom Turpin was elected as a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. Tom was recognized for his outstanding contributions to insect outreach and science education. Tom Turpin has been a creative force in entomology since his appointment as an assistant professor in 1971. His distinguished career as a scholar, a leader in his discipline, and one of the best teachers at Purdue was only the background for his nomination. Tom is arguably one of the best-known, accomplished, and effective public educators in the discipline because of his tireless efforts to bring the excitement of entomology as a discipline and insect science as a framework for science education to the general public in a fun and engaging manner. The ESA Governing Board elected ten new Fellows of the Society for 2010. The election as a Fellow acknowledges outstanding contributions in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration. Fellows were recognized during Entomology 2010 – ESA's Annual Meeting held December 12-15 in San Diego, California. For more information about the 2010 ESA Fellows go to:


ESA-NCB Recognition Award in Urban Entomology


Grzegorz Buczkowski, Assistant Research Professor, received the 2010 ESA-NCB Recognition Award in Urban Entomology. The award was presented in March at the branch meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. Grzegorz was recognized for his many accomplishments in urban entomology, particularly his research on urban ants. He came to Purdue in 2004 as the director of the Urban Center's Industrial Affiliates program and became a Research Assistant Professor in Entomology in 2007.


Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy


Cate Hill was selected to serve as a Scholar for the 2010-2011 Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Discovery Park, Purdue University. The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship fosters the understanding and application of entrepreneurship with faculty and students across the Purdue campus and with stakeholders throughout the State. Cate's project area is Assessing the potential for a not-for-profit organization with the mission to develop new pipelines for the discovery and delivery of new, effective and affordable insecticides and repellents to control arthropod vectors of diseases such as malaria, dengue and leishmaniasis.


Accolade Award of Merit – Live Television Event


Tom Turpin is a member of the Purdue zipTrips™ team that won an Accolade Award of Merit in the category of Live Television Event for the production of "We're All Animals."  Purdue zipTrips™, designed for grades 6 and 7, are electronic field trips that go to the classroom


The team received commendation from President France Cordova for their work in "delivering Purdue discoveries to middle school classrooms."  The award is an industry standard that lets television stations and other broadcast providers know the program is of high quality.


Annual Employee Service Recognition


Congratulations to the following entomology employees who were honored for their years of service at the 2010 Annual Service Recognition Program, hosted by the Provost's office in January:


30 Years  Tammy Luck, Extension Administrative Assistant and Building Deputy 
25 Years Joe Hegarty, CERIS, EXCERPT Project Manager
  Zakia Kazem, CERIS, Programmer/Analyst
15 Years Susan Schechter, CERIS, Senior NAPIS User Services Administrator
10 Years Bill Kielhorn, Computer Assistant


Tammy Luck was recognized for 20 years of valuable service to Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service during an Entomology Extension meeting in November. The recognition was given by Epsilon Sigma Phi - Alpha Lambda Chapter and presented by Rick Foster, Extension Coordinator for Entomology. Tammy is the Administrative Assistant for Entomology Extension. She has been with the department since 1991 and at Purdue since 1981.


Tom Turpin helps firefly pull Purdue into national spotlight By Liz Schrader Journal and Courier


Tom Turpin standing with Uhaul truck featuring firefly design Tom Turpin with the new U-Haul featuring a firefly design

West Lafayette is on the move as the newest representative for Indiana on the side of U-Haul equipment. About 1,200 moving vans will feature the West Lafayette name, as well as a graphic of a firefly and a fact about the advancements made at Purdue University into research of the firefly's glow. The firefly-themed vans were introduced Wednesday by Purdue entomologists, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis and U-Haul representatives. The West Lafayette-inspired logo is part of U-Haul's "Venture Across America" campaign that highlights little-known facts about each of the 50 states as well as Canadian provinces and territories. "This is an important day for West Lafayette," Dennis said. "Having an iconic firefly image on these great trucks will attract a lot of attention and is one of the best ways to promote our town."  


Tom Turpin, a Purdue University entomology professor, is creator of Purdue's Bug Bowl -- a festival centered on insect-related games and exhibits -- and is a pioneer in bioluminescence research. He said he was contacted three years ago by U-Haul to have Indiana's theme for their SuperGraphics campaign dealing with the Bug Bowl. "The firefly was chosen to be featured because of its history in Indiana," Turpin said. "Entomologist Thomas Say was a pioneer in American entomology and the one to give the firefly its name here in Indiana." Bioluminescence, or the conversion of chemical energy into light by organisms, has been used in cancer research, stem cell research and the creation of glow sticks and other safety devices. Many of the studies done on bioluminescence were begun by entomologists at Purdue. Along with a giant firefly, the U-Haul graphic features a jar filled with fireflies and children running through a field trying to catch them. "There's nothing more representative of Indiana than a firefly," Turpin said. "Everyone has memories as a kid of catching fireflies or watching their lights flicker on a summer night." Turpin, who is also involved with insect educational outreach, said he hopes the firefly-themed U-Hauls will encourage kids across the country to get involved in science at a young age. The U-Haul website will provide information and teaching materials about the firefly and research that's being done.

New Staff

Venu Margam (PhD '09) began as a new Postdoc in January 2010. He is working with Larry Murdock on the aspects of respiratory physiology of bruchids in hermetic storage. He is also assisting African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) in planning and implementation of insect resistant cowpea field evaluation trials in Nigeria this fall. Margam and his wife, Swapna, have one son, Srihith, who will be one year old in April.


Matthew Kirkwood is a new USDA Wildlife Specialist working with Judy Loven's group. Matt has been at Purdue since 2008.


Thiago Benatti (PhD '10) became a new Postdoc upon graduating from Purdue in May, continuing his work with Jeff Stuart on characterizing Hessian fly gene vH9, which is believed to encode an effector protein that triggers Hessian fly resistance in wheat plants that carry the H9 Hessian fly resistance gene.


Janice Van Zee (PhD '10) began as a new Postdoc in August after graduating from Purdue. Janice continued her work with Cate Hill until November 30th when she moved to Colorado to work for the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Births and Marriages

Angie Sigo and husband, Chuck, welcomed their new daughter, Lily Carole on April 15th. Angie is the Main Office receptionist and secretary to the department head.


Valerie Wininger and husband, Brian, celebrated their third child, Fiona Kate on August 21st. Valerie is the department web master and building deputy for Whistler Hall.


Gabriel Hughes and his wife, Beth, had their second son, Patrick Cutler, on October 18th. Gabe is a Masters candidate with Matt Ginzel.


Janice Van Zee (PhD '2010) and husband, Jeremy announced the birth of their first child, Julianna Pagel Van Zee, born October 21, 2010. Janice is a Postdoc in Cate Hill's lab.


Kapil Raje married Tejal Vadhavka on May 16th in Mumbai, India. Kapil is a PhD candidate working with Virginia Ferris and Jeff Holland.​​

Department of Entomology, 901 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4554

© 2016 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Integrity Statement | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Agricultural Communication

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact us at so we can help.

Sign In