Congratulations to entomology students Kadie Britt, Jacqueline (Jackie) Brown, and Grant Schiermeyer, who all recently won the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology 2019 Alwood Extension award.

    The Alwood Extension Award was established in 2014 to recognize entomology students with an outstanding commitment to Virginia Cooperative Extension and outreach services. This year the award was given to a Ph.D., Master of Food and Life Science, and for the first time, an undergraduate student. The award honors the legacy of Virginia Tech’s first entomologist William Bradford Alwood, who placed a large emphasis on public service and outreach. Each award recipient receives a $500 scholarship, a plaque, and a commemorative print. 

    Kadie, a Ph.D. student in our department working under Dr. Thomas Kuhar, studies integrated pest management of insects in hemp grown throughout Virginia. Kadie has served as the president, vice president, and fundraising chair of the W. B. Alwood Entomological Society. She has dedicated her time to lead and assist numerous outreach events and Extension activities, including Hokie BugFest and Hokie BugCamp. Kadie has also authored three Extension publications, participated as a guest speaker at many Extension talks, and mentored two undergraduate students.

    Jackie is a masters student in the Entomology Department, and her project focuses on a 4-H entomology curriculum for young children. Her involvement in Extension and Outreach cannot be overstated. She has been a leader in both Hokie BugFest and Hokie BugCamp, created outreach programs for all ages, and presented entomology themed programs at a wide variety or schools and museums. She has built online Extension courses in pesticide safety education, and taught at the Virginia Cooperative Extension annual conference. One of her crowning achievements was the creation of the Hokie BugZoo which is used in almost every outreach event for our department.

    For the first time the Alwood Award was given to an undergraduate student, Grant, who is a wildlife conservation major with an entomology minor. He is the current curator of the Hokie BugZoo, and has worked with Jackie to expand and innovate the zoo. Grant has participated in countless insect themed outreach events like Hokie BugFest and BugCamp, school tours, local libraries, and 4-H camps. He is hoping to continue his passion for entomology and outreach in graduate school.

    Each of these students embodies Ut Prosim and what it means to be a student at Virginia Tech, and they each exceed the criteria for the Alwood Extension Award. The award was presented at the Hokie BugFest Volunteer/Sponsor Celebration by Dr. Michael Weaver. Dr. Weaver is the Director of Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs and Professor Emeritus of Entomology.

Jackie Brown receiving her award from Dr. Michael Weaver.