Webbanner.jpg (24693 bytes)


In Memoriam
Student Association
Graduate Students
Recent Graduates
Fear Film Festival
Insect Expo
Linnaean Games
Alumni Necrology

Entomology Awards & Honors...


In terms of honors, we are conspicuous once again on the Incomplete List of Teachers Rated Excellent by their Students (* = both semesters):



Ria Barrido
Lisa Carloye (2x)
Erin Bullok
Mark Carroll
Sean Collins
Gwen Fondufe
Matthew Ginzel
Ellen Green
Marianne Hartman
Laura Heuser
Phil Lewis (2x)
Maya Patel
Susan Ratcliffe (2x)
David Schulz
John Sherwood (2x)
John Tooker
May Berenbaum
Susan Fahrbach
Lisa Carloye
Mark Carroll*
Colin Favret*
Matthew Ginzel
Ellen Green
Robert Moore
Rebecca Petersen
Susan Ratcliffe
Hilary Reno
Kim Rosiak
John Sherwood
John Tooker
May Berenbaum
Gene Robinson


  • Mark Carroll was the second departmental winner of the John G. & Evelyn Hartman Heiligenstein Award for Outstanding Teaching in BIOL 120 series.
  • Matt Ginzel was named the outstanding teaching assistant in BIOL 120 (the second consecutive year for Entomology).
  • Colin Favret was the fourth recipient of the Dupont Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student in the Department of Entomology.


  • Ellen Green and Rebecca Petersen won Graduate College Teaching Certificates.
  • Matt Ginzel was named the fifth recipient of the Dupont Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student in the Department of Entomology.
  • Colin Favret was designated outstanding teaching assistant in BIOL 120 (the third consecutive year for Entomology).


  • Ellen Green was the sixth recipient of the DuPont Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student in the Department of Entomology. [back to top]

 Graduate & Postdoctoral Student Research Awards


  • Marianne Alleyne, Claire Rutledge, and David Schulz won Francis & Harlie Clark Research Grants.
  • Claire Rutledge also received the Luckmann Award for outstanding work in applied entomology and a 1997 Graduate College Dissertation Fellowship.
  • Tugrul Giray won the George C. Eickwort Award, Inter-national Union for the Study of Social Insects.
  • David Schulz won the Best Student Presentation Award, Midwest Neurobiology Meeting.
  • Mark Metz won a $1,000 research award from the North American Dipterological Society.
  • Ellen Green won SOLS’ Robert Emerson Memorial Award, took first place in the doctoral student research competition for the North Central Branch, Entomological Society of America, and won first place in the International Plant Resistance Workshop student competition.


  • Yehuda Ben-Shahar won a Francis & Harlie Clark Research Support Grant to travel to San Diego for the fifth International Congress of Neuroethology, to present his research on differences in learning and memory between nurses and forager bees.
  • Colin Favret was the recipient of a Herbert Ross Award for the study of systematics.
  • Matt O’Neal received the Luckmann Award for research in applied entomology.
  • Terry Harrison served as co-organizer of the national meeting of the Lepidopterists’ Society of America, in Eureka, IL.
  • Beth Capaldi won the Eastern Apicultural Student Award.
  • Rebecca Petersen won "Best Student Poster" competition in Section B at the 1998 national meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Las Vegas, NV.


  • M. Alleyne won the Luckmann Award for applied entomology.
  • Duane McKenna received both Clark and Ross Awards to support research in the western U.S. on Depressaria/Lomations interactions.
  • Hilary Reno received a national AAUW dissertation completion fellowship.
  • Susan Ratcliffe received the 1999 Orkin Livestock Entomology Award.  [back to top]

Undergraduate Research Awards


  • Jenny Mehren, our sole senior undergraduate major graduating in 1997, received a Churchill Fellowship to attend graduate school at Cambridge (the down side is that she turned down our offer of admission to graduate school, but nobody minded). In fact, we created a new award for her—she was the winner of the first Department of Entomology Undergraduate Academic Excellence Award.
  • Also, Omar Jassim, a student of Gene Robinson, gradu-ated with a B.S. with highest distinction and won both a Harriett Long Award (Outstanding Academic Record) on campus and a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship nationally.


  • Jodie Ellis, our sole senior undergraduate major gradu-ating in 1998, received the Department of Entomology Academic Excellence Award. She also was awarded the Verdell Frazier Award for students returning to college after an interruption in their education. Jodie is now a graduate student in our department.
  • Chad Sears (former ENT 105 student and currently working with Hugh Robertson) won the Dr. M.L. Zellers Scholarship for Pre-Dental Students.
  • Shelby Fineburg, a student of Gene Robinson, received a national Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (the second in a row for Gene).
  • Russ Riley received a B.S. with distinction (student with Gene Robinson).
  • C. Lydia Wraight, an undergraduate major, received the Harry Clench Award for best student paper presented at the 1998 national meeting of the Lepidopterists Society of America. A manuscript of this work, describing a new yellow-eyed mutant of Trichoplusia ni (named bagheera, for the yellow-eyed panther in Kipling’s Jungle Book) is in press in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America.   [back to top]

Faculty Recognition & Service

  • May Berenbaum. Board on Agriculture, BEST, NSF Ecological & Evolutionary Physiology (1997), OPUS, NRC Future Role of Pesticides Committee, Editor, Annual Review of Entomology. On May 26, 1998, Parade presented May’s article "Are bugs getting a bad rap?" to its readership of 80 million! The German edition of her book Bugs in the System came out in March 1997 and was named "Science Book of the Year" in Germany. The Japanese edition of Bugs in the System came out in March 1998. May won the 1999 E.O. Wilson Naturalist Prize from the American Society of Naturalists.
  • Fred Delcomyn. Judge, International Science & Engineering Fair, Ft. Worth, TX, May 1998; steering committee, NSF Workshop on Information Processing in Biological & Artificial Intelligent Systems, Washington, D.C., April 8-10, 1996; invited speaker and panelist, Institute for Mathematical Analysis, Workshop on Animal Locomotion & Robotics, Minneapolis, MN, June 1-5, 1998; invited speaker, International Conference on Intelligent Robots & Systems (IROS), Workshop on Defining the Future of Biomorphic Robotics, Victoria, BC, Canada, October 13, 1998. Fred’s Foundations of Neurobiology came out in October 1997 and the CD-ROM in May 1998. The book has been adopted for use at UCSD, Columbia U., and U. of Michigan, among other places.
  • Susan Fahrbach. NSF Neuroendocrinology Panel; HHMI Predoctoral Fellowship Panel.
  • Bettina Francis. NIH Toxicology Study Section, ALTOX-4; invited member, SETAC Pellston Conference on "Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Contaminants on Oviparous Vertebrates: Mechanisms, Ecological Consequences, and Assessments of Risk," Gregson, MT, July 12-17, 1997.
  • Larry Hanks . U.S.D.A. Asian Longhorn Beetle Panel.
  • Hugh Robertson. NIH postdoctoral panel 1997; NIAID Vector Biology Study Section, 1999; University of Illinois Scholar, 1998-99.
  • Gene Robinson. Associate editor, Annu. Rev. Entomol.; 1997 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (his election brought our departmental status to six—Berenbaum, Delcomyn, Robinson, Waldbauer, Friedman, and Metcalf); Charles D. Michener Distinguished Lecturer at U. of Kansas, Lawrence; gave two plenary lectures at international neuro-science meetings. He is the 1999 Kenneth Roeder Lecturer at Tufts U.
  • Gil Waldbauer. Completed two more books: A Birder’s Bug Book, from Harvard and illustrated by Jim Nardi, is projected to sell over 200,000 copies ("blockbuster," they say), and Handy Bug Answer Book.
  • Gene Robinson & Susan Fahrbach. Received a Nalbandov Award to sponsor an international symposium on campus on evolution of brain centers for learning (1997).  [back to top]

Staff Awards

Jim Fitzsimmons received Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Distinguished Staff Service Award in 1997. The Department of Entomology was proud to be the nominating unit; Jim has a long history with our department, and even though he has technically worked for the School of Life Sciences for many years, we regard him as one of our own. Here is an excerpt from the nomination letter, which explains why our department feels so grateful to Jim for his long and close association with us.

"Technically speaking, Jim Fitzsimmons is facilities manager for the School of Life Sciences. From my perspective, and that of the faculty, staff, and students of the School of Life Sci-ences, "guardian angel" would be a better description. Jim watches out for all of us, to insure that we have a safe, secure, efficient, comfortable, trouble-free workplace."

There are five stated criteria for identifying and honoring staff members for outstanding service. Without question, Jim has distinguished himself in all five areas.

1. Demonstrates excellence in overall work performance. Jim basically is responsible for the well-being of the non-living component of the School of Life Sciences—space, equipment, and sup-plies. As such, his responsibilities cover a lot of territory and involve interacting with a broad cross-section of university personnel, from staff in accounting and maintenance, to faculty engaged in teaching and research. This research enterprise within the School is itself extremely diverse and involves equipment running the gamut from $50 chain saws to $50,000 gas chromatograph-mass spectrometers. Jim has an uncanny ability to perceive a problem, no matter how complex the situation which gave rise to it, and to devise a solution. He is resourceful, perceptive, and creative; these attributes hold him in excellent stead in dealing with his exceptionally diverse clientele. In 5-1/2 years as a department head, I have never once heard from any faculty member, student, or staff member a single word of complaint about Jim’s actions or performance. Collectively, within Entomology, the group interacting with Jim on a regular basis amounts to more than 60 people, and as far as I can tell, he has never disappointed anyone. This is not a group, by the way, that will hesitate to let me know when things are not to their liking, and I hear no shortage of complaints in general. In striking contrast, what I often hear is appreciation for the myriad things Jim does. In his work performance, excellence is the expectation and we have yet to be disappointed.

2. Promotes positive morale through a congenial supportive attitude and by providing service to others. Jim’s job is primarily service-oriented, and he has unfailingly delivered that service in a friendly manner. I personally feel that he regards me as a friend and I get the feeling that, whenever I put in a request, he attends to it not because it is an obligation but because he genuinely wants to help me. University faculty are not well known for their patience or for their ability to plan ahead yet Jim invariably takes outrageous requests in stride and accommodates them in remarkable fashion. Just as I’ve never heard a faculty member come to me with a complaint about Jim, he has never come to me with a complaint about a faculty member, although I know he has had cause for making such complaints. I believe it is an unfailingly positive attitude that allows Jim to work so effectively in the face of so many different demands and of so many different personality types.

3. Puts forth an effort to improve self as well as to develop and recognize others. Jim has served the life sciences at UIUC, in one capacity or other, for over 30 years. He has moved stead-ily up in rank—beginning as a storekeeper I for Entomology and culminating in the position of store supervisor over a 4-year period. After 10 years as store supervisor, he was pro-moted in 1992 to facilities manager. Each promotion was made possible only because Jim was willing to invest the time and energy required to learn new skills and to assume more responsibility. The amount of responsibility he has assumed has increased steadily since his arrival and the trend shows no sign of abating.

4. Exhibits initiative and creativity resulting in improved efficiency of a work unit. Jim is constantly seeking new ways to acquire, distribute, use, and redistribute materials and equipment with optimal efficiency. Within each building, he seems to have immediately in his memory where every piece of furni-ture or equipment resides and is extremely good at matching up people with the right materials. As keeper of the in-ventory list for the School, he is responsible for keeping track of literally thousands of items and he is extremely efficient at hunting down and locating missing items, which increases efficiency and reduces costs by obviating the need to re-order items that are simply misplaced. He has built an extensive and effective campus network to find and develop opportunities for improvement. Among the many changes for the better that he has been involved in was a coordinated effort to negotiate best pricing with prime vendors; this involved interacting with Tom Delanty in Purchasing and with several other units and has resulted in dramatic reductions in shipping expenses and order handling time.

Jim is constantly aware of what goes on in every building for which he is responsible and a recent incident exemplifies his total dedication to his constituency. Earlier this month, Jim interrupted a School of Integrative Biology planning meeting to ask me if I had heard of plans to spray Morrill Hall with insecticide. He had just received a call from the contractor responsible for pest management in campus build-ings, double-checking about the Morrill request. A rapid reply was in order, because an employee was already in Bur-rill and was about to move to Morrill to begin spraying. Jim interrupted the meeting because he knows full well that the use of insecticide spray in Morrill Hall would be absolutely devastating to Entomology; due to the configuration of the ventilation system, spraying anywhere in the building would lead to system-wide circulation of insecticide and the death of irreplaceable insect colonies on every floor. The research enterprise of our entire faculty would have been jeopardized by such an act, as would the research enterprise of several faculty in other units who work with Drosophila melanogaster and with other insects. It’s not clear exactly where and how the original spray order originated, but it is clear that Jim’s quick thinking and fast action averted a potential disaster of incalculable proportions, from our perspective. He was, of course, modest and matter-of-fact about his action when I expressed to him our collective gratitude, but there is no understating the importance of what he did—it was the action of an experienced, dedicated, and caring person.

5. Enhances the image of the department and/or the School. There is no question that Jim’s contributions have greatly enhanced the image of life scientists on campus and nationally. Jim’s outstanding job performance allows us the freedom to work unimpeded by hassles, delays, and frustrations. We have heard from alumni on many occasions, after they take faculty positions at other institutions, that they wish there was a Jim Fitzsimmons on their campus. Freed from the distractions associated with missing or broken equipment, waylaid supplies, or unsafe working conditions by Jim’s outstanding performance, our faculty can concentrate on research and teaching and is much the better for it.

Jim is long overdue for the recognition associated with a Distinguished Staff Award. He makes his work appear effortless—which is unfortunate, because people tend to forget just how complex his responsibilities are. On campus, he not only works with faculty, students, and SOLS staff (collectively, more than 400 people), but he must interact regularly with staff in the Operations & Maintenance, the Division of Environmental Health & Safety, Central Stores & Receiving, and Accounting, Purchasing, and Property Control Offices. He’s a bright, cheerful presence who does his job so extraordinarily well that most people are unaware of the magnitude of what he does until they are without him. It is exactly the absence of horror stories and disasters that attest to Jim’s excellence. We in SOLS simply do not have to deal with missed deadlines, lost packages, delayed or substandard maintenance, defective keys, or broken equip-ment; we’re spoiled and we tend to take our enviable tranquility for granted. Outstanding performance, hard work, and total dedication, however, deserve recognition and it is for this reason that we advance the nomination of Jim Fitzsimmons with tremendous enthusiasm and without any reservation.  [back to top]

Dupont Teaching Award (to become the Ellis MacLeod Teaching Award)

The Department of Entomology has a tradition of being home to many fine teachers. Some of these teachers are in the earliest stages of their academic careers. The Department of Entomology began in 1994 to offer an annual award to recognize outstanding graduate teaching assistants. As the name indicates, the award has been supported by funds from the Dupont Corporation. Winners receive a $300 cash prize and are recognized at all LAS and School awards events. Visitors to the department will also note the handsome inscribed plaque next to the departmental bulletin board!

All faculty and affiliates can nominate graduate stu-dents in response to the annual call for nominations. The Awards Committee prepares packets documenting each nominee’s achievements, and seeks the assistance of GSAC in selecting the year’s outstanding teacher. Excellence is recognized in all areas of teaching, including teaching in specialist entomology courses and teaching of introductory biology.

Past Dupont Award winners have been Gwen Fondufe (1994), Felipe Soto (1995), Lisa Carloye (1996), Colin Favret (1997), and Matt Ginzel (1998). This year’s recip-ient is Ellen Green. Considered individually, these stu-dents are impressive in their versatility, intellectual preparation for teaching, and dedication to students. Considered collectively, they are amazing! The impact of their skills has extended from Biology 110-111 (the old majors sequence) to Biology 104 (Animal Biology) to Biology 120, 121, and 122 (the new majors sequence) to Entomology 100, 105, 301, 302, 310, and 315. These teaching assistants have appeared repeatedly on the Incomplete List of Teachers Rated Excellent by Their Students, and some have won SOLS teaching awards. The Awards Committee has no doubt whatsoever that its most pleasant (and inspirational) annual duty is the review of the teaching award nominees.

This year, in memory of Dr. Ellis MacLeod, whose outstanding accomplishments in the classroom inspired generations of students, the Department of Entomology is renaming the award as the Ellis MacLeod Teaching Award. DuPont will continue to be acknowledged as the source of support, but donations from alumni will also help to ensure that we honor Ellis’ memory by recognizing and fostering excellent teaching for years to come.  [back to top]


Integrative Biology University of Illinois

Updated 12/09/99