Entomological Foundation names winners of 2016 Awards
The Entomological Foundation (EF) is proud to name the winners of the 2016 EF Awards. These include one professional teaching award, and one career achievement award. The winners will be recognized at the 2016 International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida, which will be held September 25-30, 2016.
ENTOMOLOGICAL FOUNDATION MEDAL OF HONOR – This award is the highest award presented by the Foundation and is given only to those who have attained preeminence in the field throughout outstanding contributions. Gwen Pearson is Purdue Department of Entomology's education and outreach coordinator. She also works as a freelance science writer for WIRED Magazine, Washington Post, Nature, and other news outlets. She calls herself an "insect evangelist" because her mission is to help everyone discover they love bugs.
As well as the usual museum and school venues, Gwen conducts outreach at science fiction conventions, tech conferences, bars, and other unusual settings to reach beyond traditional audiences. Gwen has been a leader in digital outreach via social media, and her consulting work is directed toward science communication strategy and search engine optimization for nonprofits and extension.
PRESIDENT'S PRIZE FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SECONDARY EDUCATION – This award recognizes educators who have gone beyond the traditional teaching methods by using insects as educational tools in grades 7 through 12. Denise Scribner has been empowering youth with the knowledge of entomology for over 45 years. She graduated from Emporia State University with a B.S.E. secondary education degree for biology, zoology, and physical education in 1975. She immediately began her teaching career in Texas. After her school closed, Denise became a staff member at both the council and national level with Girl Scouts of the USA, continuing with this career for 31 years. In 2007, she moved back to the classroom, teaching biology, ecology, and forensic crime science at Goddard High School and later at the new Eisenhower High School, USD #265, in Goddard, Kansas. In addition to the Entomological Foundation's President's Prize, Denise has received several honors, including the 2010 Goddard Master Teacher Award, 2012 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, State Finalist (Kansas) for the 2015 Presidential Award of Excellence for Math and Science Teachers (notification pending regarding national standing), and the 2016 Kansas Conservation Educator of the Year. Her leadership with the award-winning student-developed on-campus outdoor wildlife learning site, native plant gardens, and environmental class curricula has won her high school the Kansas Green School of Excellence Award, the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award, and recognition as one of the top 10 Eco Schools in the nation by the National Wildlife Federation. Denise is also a Wichita Area Technical College instructor through the CTE law enforcement career track at Eisenhower High School forensic crime science classes. She is honored to receive this award.
The EF exists to develop the next generation of entomologists by hosting projects and events designed to help educators and parents foster a child's natural curiosity about the world around them; encouraging educators to use insects in the classroom as a low-cost and science-intensive way to teach biology, art, math, and many other subjects; and fostering a community of like-minded scientists, hobbyists, parents, educators, funders, and — most importantly — children who support this diverse science.