My name is Lillie Rooney and I am currently a Senior enrolled at the University of Florida. I major in Entomology and Nematology (insect and nematode science) and am currently the Secretary Elect of the Undergraduate Entomology Club. I completed my associate degree at St. Petersburg College in my hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, after which I transferred to UF as a Junior in August of 2019.
I am an active Entomology Club member and often appear at event booths dressed in various insect suits to elicit interest in my field of study. Prompted by an interdisciplinary class on da Vinci and dragonflies, I have taken on a larger role in outreach by giving virtual presentations to grade school children on dragonfly biology. I recently began an internship at the University of Florida where I assist a professor in research on integrated pest management. We aim to use a sorghum trap crop to draw stinkbug pests away from tomato.
I am immensely grateful for the Undergraduate Achiever Scholarship which the Honor Society has awarded me. This scholarship will be used to aid in my continued education here at UF by covering the cost of a significant portion of my tuition. I plan to graduate in the summer of 2021 and move onto graduate school at UF where I will earn a master’s degree and potentially a PhD in Entomology and Nematology.
I aspire to use my degree to become employed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services where I can lead further work on integrated pest management. In this position, I plan on conducting novel research and assisting farmers in effectively controlling their insect pests while being environmentally conscious and producing a safe product.