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Lina Bernaola will lead the Entomology Society of America as president in 2024. Photo courtesy of Twitter
Lina Bernaola will lead the Entomology Society of America as president in 2024. Photo courtesy of Twitter

Lina Bernaola will become the first Latina President of Entomology Society of America

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Throughout its 134-year history the Entomology Society of America (ESA) has never been led by a Latina. 

That will soon change.

In May 2023, Lina Bernaola was named vice president of ESA, beginning in November, and will become president in November 2024. 

ESA “is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and individuals in related disciplines.” 

Members of the organization include researchers, consultants, students and teachers, as well as pest management professionals, and hobbyists.

Lina Bernaola, who is currently an assistant professor in the Texas A&M University AgriLife Research Department of Entomology, was born and raised in Lima, Peru. 

She received her bachelor’s degree in biology at San Marcos University. Afterwards, she worked at the International Potato Center

While growing up, she wanted to study in the United States, achieving this goal when she earned her master’s degree in agronomy and doctoral degree in entomology at Louisiana State University (LSU). Prior to this, she studied biology at San Marcos University. 

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she worked at the International Potato Center in Peru.

Bernaola started working at Texas A&M just over a year ago. This is significant because she will be the first president to be early in career. 

She will also be the first Latina in the role. 

Bernaola has faced many obstacles as a Latina in the American entomology field, one of which was language. 

“English isn’t my first language. Even though I spoke English, I still had to put some extra work to comprehend slang and some technical terms. This really gave me the motivation to improve my English by surrounding me with native speakers, such as my husband,” she said in an interview with Pest Control Technology. 

Despite the challenges she has faced, she is proud of her achievement as the first early career and Latina president of ESA. 

“It feels like a lot of responsibility, and I feel that I have to lead by example, which I hope I can do well. I have all the desire and intention to do that. I am the first Latina president in ESA, but I definitely won’t be the last,” Bernaola said in the same interview.

Bernaola will become the organization’s vice president this year and will become the president in November 2024.  

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