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The Ohio Valley Entomological Association (OVEA) 2017 Annual Forum and Student Paper Competition will be held Friday, October 20, 2017 at the Museum of Biological Diversity, Ohio State University, 1315 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH 43212. Click here for a map. Click here for Hotel information.

For information about the 2016 Call for Papers click here.

2016 Schedule of Events click here.

For the 2016 Program Book click here.


The purpose for conducting this competition is multifold:

Format for Competition

The Annual Forum for Student Paper Competition is open to any undergraduate or graduate student who has an interest in entomology. To date participants have come from colleges in the tri-state area of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio; however, students from other states are encouraged to enter the competition. Students who are enrolled in biology courses, or are majoring in biology or entomology departments at the undergraduate level are particularly encouraged to enter the contest.

Judging Panels

A panel of five judges for each category of competition determines the winners. Each panel is composed of two representatives from either the agricultural or pest control industries and three members from academia, two of whom are usually from biology departments. Professional representatives of both basic and applied science are always included on each panel. Judges may or may not be entomologists. In the event of a tie, the winners will be chosen by a vote of judges.

Emphasis in this student contest is placed on the mechanics of organizing and presenting a scientific paper. The quality of the research is judged only to the extent that the student’s objectives and methodology appear appropriate and conclusions are substantiated by data. Judges are expected to write constructive criticism. This is important to the student; score sheets are returned to the students so that they can learn where they need to improve.

A week before the contest each judge receives a copy of the Book of Abstracts to review. Some of the questions that judges should consider are the following. How is the abstract written? Does it have the essentials of a classic abstract? Does it have a statement of the problem, objectives, methodology, results and/or conclusions? Are these conveyed with a reasonable amount of verbiage, using correct English grammar and composition?

In the organization and presentation of the talk, the judges look to see if the student follows through the discussion in a logical manner. Judges expect that the presentations will not specifically target an audience having a general biological background. Finally, it is interesting to note that judges have become more observant of professional appearance and the elements of courtesy.

Coordination of Program

A committee works with industry, which generously supports the contest through prize monies for each of the three categories of competition. In addition, funds from industry provide for continental breakfast at registration, and participating students will be given a lunch voucher. Aside from monetary contributions, personnel from industry have contributed to the success of the contest by serving as judges and working on committees for its promotion.

Mailings announcing the contest and calling for papers are sent to all academic biology departments in the tri-state area, coordinated by staff at Ohio State University, University of Kentucky, and Purdue University. Biology departments serve as hosts, providing local arrangements as the contest moves from state to state. Provision has to be made for the operation of concurrent sessions when necessary. Finally, a committee provides for projection and timing during the presentations, and tabulation of results. Following the presentation of the last contest paper, results are tabulated and an Awards ceremony is held during which prizes and certificates are distributed to winners as they are presented with their checks.


The contest has provided a common interest for Ohio Valley entomologists and is opening the door to greater interaction among the three states. Graduate students, particularly in the large entomology departments, have more interaction between universities, fostering a competitive camaraderie. We have been pleased with our graduate level participation.

The graduate level has been relatively stable, and we have tried for years to increase and encourage undergraduate participation. Getting the interest of undergraduates is difficult, requiring the persistence of instructors.

The most significant achievement of the Student Forum is an increased interaction between entomologists representing industry and the faculties and students of academic biology departments in the three states. Here is the source of students for graduate school and industry. This relationship is developing slowly, but we are encouraged with our progress.