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History and Organization of the Ohio Valley Entomological Association Annual Forum for Student Paper Competition

The Ohio Valley Entomological Association (previously the Ohio Valley Chapter of ARPE) has had a number of successful activities including programs for recertification, exhibits at both branch and National ESA meetings, occasional newsletters, and a Forum for Student Paper Presentation. None of the chapter's activities have been more successful than the Forum and it became a source of pride with the membership and the envy of other ARPE chapters. Prior to development of the Student Forum, the meetings of the chapter were primarily social gatherings. In November 1984, M.C. Wilson proposed that the Chapter, as an organization, develop a student-related activity.

"Students are our future. What better investment could we make with our time and energy than to promote our concepts of professionalism with them?" Response was tremendous. Wilson received many letters endorsing the idea which led to his election as president of the Chapter at the next meeting and the initiation of the student contest became the Chapter's first project. Since the program first began in 1985 at Earlham College, it has grown steadily. It began in a small way with competition largely between students from the University of Kentucky and Purdue University. This was to be expected because there were significant numbers of faculty from these two institutions who supported and held membership in ARPE. Also, along with Ohio State University, they are the main ceters for entomological training in the tri-state area.

With the birth of the Ohio Valley Entomological Association, membership and competition have been opened to all interested parties regardless of demographics or non-affiliation with other organizations. We hope to continue to grow participation behond the 140+ contestants who have competed since the inception of the competition.