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Feb. 25, 2020

Osten Eschedor: Bugging out for science policy

Feb. 25, 2020

Osten Eschedor studies entomology in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Her experiences with MSU Extension's 4-H programs, the MSU Bug House and student bodies like ASMSU have led her to pursue a career in science policy.



Name: Osten Eschedor

Hometown: Hudson, Michigan

Future study or career plans: I want to work with science policy.

What is the best selling point about an entomology major you would like others to know?

Entomology allows you to be a highly marketable specialist but also have a flexible career path as it can be combined with and applied to many fields of study.

What or who inspired your interest in entomology?

I was always interested in the natural sciences, and my experiences in MSU Extension's 4-H programs gave me a great appreciation for agriculture. I would say competing in the entomology event on my middle school Science Olympiad team opened me up to pursuing a career in entomology specifically.

What has been your best experience with entomology?

I loved working with Chris Difonzo in her field crops entomology lab this past summer. We traveled around Michigan participating in many studies including soybean defoliation and Asiatic garden beetle populations. It was my first hands-on experience with entomology and is, by far, my favorite.

Tell us about your experiences with the MSU Bug House.

I am a tour guide at the MSU Bug House where I help the public gain a new appreciation for our insects and their arthropod relatives by overcoming their fears through live encounters. I find it to be very rewarding when I change people's perception of our bugs through education.

What is your favorite way to spend your time outside of your studies?

I am involved with many academic governance groups. Last spring, I was elected to be the Lyman Briggs College representative on the Associated Students of MSU, or ASMSU, General Assembly where I help write and pass new legislation.

I also serve on the Academic Affairs Committee, University Council, University Committee on Academic Governance and the University Committee for the Libraries. I am in numerous clubs and governing bodies within the Lyman Briggs College. I love serving my community with the amazing people I have met along the way.

What is your favorite thing about MSU?

I love the Lyman Briggs College living learning community. I met most of my friends through Lyman Briggs, and I appreciate that a lot of my classes are just downstairs from my dorm room.

Do you have advice for anyone interested in an entomology major?

Come to Bug Club! It's a good way to meet fellow students with a passion for entomology. You can also talk to our amazing adviser, Amanda Lorenz-Reaves.

Other fun things.

I was selected to represent Michigan at the 2018 National 4-H Conference where I presented to the Senate Agriculture Committee and promoted the renewal of the Farm Bill.

The bill also deregulated hemp, which I helped conduct a research study on with the Field Crops Entomology Lab the following summer. It was cool to experience firsthand how national policy affects our ability to do research.

Also, this summer I will be participating in a science policy internship in Washington D.C. through MSU's Demmer Scholars Program.