Michelle Samuel-Foo Is the First African American to Win a Major Entomological Award

Michelle Samuel-Foo, an assistant professor at Alabama State University, has been selected to receive the Founders Memorial Recognition, one of the highest nationwide honors given by the Entomological Society of America. Dr. Samuel-Foo is the first African American to be honored with this award. She will be honored at the society’s annual meeting in Orlando this coming November.

“This is an absolute once-in-a-lifetime honor for me being named as a recipient of this top award presented by my professional association nationwide. To be the very first African-American and one of a few women to win this award since it was created in 1958 reminds me of how far we have come,” Dr. Samuel-Foo said. “As a young graduate student, I remember attending my first national Entomological Society meeting and seeing a revered professor getting this award at the end of his very long career. However, never in my most daring dream, did I believe that one day, I would be in his same place receiving this honor — not at the end of my career, but in the mid-part of it.”

Dr. Samuel-Foo joined the faculty at Alabama State in 2018. She leads the university’s initiative on industrial hemp research. Earlier, Dr. Samuel-Foo was a faculty member with the Institute of Food and Agriculture Services at the University of Florida.

Dr. Samuel-Foo is a summa cum laude graduate of Brewton Parker College in Vidalia, Georgia, where she majored in biology. She holds a master’s degree in agronomy and a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Georgia.

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