Franklin Pest Solutions Sponsorship Intern for Bug Bowl 2022 – PCT

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Franklin Pest Solutions is continuing its mission to empower more women to explore careers in science by sponsoring a student intern to help with the 32nd Bug Bowl event management. The Franklin sponsorship allowed Bug Bowl to hire 20-year-old Meghan Jerke, a sophomore at Purdue, for the job.

“I’m so excited to be working on Bug Bowl,” Jerke said. “It brings the Purdue entomology team and the larger community of bug-loving folks together.”

Jerke’s love of bugs surfaced early. In middle school, she was the only one not scared to pick up the Madagascar hissing roaches a teacher brought to class. Her favorite bug is the golden tortoise beetle because “they have the goofiest faces and big feet that I find very endearing.” She also likes their pretty coloring and wings.

At Bug Bowl, Meghan will be responsible for facets of the 1,600 piece Insect Art Show. Each one of the K-12 artwork pieces submitted must be recorded, sorted, judged, hung, and then returned to the original artist. Plus, Meghan will keep track of making sure the more than 100 Bug Bowl volunteers all complete training, get schedule reminders, and have background checks.

Also new this year is the first live visitor evaluation, which will help make Bug Bowl even better in years to come. The Bug Bowl has been successful for more than three decades, Pearson said. The evaluation seeks to find what, specifically, makes it work and how it can be made better. Jerke will work on data input from the survey through the end of the semester to help answer those questions.

Bug Bowl is one of the largest insect festivals in the USA, according to Gwen Pearson, PhD, of the Purdue Department of Entomology. The event is part of Purdue’s Spring Fest weekend and will take place on April 9 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm EST.

“In addition to being immersed in the world of bugs, this Bug Bowl internship provides great experience in planning, ordering supplies, supply preparation, volunteer communications, and day of event triage,” Pearson said. “It’s a fantastic career-building experience.”

Franklin is committed to helping educate the communities it serves about the “wonderful, colorful, beautiful world of bugs,” Janelle Iaccino, marketing director, Franklin, said. Research from the US Census Bureau shows that, currently, only 27 percent of scientists in the US are women. Franklin welcomes Jerke’s to the world of female scientists.

“We are thrilled to sponsor her participation at Bug Bowl,” Iaccino said.

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