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Steve Naranjo, Ph.D., and colleague Peter Ellsworth, Ph.D.

Steve Naranjo, Ph.D., and colleague Peter Ellsworth, Ph.D.

Steve Naranjo, Ph.D. (left), and colleague Peter Ellsworth, Ph.D., sample sweetpotato whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci), also sometimes known as silverleaf whiteflies, in a cotton field. Naranjo and his sister were the first in their extended family to graduate from college. He went on to earn a master’s and doctorate in entomology, and he eventually become director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Arid Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Arizona. Naranjo says, “My father cried when I told him I had become the center director. It was pretty touching.” He actively encourages Hispanic students and others in underrepresented groups to likewise pursue entomology and science as a highly rewarding career. (Photo credit: USDA-ARS)

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