Godfrey Nalyanya, 2010 Friends of IPM Award Winner
IPM Educator

Amidst a crowd of entomologists from the Southeast Branch of the Entomological Society of America, Dr. Godfrey Nalyanya received this year’s Friends of IPM Educator Award from the Southern Region IPM Center.

Steve Toth, associate director of the Southern Region IPM Center, presented Nalyanya with the award during the Southeast Branch’s award luncheon on March 9. Nalyanya won the award because of his excellence in educating school personnel about integrated pest management (IPM).

Toth cited Nalyanya’s work as “an educator, conducting seminars, training workshops, and consultation meetings for pest management professionals, administrators, teachers, and school support staff within the past five years.”

Because of Nalyanya’s IPM workshops, 76 percent of North Carolina’s 115 public school districts are now using IPM to manage pest problems. Many other districts are beginning IPM programs.

The Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Center fosters the development and adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a science-based approach to managing pests in ways that generate economic, environmental and human health benefits. The center, which is located at North Carolina State University, works in partnership with stakeholders from agricultural, urban and rural settings to identify and address regional priorities for research, education and outreach.

When Nalyanya and retired N.C. State crop science professor Dr. Mike Linker first started the school IPM program in 2001, school districts contracted with pest control companies to spray for pests on a scheduled basis.

Nalyanya introduced school maintenance personnel to the concept of monitoring for pests. He also trained them how to prevent pests from entering their buildings. Over 4,700 people have attended Godfrey’s training events.

The Friends of IPM Educator Award is one of six possible Friends of IPM awards given annually by the Southern Region IPM Center. This year marks the third year of the award. The educator award goes to someone who has proven excellence in teaching or training, and whose lessons have had impact.

Not only have Nalyanya’s workshops influenced school personnel to change their method of pest management, but a 2009 research project on cockroach allergens led more school districts to switch to IPM. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Medical Entomology in May 2009.

In 2006, the school IPM program contributed to the passage of the North Carolina Schoolchildren’s Health Act (G.S. 115: 47). The bill mandates all public school districts to notify parents, guardians and staff about pesticide use on school property, and to implement an IPM program by October 2011.

Originally from Kenya, Nalyanya completed his graduate education at North Carolina State University under NCSU entomology professor Dr. Coby Schal. In 2001, he began working with Linker on the new school IPM program.

He and Linker shaped the program, instituting a statewide award program for North Carolina school districts and personnel who adopted school IPM programs. Colleagues from other southeastern universities agreed that Nalyanya deserved the regional award.

“Dr. Godfrey Nalyanya is deserving of the Friends of IPM Award for an IPM educator because of his many contributions to the School IPM Program in North Carolina, which also include administering the State-mandated program, developing IPM training materials, and conducting surveys to access IPM implementation among the state’s 115 school districts,” Toth says.

One of Nalyanya’s protégés, Chris Mills, won the Friends of IPM Implementer Award last year for successfully executing and maintaining an IPM program in the Union County school system.