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Field, Ellie

Published onMar 12, 2021
Field, Ellie

Ellie Field, 2021 by Rose Frantzen (American, b. 1965). Oil on board. Part of the Faces of Iowa State Series. Commissioned by University Museums and the Office of the President. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. U2021.5

Eleanor (Ellie) N. Field (PhD ’22 Entomology) chose Iowa State for her PhD because of the research opportunities in her chosen field of study. With a BS in Biology from Washington College (2014) and an MS in Global Health from Georgetown University (2016) Field found her niche at Iowa State studying Medical Entomology. Her research involves environmental effects on mosquito biology and resulting population trends, and ultimately how these create trends in mosquito-borne disease. She is currently working with Culex pipiens mosquitoes on their role as West Nile virus vectors.

Field is a member of the Medical Entomology laboratory of Dr. Ryan C. Smith, where the on-campus lab has a close partnership with the Iowa State Department of Health to conduct mosquito surveillance throughout the state. Because her background is disease/vector ecology and public health, this position was a perfect fit! On her first visit to campus, she was impressed with how close/supportive the students were in the Entomology department, in affiliated departments, and the overall cooperative academic environment. 

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Field states that, “Iowa State University has provided me opportunities to grow as a leader and find my voice.  I've been surrounded by people who are both supportive and challenging, and that's such an important thing to foster growth as an individual and as a professional.”

She joined the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) in her first year as a Senator, as Professional Advancements Chair during her second year, for the past two years she has served as President. Over this time, she led the organization through a new Constitutional reform and restructuring to increase involvement and efficiency. 

“Through my involvement with the GPSS I was able to gain insight into continuing on in academia by seeing the 'behind the scenes' at Universities, and also gain experience and exposure to advocacy/policy. I'm equally considering post-doctoral positions alongside science/health policy fellowships now. The importance of ISU's land-grant mission too has stuck with me, and I have embraced science communication and outreach as critical areas I want to incorporate into my career.” 

When asked how 2020 and COVID-19 changed the way she conducts her studies and research, Field replied, “The pandemic provided a forced opportunity to think critically about the direction of my projects, and take ownership of my program-of-study plans. I had to classify which areas were essential and which areas could be re-designed and approached in a different way. I began outdoor experimental field trials, and began analyzing population data as a method to explore my dissertation topics (allowing me more flexibility for remote work).”

Of her time at Iowa State, she notes that running for her first campus race for GPSS will be a memory she will never forget. “It was really amazing to be cheered on by other students (and even some professors!). I even got a nice picture with Cy from it!”

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, President, Iowa State University: You know when I shared with Morgan and Ellie that we wanted them to participate, their expression of happiness of being included was phenomenal. They were very touched and excited to be a part of this. They really couldn’t believe they got the opportunity to do this. When you think about these two presidents, they have had to work very hard, this is not a normal time to be a president of these student orgs. It has required increased effort and commitment. They have had to balance their constituents’ viewpoints on a whole set of complex issues. So it will be good to recognize the work they have done this year, and of course we still have the spring semester.

Rose Frantzen portrait session Time Lapse: Faces of Iowa State, Ellie Field
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