This spring, Roxane Magnus, an entomologist and former contract biologist with Monsanto Co., is teaching “World Food and Society,” “Agribusiness Sales” and “Soils lab.”
“Roxane is primarily teaching plant and soil science courses at Southeast Missouri State University in Sikeston, Malden and Kennett, (Mo.),” said Dr. Michael Aide, chair of the Department of Agriculture. “She also will interact with the agriculture community to obtain assessment of the program and to facilitate agribusiness support in terms of internships and career opportunities.”
Magnus has a Master of Science with a major in entomology and an emphasis in genetics from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. She also has a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts with majors in agriculture and Spanish from Southeast Missouri State. She specializes in insect scouting and insect management.
“Roxane is teaching classes using ITV technologies,” Aide said. “However, her primary responsibility will be teaching face-to-face at Sikeston, Malden and Kennett.”
She brings with her a wealth of experiences.
With Monsanto, Magnus was responsible for insect rearing and colony maintenance.
“Roxane has an excellent blend of agriculture research with Monsanto and has production experience in Arkansas,” Aide said. “She will have a very favorable impact on the quality of our students by providing cutting edge technology awareness and a superior ability to teach and motivate students.”
She previously was employed by the University of Missouri Delta Research Center in Portageville, Mo., where she assisted with agricultural entomology studies related to rice fields.
Magnus said she hopes to offer students knowledge about insects and “how they are important in our everyday lives — what is their purpose, why we need them and how we can conserve them. Many people are not aware that only one percent of insects have no economic importance. So that leaves 99 percent of the insects that are economically important to us.
She said she hopes to offer her students the real world experience she has gained in agriculture and entomology.
“I truly enjoy learning and I want to convey this same enthusiasm and desire to students that learning is fun and is a life-long activity,” Magnus said. “With my education, diverse work experiences, professional development and personal interest in agriculture, horticulture and entomology, I feel I can contribute to the students’ intellectual growth. My philosophy is to get out of your comfort zone, explore new places and things, and go beyond what you think you are capable of doing.
“I am a good example of getting out of my comfort zone because I enjoy reaching beyond my limits and taking on challenges. The feeling of accomplishment when I have completed what I have set out to do is one of the best feelings a person can have,” she added. “It makes you strive for more. I feel that the teaching position here will be challenging but rewarding and I am ready to take on that challenge.”
Magnus also previously served as a graduate research assistant at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she conducted thesis research on the genetic variation of honey bees from the southern and central United States and assisted with research on Africanized honey bees, termites, mosquitoes, nematodes and flies.
In collaboration with Dr. Timothy Judd, Southeast associate professor of biology, Magnus has done research on micronutrients of the paper wasp. She also has served as a student farm assistant with Southeast Missouri State University, a cotton field scout and corn pollinator.
During a research project with the University of Illinois, she conducted molecular experiments on nurse and forager honey bees, and during an internship in Queretaro, Mexico, she monitored spinach fields for disease and insects. She also has done an independent study project with the Missouri Department of Conservation on identifying, collecting and preserving insects found in Giant Cane. In addition, Magnus has served as a soybean inspector in Matthews, Mo., during an internship with Monsanto Co.
She is a member of the Entomological Society of America and has been involved in numerous university and community outreach initiatives, including volunteering with the Monsanto Technology Mobile Unit.
“Our goal in agriculture is to create the workforce for the 21st Century, and Roxane will be instrumental in meeting this goal,” Aide said.