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2022 Candidate Joseph A. Bruseo

Joseph A. Bruseo
Holyoke Community College

Candidate for: Member of the Board of Professional Certification

Educational Background: BA in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University (NJ), MS in Wildlife Management from Frostburg State University (MD), and PhD in Biological Sciences from Bowling Green State University (OH). My current teaching position is at Holyoke Community College (HCC) in Holyoke, MA.

My ecological education and experience is broad, but I consider myself a behavioral ecologist, focusing on community structure and competitive interactions of Peromyscus. I have an active small mammal trapping program, used for both personal research and classroom instruction. In addition, I have begun to explore bird banding, with particular interest in establishing a local MAPS station.

I established a student chapter of The Wildlife Society at Holyoke Community College, which was active prior to COVID. With the college returning to on-site classes, the club will be active again in the fall. As coordinator of the HG&E Fishlist, I have recruited students to work as fish counters and team leads for spring and summer seasons. These activities have been crucial in fostering a greater understanding and application of ecology for students.

What interests, experience or skills would you bring to this position?

I have recently gone through, and successfully completed, the process of professional certification, so I am aware of the requirements for certification. I found the process somewhat intimidating and cumbersome. As a member of the committee, I would be able to provide input for improving the certification process to make it more engaging.

While I am an academician, I have had administrative and chair experience. At HCC, I served as interim division dean, and am currently the chair of the Curriculum Committee and Institutional Review Board (IRB). These experiences provide me with a greater scope of the process of certification, with views from both sides (administrative and applicant).

How would you support ESA’s mission? How would you plan to promote DEIJ in ESA membership and activities if elected?

By serving on the board of professional certification, I would be able to advance the science and practice of ecology by demonstrating (through example) the benefits of ESA membership and certification. I have taught at both four-year and two-year colleges (both private and public), so my academic career and interactions with students is diverse. Having taught at Holyoke Community College (a hispanic-serving institution) for the past 16 years, I have encountered many students from under-represented groups who are interested in careers in ecology. They often lack the confidence to pursue that path but have the ability to succeed. It is important to nurture that interest and help guide those students toward careers in ecology. By serving on the certification committee, I would be the connection between students in the classroom and the ESA, aiding in the recruitment of potential candidates for certification.