Women in Ag: Johnalyn Gordon

By Andrew Horvath, agricultural education and communication master’s student

Johnalyn Gordon With Speyeria ButterflyWhat started as a childhood interest of “creepy crawly critters” from her back yard has transformed into a field of study and future career for Johnalyn Gordon.

Gordon is currently a master’s student studying entomology and nematology at the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). As a CALS student, Gordon’s proudest moment came from the very first time she was able to develop and implement a research project. The thrill she had from that experience inspired her to pursue a career as a scientist.

I am excited to work in a field that has such a direct application to people’s lives and property,” Gordon said. “My ultimate goal is to apply what I have learned during my time as a graduate student to make a positive contribution to and impact on the urban and industrial pest management industry. I wanted to somehow channel my passion into an applied field of study that could directly benefit people and the environment. Fortunately, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences offered me just that!”

Through a course titled “Bugs and People” and the help from her professor, Rebecca Baldwin, Gordon was hired as a laboratory technician with the UF/IFAS entomology and nematology department. This position enabled her to run experiments and participate in the research design portion of projects.

Gordon mentioned the UF/IFAS entomology and nematology department seems to have equal representation of men and women among the students, faculty, and staff. She did share her concerns about potentially not being taken seriously in the pest management field because of her youth and gender.

“Certainly the pest management field tends to be largely comprised of men, especially in terms of the pest management professionals,” Gordon said. “However, in my experience, almost everyone I have come in contact with have been very helpful and willing to offer valuable insights on how to be successful in the field.”

In addition to the role model that Baldwin has been, Gordon also credits several other researchers as being inspirational women in the field of entomology and nematology.

“Many of the women that I’ve heard speak at conferences and symposiums have been inspirations,” Gordon said. “They demonstrated that women are just as capable as men in the field of biological sciences. The women I saw are successful researchers that are highly respected, and this is something I aspire to be.”

For other women working in the fields of agricultural and life sciences, Gordon provides encouragement, motivation and even a challenge.

“[Do not] let gender stereotypes hold you back when it comes to the field of agricultural and life sciences,” Gordon said. “Let your passion be the navigator, not society’s mold. Women can get dirt on their hands, can pick up snakes and insects, can be a technical director of a pest control company, can be the principal investigator of a laboratory – you name it! You don’t have to change yourself in any way. You can rock your favorite lipstick or wear a dress, you don’t have to dial down your femininity to be in the field you are passionate about.”

Note: In honor of Women’s History Month, CALS will be sharing stories of students throughout March.


Posted: March 15, 2018

Category: Pests & Disease, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Leadership, Majors, Women In Ag


December 15, 2021

Amazing job my friend! Your perseverance and success is inspiring.

Andrea Gallik
December 15, 2021

So very amazed by you Jason! You have made your family and UF so proud. Your story lights a path for others. May you continue leading the way with your perseverance and integrity!

Michele Dysna leconte
December 15, 2021

Congratulations!!! Very inspiring story, May continue to be a beacon of hope for other young men dealing with similar issues

Matt Parker
December 15, 2021

Congratulations Mr. Coby. 11 straight ‘A’s eh? Way to go. Now go forth and fix the environment. Your girls look good with the current graduate. Nicely done. Beautiful fam.

December 15, 2021

Thank you for helping my nephew Jason I know he wasn’t a quicker but is this song I know if it’s Roman it will make it I’m proud of him and I look I love you and we always be there to support you we love you we love you aunt to Mimi

Anne Menard
September 14, 2021

You can post my comments.

Anne Menard
September 14, 2021

What a wonderful learning opportunity for the college students & it helps with their future education & career planning. Thank you Tall Timbers.

December 22, 2020

Dear sir, Thank you for your post. I Love group study.

Samuel Sam
December 10, 2020

Dear sir, Thank you for your post. Group study is the main for all students life and we learn a lot of things

Susan Weller
November 1, 2020

Congratulations for rewards well earned. Keep up this very important research. We are dependent on the honey bees. Your work is helping educate us all. The use of DDT was stopped due to scientist like you. Please continue to develop more earth friendly solutions for the good of mankind.

August 7, 2020


suba suba
June 11, 2020

Really appreciate you sharing this article.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

Mohammed Mahmood Mohammed
May 12, 2020

Congratulations you earned that degree

May 7, 2020

Congrats Dr. Kawther. With your efforts you make what is difficult, been easy to get. Keep going don’t give up. Always the beginning is difficult but with the patience will be easy.

Pialang Indo
March 29, 2020

Very true this virus is very contagious, serious and potentially deadly virus hopes we can do what we can to reduce the spread of this virus and find the best solution to eradicate it. I was very scared until now and just stayed at home all day. Thank you for the information.

Pam Humphrey
December 19, 2019

Lindsey is an amazing, competent and caring young woman. She will be an asset to any company forward-looking enough to hire her.

Naomi Rose
December 19, 2019

Wow! I am so proud of her. Nana

Dagang Valas
December 14, 2019

Congratulation Rivas, hopefully the knowledge gained can be useful in the future and can help the community. Merry Christmas and happy new year too.

Ginny Reiss
October 1, 2019

So proud of you Adrian!!!

R. William (Bill) Henderson
June 21, 2019

Father figures are needed in all parts of education and in all of life. I teach GED to inmates in a local jail and many of the problems these inmates have stems from their many drop out fathers both male and female.

Amy Vasquez
June 20, 2019

Three perfect examples of men with integrity.

April 26, 2019

Way to go, Kendra!

April 1, 2019

Indeed everyone need to eat, and many also complain about the food source quality. I think we all should, at least, do farming in our homes. If the lack of space is a problem, then we should use vertical farming methods. This will not only clean our environment but also reduce the peoples depression (as looking at green reduces depression and is good for mental health).

Linda Nolan
March 16, 2019

Great information! Thank you Dana for sharing Ms. Clark’s enthusiasm about Florida’s agricultural importance.

March 22, 2018

I am sooo proud of Gallagher n the example given to her by these wonderful women encouraging others to jump in n make a difference. I say take your places with men n unite making the difference side by side. WELL DONE!!!

Edelyn Tidholm
March 17, 2018

Great article!

Karen Webster
February 21, 2018

We are very proud of you and your dedication to make agriculture better.

February 21, 2018

Enjoyed reading your article. It was well written and I could tell that you had put a lot of thought into what you wanted to say. Wishing you a great deal of success as you work toward your dream of becoming a lawyer. May God bless and watch over you as you embark on this journey.

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