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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Matthew D. Semler

Matthew D. Semler Matthew D. Semler

Department of Entomology 
Bay Village, OH 

2023 Distinguished Senior Award Recognition Reception Program (.pdf) 

2023 Distinguished Senior Award Recipient Reception Poster (.pdf) 

Matthew Semler expected to eventually go to medical school when they enrolled as a Biology major at OSU. However, after exposure to Entomology department courses, faculty, and fellow scholars, Matt added a second major and began cultivating a passion for the study of insects that has greatly influenced the course of their undergraduate career. Matt’s double major will provide a broad skillset to carry into their future as a researcher, reinforcing their understanding of biology and chemistry while offering a practical route to apply that understanding in the world of entomology. 

For the past year and a half, Matt has worked part time at the OSU Museum of Biological Diversity’s C. A. Triplehorn Insect Collection, imaging and maintaining specimens and assisting with curation of the beetle collection. There, they gained valuable exposure to a tight-knit network of professionals in the field of entomology, an experience which served to reinforce Matt’s newfound desire to work with insects as a graduate student and eventually in a professional capacity. Matt reflected, “All of my interests were packaged in one little box and the community was truly amazing.” Matt’s internship in Karen Goodell’s 
lab saw them assisting with the Ohio Bee Survey and offered valuable insight into life as a graduate student and researcher.

Both as President of Chrysalis, the undergraduate entomology club at OSU, and as a student in Entomology 4001, Matt relished each opportunity to participate in insect collecting field excursions at the Deep Woods nature preserve in Hocking County. These 
experiences were some of their most joyful, and Matt fondly recalled the connections made with classmates and fellow club members as they camped under the stars and spent all day collecting specimens and sharing their interest, knowledge, and passion for insects. Chrysalis has thrived under Matt’s leadership, with members responding well to their enthusiasm and earnest passion. In addition to the entomology-based organization, Matt has been a member of Habitat for Humanity Club, Astronomy Club, and Trans*Mission. Finding and connecting with these communities offered Matt their greatest sense of accomplishment. They reflected, “Figuring out my identity makes all the rest of my accomplishments feel so small. Nothing quite matters to me as much as feeling like myself and knowing who I am.”

Matt named Dr. Joe Raczkowski as their mentor, sharing, “Joe was the first teacher I had for an entomology class and my future advisor once I decided to become a double major. He was influential in my choices to join the department as well as pursue a graduate degree. He has been nothing but helpful the entire way, supporting all of my choices throughout school. The relationship I developed with him truly made an impact on me as a person as well as my college career.”

Having already been accepted to OSU for graduate school, Matt is evaluating offers from the Department of Entomology and the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology. They hope to pursue a master’s degree and eventually a PhD with a research focus on native pollinators. 

Service, involvement, and accolades: Chrysalis, president | Habitat for Humanity Club | Trans*Mission | Astronomy Club

Matthew Semler - Press Release