Meet Louise Romanow
Wake County EMG
I am an active volunteer and gardener in Wake County. My adventures in North Carolina began when I came here in 1976 for graduate school in entomology at NC State. I finished my degree in 1984. I am fascinated by BUGS and am often called upon in our EMG circles to talk about them or help identify them.
My interest in insects began as I got more and more knowledgeable about plants (particularly wildflowers and native plants), and my studies about plant and insect interactions just whet my appetite!
I became an EMG in 2005 in Wake County, and have worked in many areas of the program. I edited the newsletter for about 5 years. I began involvement in training in 2008 when we lost our agent and had already accepted trainees to start in a few months. I lined up a bunch of faculty from NCSU, and the training took off from there. I am still involved in training, and about 40 other EMGs also participate in coordinating the training program. There is another class starting this fall and I again am very active in this effort.
We also have a great mentoring program and I led development of a web-based learning tool called '50 Questions' to help students learn how to get reliable, research-based information for clients.
As well as organizing training, I regularly give talks on bugs to EMGs in Wake and other counties as well as other groups. My volunteer time now goes to a number of EMG activities including training committee, responding to questions at Ask an Expert at eXtension.org, some website work, occasional newsletter articles (on what else? BUGS!) And demo garden volunteering.
I have also coordinated the Silent Auction activity at the last two Wake County based conferences, one in 2010 in Raleigh and in 2015 in Cary. It was lots of fun (and lots of work!) and I am pleased to say that both events were extremely successful and brought in a lot of money for the state association! There were many volunteers supporting this effort as well, and it is a great feeling when it all comes together and goes off smoothly! Dealing with so much ‘plant collection’ activity, I also arranged and coordinated the Wake County annual plant exchange that we hold at our yearly luncheons for a number of years.
My other major volunteer activity is with the League of Women Voters. My interest there is campaign reform, particularly public funding of campaigns and increasing informed voter participation, particularly through VOTE411.org. It is an interesting year with so much happening in the legislature and this being a presidential voting year.