- May 2021
Extension Associate I
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology
Years in position: 3
Years at MSU: 3
As an Extension Associate for a Row Crop Entomologist, Cori Speights spends the majority of her summer days in the field assisting in small-plot research aimed at understanding and controlling insect pests. Throughout the fall and the spring semesters, her team disseminates the information they collect across the state of Mississippi by hosting and attending conferences and county meetings.
“It takes a village to get all our work done each year,” Cori said. “Without support from research and Extension colleagues, consultants, farmers, and numerous funding agencies we would not be successful. I love the support I feel working for Extension. All my colleagues feel like family.”
Cori’s favorite aspect of her job is getting to spend her days outdoors and the traveling her job allows her to do. She loves grabbing ‘hole-in-the-wall’ restaurant lunches in the Mississippi Delta.
While she was working on her doctorate in the MSU Department of Biological Sciences, she took a course in Insect Taxonomy, and at that time, she was still looking for committee members. An entomology student in that course introduce her to their advisor, who agreed to be on her committee and later hired her to work on his summer crew. She has been in this job ever since, and finished her doctorate while working full time.
“The most important traits required for my position include responsibility, hard work, asking questions, and being willing to have fun on the job,” Cori said. “Not every day is easy or exciting, but showing up with a positive attitude makes a huge difference.”
In her position, Cori has the opportunity to oversee student workers in her field, and she says that their excitement and creativity inspire her in her own job.
Before moving to Mississippi, Cori grew up in Texas. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her dog, Machi, drinking tea, watching movies, and playing board games.