Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Jane Duffy ’02

Sarah Jane Duffy graduated in 2002 with a bachelor of science in agriculture. Her major, agricultural communication, prepared her for her career with the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) where she serves as a public information officer. 

[ACEL]: Hi Sarah! Tell us why did you select your major?

[Duffy]: It was important to me to have a bachelor of science. A degree in agricultural communication allowed me to pursue a communications and photojournalism focused curriculum while maintaining a science background.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?

When I was in 4th grade we took a field trip to the Ohio State farms on Sawmill Road – I was hooked. I immediately started telling anyone and everyone that I was going to study animal husbandry and breed horses when I grow up. In the end I chose Ohio State because it was the best fit for me educationally, athletically (I was on the cross country team my freshman year) and financially.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?

I always say I ended up at the other ODA. I had a strong interest in health and human sciences after abandoning my childhood dream of being a horse breeder. Between my major and my work with the Lantern, The Makio and Columbus Public Health (my internship) I was well prepared to enter the field of public information.

Share with us the student organizations and campus life activities in which you were involved.

It might be easier to list what the ones which I wasn’t involved. Sigma Alpha, FEAS Student Council, Saddle and Sirloin, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Beanie Drake Student Leader Endowment Fund, OSU cross country team, intramural hockey, Columbus Symphony Summer Series Board of Directors, photo editor of the Lantern, re-founding photo editor of the The Makio – Ohio State’s Yearbook, I worked at The Faculty Club, to name a few.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?

I enjoyed my laboratory class working on the Lantern the most. Rose Hume made a lasting impact on me. I also loved my fine art photography classes and spending time in the darkroom – back when we used to develop our own photos. Digital photography was just getting a foothold during my college years.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education?

Rose Hume, the Lantern staff advisor, and Dr. Sherrie Whaley, my advisor and professor, both made lasting impacts on my career development and guiding me along my education path. Dr. Zartman and Dean Moser also made a lasting impact on me and always made this city girl feel welcomed and appreciated.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State
How do you choose just one? Having my photos of Katy Smith’s number being retired picked up the AP. Showing my first heifer in the Little I. Jumping in Mirror Lake. The fear and excitement of cover the riots on campus that resulted in winning an award for our coverage and my images. My fondest memories are all the people with whom I connected and stay connect with to this day. How firm thy friendship isn’t just a line in my favorite song, it’s a very real way of life for us Buckeyes.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?

I have been with the Ohio Department of Aging since December 2002. When you are fortunate enough to make an impact on the lives of your fellow Ohioans and their communities, you just keep on doing what you love.

How have you stayed involved in your community outside of your career?
I am the president of the Young Buckeyes of Central Ohio. The social media chair for the Franklin County Alumni Club. I am still active with Sigma Alpha sorority and was named the Outstanding Sigma Alpha Alumna in 2015.

During your career, have you received any awards or honors? If so, what are those? Employee of the Quarter. We don’t participate in award competitions as it would not be a good use of taxpayer money. So, nothing of note to mention.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
Meeting with and learning from the amazing older Ohioans I’ve had to pleasure to interact with throughout my career. I enjoy making a difference in lives of our elders as I work to empower them and strengthen our communities, by promoting active aging and positive attitudes toward aging.

What advice would you give to a current student?

Be engaged both in, and out of the the classroom. Many of the experiences and relationships I forged outside the classroom had the greatest impact on me and who I’ve become.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?

ACEL cultivated my ability to express myself not only visually, but in written and spoken word.

Alumni Spotlight: Xiang Gu ’16

Xiang Gu came to The Ohio State University as a community leadership major for autumn semester 2012 from Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. He was the first freshman to declare this new major (formerly known as specializations of the agricultural and extension education major). After four years in Columbus, “Shaun” graduated with a bachelor of science. Shaun now works for The Ohio State University in Shanghai, China as an alumni relations and event planning specialist with the China Gateway Office.

Why did you select the community leadership major?
When I received the [admittance] offer from Ohio State, I also got a list of “recommended majors”. I wanted to pick a major with less Chinese student and this major caught my eye. After the discussion with my parents I made this bold, but right decision.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Good question for international students – most of us haven’t been to the United States of America before we started our campus life, including me. So we choose the school based on the information online and from our friends. My reasons were: 1. good academic reputation, 2. affordable tuition fee and 3. located in urban area.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
Well I think my job now is kind of self-explained. Ohio State not only offered me great academic resource, but also a global vision. So I would like to share this great experience with more Chinese students and alumni.

How were you involved in the campus outside of our academics?
I have some friends from Taiwan so I joined TWSA in my freshman year.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? 
It’s a difficult question. I will say photography. Although I didn’t do well in that class, I did learn some skills from this class – and it’s very useful in the real life.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education?
I will say Dr. Robert Birkenholz and Dr. Jeff King. They not only helped me with my studies at Ohio State, but also offered a lot of help in my campus life. They shared their own experience, knowledge and time with me selflessly. I sincerely appreciate their help during the time I spent at Ohio State.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
The time we won the [football] National Championship in 2015. Celebrating with other friends on The Oval.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I worked in a small local company in Columbus as an E-commercial operation specialist.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
After the job in Columbus, I went to Africa (Angola, Kenya and South Africa) and worked for McKinsey as a project assistant. Then I went back to China to serve the buckeye community.

How are you involved in your community outside of your career?
I worked close with buckeye community in the Greater China area and involved in nearly every alumni events.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I will say the time I spent in Africa with Mckinsey.

  • Participated in China Africa Investment Opportunity Outlook Project as surveyor in Angola and South Africa
  • Interviewed 90+ Chinese entrepreneur of SOE and private sector, collected data, completed survey and wrote field report
  • Analyzed data and composed 500 pages PPT of all project-related African countries

What advice would you give to a current student?
Take a broader view. This world is big and try to explore it before the death.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
Global vision and critical thinking through the ACEL education program and staff.

 

OHIO with friends.

 

During my work in Africa with McKinsey.

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Cheryl Ruey-Fen Bain ’00 PhD

Dr. Cheryl Ruey-Fen Bain graduated with a doctorate in agricultural education in 2000. Originally from Taiwan, Bain spent five years at Ohio State and then returned to her native country. She currently works as an associate professor in the Department of Leisure and Recreation Management and General Education at De-Yeah University.

[ACEL]: Hello Dr. Bain! Why did you select your graduate program and to attend Ohio State?
[Bain]: I graduated from National Taiwan University in 1990. I was working as a teaching assistant and met the ACEL graduate chair, Dr. Larry Miller, when he visited National Taiwan University during spring semester in 1994.  Dr. Miller recruited me to apply OSU.

I was also very lucky to have Rotary International 3-year Ambassador scholarship supported by D3460 (Taichung Taiwan) and hosted by D6690 (Columbus, Ohio).  

I knew many former Ohio State alumni, such as Dr. Liao Cheng-hong, Dr. Shaio, Kuen-shan, and Dr. Shin-Shin Chen, who recommend me the outstanding program of agricultural education. In addition, Ohio State was land-grand university with strong top 4-H program which attracted me when I worked for National 4-H Club Association of R.O.C.  The most important thing was Dr. John Mount, one of rotarians who was vice president at Ohio State, volunteer to be my consultant for 3-year ambassador scholarship.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
I took courses and participatde in 4-H Extension program to explore and empower my knowledge and capability under Dr. Larry Miller, Dr. Wesley Budke, Dr. Cathy Cox, and my mentor and Rotary International scholarship consultant, Dr. John Mount. Now, I am a Rotarian in D3462 since 2003, and advisor of 4-H Club at Da-Yeh University. 

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I worked as a research assistant for Dr. Larry Brown on his water management project, then I also worked at CCME for more then two years before I attained my Ph.D.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? What was your favorite and why?
The 995 statistics instructed by Dr. R. Warmboard who guided with practical exercises. I took 995 course syllabus to start my first very graduate course in Da-Yeh University as a popular course in 2000.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education and career?
There were so many great teachers, and staff who assisted my learning at OSU, if only one that I have to choose, I have to pick up Dr. John Mount who became my life mentor and role model.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
The summer 4-H leadership camp as counselor as well as 4-H dormitory supervisor under the instruction of Dr. John Mount and Dr. Cathy Cox at Camp Ohio and the Ohio State Fair. I was the first Asian student to work at camp and state fair to learn by doing with great pleasure.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
After I attained my Ph.D., I return to my home country, Taiwan, to be an assistant professor at the very first department of Leisure and Recreation management at Da-Yeh University in Taiwan. I brought my camping experience to teach and worked for international exchange program in many programs such as 4-H Exchange, Rotary Youth Exchange, and Group Study Exchange with more than 10 countries.

Share the positions you have held throughout your career.
I have been worked for National Taiwan University and Da-Yeh University in my academic career taking more than dozen of research projects on education, tourism, and recreation.

I also volunteer for many international exchange program, such as Rotary International in Youth Exchange, and Group Study Exchange.

During your career, have you received any awards or honors?
I have received as outstanding teaching faculty at Da-Yeh University for more than 5 times since 2009.

As a delegate of Group Study Exchange Program to D1570 in the Netherland in 2003 and became the first female leader of Rotary International Group Study Exchange program with D7190 in 2009.

How are you involved in your community outside of your career?
I helps college students to apply to oversea study programs and there are more than 60 students that have visited South Korea and the United States.

I volunteer for many international exchange program, such as Rotary International in Youth Exchange and Group Study Exchange.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
The international exchange program that I achieved as the first female Rotary International Group Study Exchange leader in Taiwan.

There are more than 60 colleges under my instruction to take camp internships in the United States.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Just do it, God will reward us with His best!

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL empowered and enriched my informal education experience such as 4-H leadership camp, state fair working experience.  I have been very lucky to enroll OSU to change my life, I cherish and pride to be part of members of ACEL family.

 

 

Alumni Spotlight: Jeffrey Carpenter ’03

 
Jeffrey Carpenter graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education in 2003. After teaching agricultural education for several years, Carpenter now serves as an assistant principal for the Ohio Central School System and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
[ACEL]: Hi Jeffrey! Why did you select to major in agricultural education?
[Carpenter]: I selected my major of agricultural education, because of the leadership an encouragement of Ron Fuller, my high school agricultural education teacher and Dr. Michael Borger, OSU ATI Beef professor.
Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I attended the Ohio State University and The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute because of the great professionals and because it is THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY! Is there really any other university?
How did your education at Ohio State influence your career path?
The Ohio State University influenced me to always go above and beyond in helping educate students. I may not be in agricultural education at a public school, but helping individuals who are incarcerated to gain employment and passing on the knowledge and life skills I have learned is very rewarding.
What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved in Delta Theta Sigma Fraternity and Ohio State Horseman’s Association. I also participated in Little Internationa,l where I was able to win the horse showmanship with Ohio State’s stallion, The Flashiest Zip Yet.  My jobs included working at OSU ATI Library and as a part of the Ohio State ATI beef research team. When I went to the Columbus campus I worked for Dr. Alecia Larew-Naugle with Ohio State’s Veterinary Preventative Medicine. Then I was able to complete an internship at OSU meat with Dr. Henry Zerby.
What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? What was your favorite and why?
I have two  classes that I have very fond memories.  The animal judging class with Dr. Borger. I enjoyed it because Dr. Borger and Joe Lit made the class fun and it was hands on. The second class was the capstone class with Dr. Zartman. I really enjoyed the animal welfare and animal right class. I guess because of the debates!
 
What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career? How?
I would say each and every professor at Ohio State has had an impact on my life. However, if it wasn’t for Dr. Michael Borger, I am not for sure I would have changed my major to agricultural education. You see, it was being selected to be on the Ohio State ATI beef research team that allowed Dr. Borger to see my skills and push me to teach.
What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
Oh my, this would have to be spending time with my fellow brothers at DTS and great friends in Ohio State Horseman’s Association.
What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first job after graduating Ohio State was teaching animal processing and large and small animal veterinary science at Preston County Schools in Kingwood, West Virginia along with being the farm manager. Dr. Alecia Larew-Naugle called me and encouraged me to apply for the position. It was a great fit!
Where has your career taken you over the past 15 years?
I have worked for Preston County Schools and Vinton County Schools as an agricultural education instructor. Today, I am a shared service area assistant principal for Ohio Central School System and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, along with being the owner operator of Carpenters Quarter Horses LLC.
 
During your career, have you received any awards or honors? If so, what are those?
I have had the honor of being part of the team of agricultural educators that was honored in having the top Secondary Agricultural Education Program in West Virginia and North Eastern US. The team of Ron Wilson, Beth (Roberts) Myers, Laah Wolford and myself were honor with that great distinction at Preston County Schools in Kingwood, WV.
As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
As of today, my great highlights have always been seeing my students succeed.
What advice would you give to a current student?
First piece of advice I would give would be, anything worthwhile is worth doing right. Secondly I would say to take a chance and take positions that challenge you.
 

Alumni Spotlight: Kendall Glasser ’17

 

Kendall Glasser graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 2017. She majored in community leadership with a minor in nonprofit studies. Glasser now works as a referral intake coordinator for Make-A-Wish: Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

[ACEL]: Hi Kendall! Share with us why you selected to major in community leadership.
[Glasser]: I selected community leadership based on what I felt was important in my past experiences and what I wanted to focus on in my future. Looking at the strong communities and the leaders that has shaped and influenced me. Like many students, my first year at Ohio State I felt lost in what I wanted to study, but finding community leadership seemed like a perfect fit. I like to tell people it felt more like studying myself and the important tools and skills in order to put good into the world.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I grew up in a suburb about 10 minutes away from campus, so Ohio State has always been pretty prominent in my life. However, when it was time decide on college, it was the endless opportunities that drew me to OSU. I knew I would grow personally, professionally and academically, all while being apart of a strong and supportive community.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
Looking back on my education at Ohio State, I would say the aspect of giving back and the idea of being apart of something bigger than yourself influenced my current career choices. Working for a large nonprofit organization, such as Make-A-Wish, has always been a major goal of mine and I would credit my time at Ohio State and ACEL for giving me the confidence and skills for reaching that goal right out of college.

Did you have any classes that you took that stand out more than others?
It’s hard to choose a favorite class at Ohio State because I felt so lucky to have a diverse list to choose from. However, I would say I really appreciated the classes for ACEL.  They felt very self-reflective but at the same time group oriented and community-based which I thought was a refreshing balance compared to your average lecture.

Did a specific professor or faculty member have an influence on your time at Ohio State?
The first person that comes to mind is Dr. King.  He was the first of many professors at Ohio State that I felt I really related to.  He never made me feel like I was wrong and really got me interested in ethics and leadership within teams and groups, which are subjects I find really important and want to focus on in my current and future careers.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
Overall, I think it’s the people and pride that make Ohio State the place that it is.  The traditions that are created and continued for years make students feel like they are apart of something special.  I would bet a lot of alumni out there that would love to go back to their campus apartment or house with their roommates if they could, and I’m one of them.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
Working for Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana as a referral intake coordinator!

While you were a student, you also worked to help advance your career. What were those positions?
I worked as a youth program coordinator for First Community Church and for a small nonprofit called the Tri-Village Mentor League.  I also spent majority of my time working as a program team member and then program director for Camp Akita.  I am proud that I was able to work full-time and be a full-time student throughout my college career.

How are you involved in your community outside of your career?
Although I am working fulltime for Make-A-Wish, I am still involved in my previous jobs.  I am on the council for Camp Akita and volunteer once a week for First Community Church Youth Program.

What advice would you give to a current student?
I would tell them to consider themselves and the person they want to be in everything they do.  Try new things, talk to new people, go out of your comfort zone but although cliché, remember what is important to you.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
I think ACEL gave me the confidence and independence to be where I am today and hope to be in the future.  ACEL helped me think in ways I’ve never thought before and to see in a new perspective which I think will guide me well.

 

Alumni Spotlight: John Poulson ’87

John Poulson is an agricultural educator at the Pettisville Local Schools. He graduated from Ohio State in 1987 with a master’s degree in agricultural education. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and agricultural education from Ohio State, which he received in 1981.

[ACEL]: Hi John! Why did you select your majors and graduate program?
[POULSON]: I dual majored in animal science and agriculture education because I thought I wanted to work in the animal industry, but the agricultural education classes showed me the diversity of being involved in many subjects.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
It was the only school in Ohio that offered agriculture and where I could get accepted at automatically.  Plus, my mom and dad both graduated from Ohio State.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
The agriculture education classes, the course professors and student teaching showed me I could teach if I wanted to, and I decided I wanted to.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved in several ways with the Agricultural Education Society, I especially remember being co-chair of the banquet two years. I was inducted into Towers Honorary, but I don’t remember much about it. I worked three years in the Meat Lab, which was a great experience and I have used those skills often.  My last two quarters on campus I was in-charge of clean-up there.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I enjoyed several classes and it was usually because of the professor or teacher being engaging and challenging.  I especially remember the agricultural education series of 100, 200 and 330 which prepared us for the classroom.  Professors included: Drs. Peters, Knight and Newcomb.  In animal science I enjoyed 200 with Dr. Plimpton, the meat courses with Dr. Parrot and animal nutrition with TizWiz. I think Dr. Hedges did the most to make us think that the problem solving approach is the best method of teaching, then and now.

I also enjoyed taking archery and bowling.

Most professors impacted my career if they gave us material to use in class and methods to use them.  After 36 years of teaching and working in the industry, I use parts of their materials on a daily basis.  The ones mentioned above plus Drs. Gleem, Erving, Papritan II, Lichtensteiger, Conners, Burke and more, some of which I can’t remember.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I lived in Norton House all four years and those times spent with many friends made lasting memories which include meeting my wife, Lexie Zenz.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
In 1981 I became the vocational agriculture teacher at Crestview High School in Richland and Ashland counties.

Are there other places you have worked throughout your career?
I worked as the agricultural educator and FFA advisor and helped start an alumni group at Crestview until 1988 (7 years). Then was an organization director for Ohio Farm Bureau in Henry, Fulton and Williams Counties for 2 years.  In 1990 I started at Pettisville Schools as the ag teacher and FFA Advisor and have helped start an alumni group here.

During your career, honors or awards have you been presented?
I have been named an OAAE Outstanding Young Teacher, Fulton County SWCD Outstanding Supporter, Honorary American FFA Degree recipient and a NAAE AgScience Teacher of the Year.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My favorite career highlight is seeing the number of students who excel in the agriculture industry at the local, state and national levels.  It is gratifying to know the affect they have had in the industry.  I also see the many students who work in other industries but still know and love what agriculture means to our world.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Learn to learn and keep learning, with your students, employees, and customers.  Be open to working harder to help reach goals for others as well as yourself.  And, figure out how to get your family involved with what you like to do so that work can sometimes be a hobby too.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
The support that people in the college have given me as a teacher over the years has helped.  It wasn’t just during college but in many of the years since.  Like Dr. Henderson during my first years of teaching, L.H. during my master’s program and various OAAE activities.  More recently the interactions of helping Dr. Whittington teach about high school recordkeeping and working with ACEL for summer conference programming have made me a better teacher.

The best thing that can come from this celebration is the understanding that agriculturalists need a team of educators in the industry, the classroom, the research labs, etc that know what others are doing.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Robin Hovis ’81

Robin Hovis graduated in 1981 with a bachelors degree in agricultural education. Shortly after graduation he became a teacher of vocational agriculture at Crestview Schools, Van Wert County. Hovis is currently a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments.

Why did you select your major or graduate program?
Our family farm was not large enough to support two families so I decided that teaching vocational agriculture at the high school level would be great way to work in agriculture and stay involved with FFA, which was an important aspect of my life in high school. My high school ag teacher, Keith Nowels, was also a major influence in my career choice.Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
It was the only college of agriculture in the state, and I was familiar with the agricutlural campus as a result of FFA activities hosted there.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was active in the Agricultural Education Society and was a charter member of the Student Alumni Council. I also volunteered as a reader for blind students.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I signed-up for a “dessert course” each quarter — my name for a course I took just for the enjoyment of it — as a treat for taking all the math and other required subjects. Theses ended-up  being my favorites, even though I enjoyed the courses in my major field of study. Among my dessert courses were Argumentation and Debate, Ballroom Dancing, Ohio History, Greek and Roman History, Islamic History, Russian Culture, Ancient Hebrew Literature, History of Art, and The English Bible as Literature. Each of these was a fascinating experience.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career?
My faculty advisor, Dr. J. Robert Warmbrod had a major influence in my OSU experience. He took a personal interest in my course planning, and advised me in many decisions which I would not have made as well on my own. Also, Dr. L.H. Newcomb was an outstanding undergraduate professor and made his courses lively and interesting. The late Dr. Rodny Plimpton (Animal Science) and Dr. Bernard Erven (Ag Econ) were also stand-out instructors.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I made several lasting friendships at OSU, and really enjoyed the size and scale of the place. I came from a rural background, and found the size of OSU very different from what I was used to, and thus exciting. Some ag students found this a negative — a necessary evil in order to get their degree, and they went back home each weekend for high school sporting events, etc. But I liked to stay on campus because there was a lot going on! University 4-H hosted square dances in the Ag Admin parking lot, and they were fun.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
Teacher of vocational agriculture at Crestview Schools, Van Wert County, Ohio.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career and what were your responsibilities in those positions?
Vocational agriculture teacher at Crestview Schools in Van Wert County, then area supervisor of agricultural education for the Ohio Department of Education and State FFA Executive Secretary, then I changed careers, leaving agriculture for financial services/investments.

During your career, honors or awards have you been presented?
I was a member of the state board of education for nine years – one term appointed by Governor Bob Taft, and one term elected by the voters. I received the Honorary State and American FFA Degrees, a distinguished service award from the Agricultural Education Society, and a career award from the College of Agriculture. I also received the Dave Kysilko Award for Outstanding Service to State Boards of Education, from the National Association of State Boards of Education.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I am proud of some accomplishments while serving as state FFA executive secretary. I am also proud of having built a successful brokerage practice in Holmes County over the past 29 years.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Be more diligent in doing all the reading assignments for each course — don’t rely only on what you learn in lectures for all that you take away from a course. (In saying that, I am neither admitting nor denying anything!) Broaden your course choices — don’t take only courses in your major — acquire an understanding of the larger world than just your career choice. Don’t stop at the minimum number of courses you need for your degree. I had to have 196 quarter credit hours to graduate. I graduated with 238 quarter credit hours. Some would view those extra 42 credits as a waste of time and money. My mind works differently. It was a bargain! I would not want to have missed any of those courses I took beyond the minimum. Don’t let “minimums” set by others become your “maximums.”

What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
I learned “how to learn,” and how to organize activities. I learned how to write a curriculum and a lesson plan, how to teach the lesson, and how to evaluate student learning. All of these skills have great transferability to other careers and other activities in life, because they are disciplines of thinking in an organized way while maintaining a focus on the end result. Teaching is essentially the art and science of finding out what someone already knows about a given subject, and then moving their knowledge or skill to the next level. The ability to do that has broad application in life — well beyond a classroom.

Alumni Spotlight: J. David McCracken ’70 PhD

 
Dr. J. David McCracken graduated from Ohio State in 1970, receiving his PhD in agricultural education.  He is now a professor emeritus at The Ohio State University.
Why did you decide to get a doctoral degree in agricultural education at Ohio Sate?
I was raised on a farm in Iowa, went to Iowa State University, then taught high school and adult farmer agriculture in Charles City, Iowa. My Iowa State University advisor recommended that I attend Ohio State if I wanted to pursue an advance degree at another university. He said that Ohio State was the place to pursue the Ph.D.
How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
Work with the professors in the department enabled me to obtain a faculty position in the department after graduating with my Ph.D. I worked at the National Center for Research in Vocational Education at Ohio State before moving to the academic department in 1973.
What were you involved in as an Ohio State student (student organizations, honoraries, campus jobs, Greek life, etc.):
I was a research associate with the “National Center” during my studies. I abstracted publications for the ERIC Clearinghouse on Vocational Education, which was located at Ohio State.
What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? What was your favorite and why?
My favorite class was in Research Design. It was a class I would later teach.
What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education and career?
Dr. Robert Warmbrod probably had the greatest impact on my career. He was my professor in the research series and later was my department chair. Robert Taylor, who directed the National Center for Research in Vocational Education, was my advisor and provided employment after my graduation with a doctoral degree.
What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
My favorite memory relates to the faculty and students with which I had the opportunity to work.
What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I worked for the ERIC Clearinghouse on Vocational Education as assistant director. I was responsible for acquiring and abstracting documents and entering them into the system.
For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career and what were your responsibilities in those positions?
After graduating from Iowa State University with a M.S. Degree, I was a Lt. in the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery, teacher of agriculture at Charles City, Iowa, and then at Ohio State I was with the National Center for Research in Vocational Education and the Department of Agricultural Education.
During your career, honors or awards have you been presented?
  • President, American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE)
  • Teaching Award of Merit, Gamma Sigma Delta, Honor Society of Agriculture, The Ohio State University;
  • Listed, American Men and Women of ScienceWho’s Who in Education, and Who’s Who in the Midwest;
  • Fellow, Distinguished Service Award, Distinguished Lecturer, AAAE;
  • Author of the Year, The Journal of AATEA, 1986 Volume;
  • Founding Member, Phi Beta Delta, Honor Society for International Scholars, Alpha Epsilon Chapter;
  • Fulbright Scholar, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, 1985-86;
  • President, Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi;
  • Honorary American Farmer Degree, Future Farmers of America;
  • President, American Vocational Education Research Association;
  • Editor, Journal of Vocational Education Research;
  • Member, The Ohio State University Senate;
  • Chair, College Promotion and Tenure Committee;
  • Member College Faculty Council.
As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I advised 28 Ph.D. and 46 M.S. students to completion of their degrees. I produced 97 refereed papers, 38 invited papers, 24 non-refereed journal articles, 22 research and development reports, and 18 books or chapters in books. I served as advisor to the Malaysian Student Association and the Thai Student Association at Ohio State. This led to my serving a university in Malaysia as a Fulbright Scholar for my sabbatical year in 1985-86 and three years (1995-1998) after early retirement. I then returned to the U.S. and worked part-time for Ohio State until 2003 and the University of Arizona until 2006.
What advice would you give to a current student?
Work to excel in all that you do. Assume you might someday teach the courses you are taking. Prepare!
What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
ACEL taught me to desire and work for excellence in all that I did. It also taught me that the colleagues with whom I worked  were critically important to the success of all that we do.

After receiving the Honorary American Farmer degree.

 

 

My retirement from Ohio State in 1995.

Talking Shop: Farm Shops and Rooms

By: Cody McClain
agriscience education
senior

This month for “Talking Shop,” I am focusing on two historical documents that reflect on shops and rooms for farm shop and agricultural engineering during the early years of agricultural education (1919~1936).

The first document, “Rooms for a Department of Vocational Agriculture,” was published in 1919 by W. F. Stewart and E.F. Johnson, first department chair and assistant professor of the Department of Agricultural Education at Ohio State, respectively. This publication concentrated on the locations, plans, and equipment needs for vocational agriculture programs.

The second publication, “Farm Shop and Agricultural Engineering,” was prepared in 1936 by C.S. Hutchinson, a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural Education at Ohio State. This publication focuses on the objectives, rooms, and equipment needed specifically for farm shop and agricultural engineering courses. Both of these publications show the fundamental beginnings of the agricultural mechanics and engineering in the early years of agricultural education.

 

 

 

 

Alumni Spotlight: Chris Clark ’88, ’94 M.S.

 

Chris Clark ’88, ’94 M.S. completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree in agricultural education at Ohio State. Following graduation, Clark became the agricultural education instructor for Madison Plains High School and later served as the school principal. He is now the superintendent for Black River School District, where he attended high school.

[ACEL]: Hi Chris! Why did you major in agricultural education?
[Clark]: I selected agriculture education as my major, after I completed agricultural education 200, which requried us to visit a school that offered agriculture education. After I had viewed the classes at the time which were taught at Wellington High School by Mrs. Whittington, I made the decision to major in agricultural education.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I wanted to obtain a college degree and I was the first member of my family to attend college. I also had some personal reasons to attend the Columbus campus.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
Agriculture education allowed me to have some diverse training and I was able to choose some classes that allowed me to be very diversified in agriculture. I have used many of the concepts and ideas as both an ag teacher and a school administrator.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved in Alpha Zeta Fraternity, Agriculture Education Society and a college ambassador.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I really enjoyed all my classes, the most challenging was animal nutrition classes with Dr. Tyznick and animal science classes with Dr. Plimpton.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education?
Dr. Jim Knight challenged me in my teaching methods classes. Had it not been for a lot of his comments and expectations, I would not have been able to survive my first year as a teacher.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
My favorite memory is just the four years while I was obtaining my BS degree; whether it is in class or student organizations.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I was hired as the agriculture education instructor for Madison-Plains High School.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
I was an agriculture education Instructor for the Madison-Plains Local Schools (16 years). I then became the high school principal for
Madison-Plains (10 years) and I am currently the superintendent of the Black River Local Schools.

During your career, have you received any awards or honors?
I was named the Outstanding Young Educator for OVATA (now OAAE). I also served as an officer in that organization.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My favorite career highlight was the growth of the students at Madison-Plains and all that we accomplished in the areas of Education and FFA.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Take advantage of all the education you can in college and accept failure and learn from it.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL cultivated in me a firm desire to want to be successful.  All the staff I worked with helped push me along.  I have continued to push myself and the persons and students I work with to do as well as you can and accept challenges.