Alumni Spotlight: Morgan Large ’12

[ACEL]: Hi Morgan! Why did you select your major?
[Large]: I grew up on a farm in southeast Ohio where we raised sheep & hay/grain. After looking into my skillset and considering different career paths, I decided agricultural communications and animal sciences were the right courses of study for me to take my agriculture background and make it into a career.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I always thought I was meant to be a Buckeye. People often mentioned how big the campus and student body was or how far from home I would be. However, to me it was always home. The size of the campus and the distance from my family were never a concern to me. With my background in agriculture and Ohio State’s land grant mission, the decision was easy when the time came to choose where I wanted to spend the next four years. I am even more proud to be the first member of my family to have graduated from The Ohio State University.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
At Ohio State, the skills we learned were diverse and easily applied to any career. The ACEL department specifically provided me with the tools to be successful in any career. Although I am not directly involved in the agriculture industry with my current position, I do work with clients on a regularly basis that have ties to agriculture.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student (student organizations, honoraries, campus jobs, Greek life, etc.):
I was an active member of Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Towers Agricultural Honorary, CFAES Banquet Planning Committee and Scarlet & Gray Ag Day Co-Chair & Planning Committee. I also participated in two study abroad courses (CFAES inaugural First Year Experience to Mexico and Human & Animal Interactions to New Zealand).

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
What was your favorite and why? I really enjoyed Dr. Zerby’s Animal Products class because it was fun to learn so many facts about animals beyond meat science. Also, Tom Stewart’s classes in the ACEL department were probably my favorite because he developed a welcoming and enjoyable learning environment. He also had the added experience of working in the industry at WBNS TV and the academic prowess as well.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career? How?
I would have to say ACEL’s own, Emily Buck, was most influential to my education and ultimately, my career. She believed in me and helped guide me throughout my 4 years at Ohio State. Whenever I had a question or just needed to talk, she was there, and coming in as a freshman, she was that familiar face that made me feel at ease while adjusting to campus life. I remember meeting with her about graduate schools where she mentioned the University of Arkansas’ program, which sparked my next journey. Even now seeing her dedication to students, alumni, her family and farm is admirable. Emily Buck continues to be the epitome of an excellent teacher, researcher, mentor and agriculturalist.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
There are too many memories to list but I loved traveling across the country to the Sugar Bowl with my sorority sisters where we watched the Buckeyes take on the Hogs in New Orleans. Some other favorites were winning the Ed Johnson Outstanding Student Organization Award for Scarlet & Gray Ag Day at the college banquet and ultimately, graduating from The Ohio State University.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
Upon graduation from Ohio State, I moved across the country to attend graduate school at the University of Arkansas. There I continued my education and career focus in agricultural communications.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
I graduated with my Master’s degree and then spent the summer working at SRUC, an agricultural college in Edinburgh, Scotland. Later that Fall, I began my career at Field Agent, a mobile audit and insights business, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. At Field Agent, we give businesses a new way to gather information and insights from everyday shoppers. Through Field Agent’s mobile app, shoppers earn extra cash while helping out their favorite brands.

During your career, have you received any awards or honors? If so, what are those?
Golden Paper Towel Award for Service – Field Agent

Large, M. M., & Miller, J. D. (2013 February) The ELL: A Pathway to Real-World Experience. Southern region of the American Association for Agricultural Education: Orlando, Florida. Innovative Idea Poster 2nd place.

Student of the Fortnight – Ohio State

Top ranked freshmen FYE book essay in CFAES

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
This is more of an extracurricular, but I would have to say founding and becoming the president of The Ohio State University’s Northwest Arkansas Alumni Club. It has been so rewarding to bring together fellow Buckeyes in the heart of SEC country to have a sense of home and reminisce about our time at Ohio State.

What advice would you give to a current student?
My advice would be to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Be a “yes” person. Really get to know your professors. Attend an event on Wednesday night even if you’re tired from a day of classes. Savor each and every moment because it all goes by way too fast. Most importantly, I’d like to tell every potential or current student I meet to study abroad. It can seem like a huge commitment both financially and time wise, but the benefits far outweigh the burdens.

What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
When you see the word “cultivate,” you imagine a young seedling that turns into a vibrant flower and that is what ACEL did for me. The department helped a young seedling of a freshman by providing opportunities to grow and learn and by creating a place of community where I felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself. I was encouraged to give back to others and remember my roots. These experiences ultimately led to a flourishing graduate. I owe the best four years of my life to ACEL, CFAES and The Ohio State University. I am forever grateful.

 

 

 

 

Alumni Spotlight: Callie Wells ’10

[ACEL]: Hi Callie! Why did you select your major?
[Wells]:I had a hard time narrowing down a specific area to focus on for a few years into my undergraduate education. I couldn’t make my mind up because I wanted to learn it all! I had five, maybe more, combinations of majors and minors. After taking courses in nearly every discipline CFAES teaches, I became fascinated with learning about how people interact, learn, and communicate with each other. The ACEL disciplines were the perfect fit to marry my interests and talents in social sciences with my passion for the agriculture industry. I added agricultural education as a second major, in addition to animal science, in my undergraduate program and focused on agricultural communication in my graduate program.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Until halfway through my junior year of high school, I was sure I was going to Miami University, where my mom worked which provided me a full tuition waiver. Who’s going to pass up a full tuition waiver? Me, it turns out. I joined FFA my junior year and was involved in a lot of programs and CDE’s that provided me the opportunity to visit Ohio State. I was amazed at the vast opportunities at a university as large as Ohio State, but also at the tight knit community in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Once I knew Ohio State was the place for me I worked hard to earn a few scholarships to soften the blow to my parents when I decided not to use the tuition waiver. A free education might be nice, but I knew in my gut Ohio State was the best place for me, and it is the best decision I have ever made!

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

My education at Ohio State influenced my career path simply by giving me the best foundation of skills, experiences, and networks to build upon, and a passion to continue building it.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student (student organizations, honoraries, campus jobs, Greek life, etc.):

I was involved in so many student orgs! Ag Ed Society, Norton/Scott Hall Council, CFAES Student Council, Undergraduate Student Government, University Senate, CFAES Ambassadors, CFAES Banquet co-chair, SPHINX Senior Honorary, and many more. The experiences I had with these organizations is just as valuable as the time I spent in the classroom.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? What was your favorite and why?

I think my graduate school communication theory class was my favorite class during my time at Ohio State. Analyzing how various messaging impacts how individuals and groups think, act, and react… It’s hard to explain why, but it’s just an area I find endlessly fascinating.

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

There are so many who had a bit impact on me, and it is hard to choose, so I think I have to go with the person who had the first influential impact, and that would be Kelly Newlon. Seeing her passion for her work made me want to take the time to really figure out what my passion was and I might not have taken the time to figure it had I not seen it in her. She also led a study abroad program to the Czech Republic the summer after my freshman year that changed my life. I had never traveled in the States, let alone abroad, and Kelly was the perfect person to teach us about new cultures and help us process what we were learning.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?

One of my favorite memories is the day I was linked into SPHINX Senior Class Honorary. Each new class of Links is led by the current class on the long walk on the Oval while the Orton Hall Chimes play Carmen Ohio. It was a very special moment to reflect on how much I had experienced at Ohio State and how much was still to come.

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

My first job was as communications specialist at Ohio Farm Bureau.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?

I worked at Ohio Farm Bureau for five years, as communications specialist first and then as director of digital communications. I then moved on to be the marketing and production lead at Herdmark Media for a short time, and now am the communications specialist for the Ohio Association of School Business Officials. I’m also building a small side gig do freelance writing, digital communications/marketing consulting, and video production mostly for farms, smalls ag businesses, and associations.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?

I’m very proud to have started a few digital content strategies at Ohio Farm Bureau that give farmers a platform to tell their stories. Take Over Tuesday and Growing Our Generation were very simple ideas that have continued to grow long past my time running them, which I am very proud of.

What advice would you give to a current student?

Learn patience. Don’t rush things and take some time to get to know your talents and interests, while you are afforded the time to do so!

What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?

ACEL cultivated in me a passion for continual learning and community building.

 

 

Alumni Spotlight: Katy Wuthrick Mumaw, ’07

Katy Wuthrick Mumaw graduated from Ohio State with a degree in agricultural communication in 2007. After eight years with the National FFA Organization, Katy now works as a reporter for Farm and Dairy in Northeastern Ohio.

[ACEL]: Hello Katy! You majored in agricultural communication. Why did you select that major?
I was always interested in pursuing a career in agriculture, but my strengths in high school were in social sciences and English. When I discovered a degree that combined my passion with my skills I was hooked.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Going to Ohio State was always a dream of mine, as my parents are both alumni. I chose Ohio State because of the reputation and caring staff.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
My education opened my eyes to all the possibilities in agricultural communications Because of my education, I continue to share the story of agriculture.

How were you involved outside of the classroom?
I was involved in the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Saddle and Sirloin Club and Sigma Alpha. I also worked in the Ohio State Extension Business Office.

Did you have a faculty or staff member that was influential to your time at Ohio State?
Dr. Mark Tucker showed me the power of inclusion. He ensured each member of the class was valued for what they brought to the table. Kelly Newlon opened my eyes to different cultures and concepts. I traveled to the Czech Republic with her and several other students during my time at Ohio State and I am still amazed at what I learned and the growth I experienced while abroad.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I have so many wonderful memories. One that sticks out is serving food at the Farm Science Review with Saddle and Sirloin — it was hot, it was fun and inside jokes kept us smiling.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I worked as an education specialist for the National FFA Organization.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My involvement in the development, launch and marketing of the National FFA Organization’s website in 2015.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Never stop learning and care deeply. Care about other people, care about your work, care about your influence on others.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL cultivated a passion in me to ask questions. ACEL instilled in me the value of diversity of thought and the power of a 360 perspective.

CFAES Top Ten Seniors in 2007

At an Ohio State game my senior year – 2006.

O-H-I-O with coworkers.

Czech Republic study abroad in 2005.

Alumni Spotlight: Hannah Thompson-Weeman, ’11, ’12

Hannah Thompson Weeman is a two time graduate of our department. She came to Ohio State from the state of Maryland and completed both her bachelors in agricultural communication and masters in agricultural and extension education. She now serves as vice-president for communications for the Animal Agriculture Alliance in Arlington, Virginia.

[ACEL]: Hi Hannah! You studied agricultural communication at Ohio State. Why did you selected that major?
[Thompson-Weeman]: I chose to study agricultural communication because it allowed me to combine my skills and interest in strategic planning, public speaking and writing with my passion for agriculture. Competing in the agricultural communications CDE in FFA solidified this career path as the one I wanted to pursue.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Growing up in Maryland, Ohio State really wasn’t on my radar until I was contacted by Bonnie Ayars, the dairy extension specialist who leads the dairy judging program. I had judged dairy cattle in 4-H and FFA and planned to do so in college, so hearing from Bonnie caught my interest and she arranged for me to come out for a visit. Ultimately, I chose to attend Ohio State in large part because of its agricultural communication program, but also because of Ohio’s strong dairy industry.

How has your education at Ohio State influence your career path?
The skills I learned as a student at Ohio State allowed me to earn several excellent internships with exposed me to various potential career paths in agricultural communication. These internships helped me to determine what path I wanted to pursue later on.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I competed on the dairy judging team and was also an active member of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Alpha Zeta Partners, Buckeye Dairy Club and Scarlet and Gray Ag Day Planning Committee.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
My favorite classes were ones where we were able to complete real-life projects, which we were able to do frequently in our agricultural communication program. During our publication design and production class, we produced The AgriNaturalist from start to finish, including selling ad space, designing ads and layouts and writing content. In our campaign design class, our group worked with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to develop a promotional campaign for a new initiative. I use all of these creative thinking and project management skills daily as a professional!

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
One of my favorite memories is from our ACT chapter hosting the National ACT Professional Development Conference during my senior year. It was exciting to see our chapter come together to plan the event, which was a great success.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
After graduating with my B.S., I immediately moved into a graduate program. I earned my M.S. in agricultural and extension education in December 2012. My first full-time position was as a marketing specialist at Farm Credit Mid-America in Louisville, KY.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
After two great years at Farm Credit, I began working for the Animal Agriculture Alliance in Arlington, VA in December 2014, first as director of communications and now as vice president of communications.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Do as many internships as possible! It is never too early to start trying out different jobs and seeing what you may want to do in the future. The connections you will gain will be extremely valuable when you start your job search. Don’t forget that any internship is a long-term job interview – always put your best foot forward.

What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
As an out-of-state student, I did not have any friends or connections in Ohio before starting at OSU. The welcoming atmosphere of the ACEL department and the involvement of alumni and professionals in our classes and club activities allowed me to cultivate a network of friends and professional contacts that I continue to lean on today.

 

Dairy Judging Team

 

Micki Zartman Scarlet and Gray Ag Day Committee

O-H-I-O in Brazil during a study abroad with Alpha Zeta Partners.

 

Speaking with ABN at the 2010 Micki Zartman Scarlet and Gray Ag Day.

Alumni Spotlight: Michelle Stevens Callahan, ’88

 

Michelle Stevens Callahan came to Ohio State from her hometown of Williamsport to major in agricultural communication. Since graduating with a bachelor of science in 1988, she has worked as a journalist, communications manager and freelance writer. She now works for the Pickaway County Library as the outreach coordinator, a position she has held for more than 13 years.

[ACEL]: Hi Michelle! Tell us why you selected to attend Ohio State and major in agricultural communication?
[Callahan]: I followed in my father’s footsteps by going to Ohio State. He was editor of the Ohio Farmer and American Small Farm magazines and he made agricultural communication look fun. He was right!

As a student, how were you involved in student activities?
As a freshman, I served as the state secretary for the Ohio FFA, which kept me on the run. I also enjoyed being a part of the Agricultural Education Society and served as a banquet chair. Through the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, I served alongside classmate MaryAnn Kistler as a national officer for the newly formed organization. I was named an outstanding senior in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in 1988. I worked for Dr. Lowell Hedges, an agricultural education professor, copying and filing his many handouts. His secretary, Diane Morganstern, and I share the same birthday.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
Putting together the AgriNaturalist was my favorite class (agricultural communication 400, on the quarter system). It gave me practical experience that I put to use in “the real world.” I was glad I took it multiple times right before graduation so everything was fresh when I started working.

I enjoyed agricultural systems management 241, building and construction, as it gave me a different set of real-life skills. Agricultural economics 310 gave me a business plan for a PR firm that I still have in a file drawer. I also enjoyed some of my general electives – theater 100, psychology 100, archery and badminton – because they were so different from any of my previous experiences.

Did a particular faculty or staff member have an influence on you?
Dr. Barbara Cooper was my advisor and was a lifesaver for me on my very first day at Ohio State when I had no classes on the CFAES campus and was feeling very lost and overwhelmed. She helped me switch my schedule around so I could be on the campus where I was comfortable because it was familiar to me from my FFA experiences. She was also an excellent mentor for me, helping me obtain internships and advising the ACT club and AgriNaturalist. We still exchange Christmas cards every year.

Share one of your favorite memories from your time as a Buckeye.
My favorite memories involve my roommates (Sandy Kuhn, Sharon Lambert Thacker and Beth Rice Reigelmayer, all 1988 grads from CFAES), having halitosis parties in Norton House, working as an orientation leader and living in Morrill Tower for a summer and getting married between my junior and senior year to OSU alum John Callahan. We are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this year!

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first job after graduation was with the Marysville Journal-Tribune daily newspaper. I was the agriculture editor and a general reporter. I sought out the newspaper job based on the advice from a speaker at a national convention of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. The speaker owned a public relations firm and said he would not hire someone who had not worked at a newspaper for a year. He said the discipline of writing every day and meeting deadlines taught the skills necessary to work in public relations.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
I worked at the Marysville Journal-Tribune newspaper for one year as a reporter. I got to do a little bit of everything there – write feature stories, obituaries and the police beat, cover civic meetings, take photos on the sidelines of high school football games, and developing photos.

I then worked with Producers Livestock (now United Producers) as the communications manager for six years where I got to do daily livestock prices on the radio, graphic design and organize large events. Then I worked as a freelance writer and editor while I stayed home with my two children for eight years.

I now work for the Pickaway County Library as community relations coordinator. In my 13+ years at the library, I have written newsletters and editorials, led storytimes and teen programs, taught computer classes, driven the bookmobile and partnered with OSU Extension, the YMCA, the local hospital and many other community organizations. I love the variety this job offers and seeing the library develop as a community hub.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My favorite career highlight is the success of the One Book, One Community program in Pickaway County. I really like the way community members have embraced the discussion of heavy topics like end-of-life planning and drug addiction. The library has worked with Berger Health System and other local agencies to make these programs available. It is very fulfilling to be part of such a collaborative community.

What advice would you give to a current student?

  • I am full of advice, as both my children are current college students! Here are the pieces I keep repeating:
  • Go to class every day and sit in the front row. (Someone gave me this advice before I went to college and it worked for me.)
  • Ask for help when you need it, especially early in the semester. That’s why the faculty & teaching assistants are there.
  • Be involved in student organizations.
  • Make some friends.
  • Have some fun. Stay out of trouble.
  • Get a job! If it relates to your major, that’s great; if it doesn’t, it’s still good to have a job. It proves you know how to show up and work.
  • Check your e-mail.

Tricia Kritzler is holding my feet in the wheelbarrow race.

1988 OSU Graduates: from left to right Sandy Kuhn, Sharon (Lambert) Thacker, Beth (Rice) Reigelmayer and Michelle (Stevens) Callahan. Spring 1988 grads from CFAES.

Michelle presenting a storytime in a classroom as part of the local Soil & Water Conservation District’s Ag. Day.

Alumni Spotlight: Holly Downing Stacy ’86

Holly Downing Stacy is a 1986 graduate in agricultural communication. She has held a variety of positions in the agricultural and communication industries and currently serves the residents of Seneca County, Ohio as a county commissioner. Holly resides on her family farm in Old Fort, Ohio with her husband Doug (’86). The Buckeye spirit runs in their family, as both of their children, Dean ’13 and Diana ’14, graduated with degrees in agriculture from Ohio State.

[ACEL]: Hi Holly! What attracted you to the agricultural communication major?
[Stacy]: I enjoyed the many aspects of what communications was about and specifically wanted to work in the agricultural industry.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
From the first football game I attended in high school, to the friends I knew in the agricultural college, and given my preferred area of study (agriculture), where else would I go?!

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
Thanks to my education, I had internships that solidified my career choice. My formal education and my internships all strongly influenced my first career choice in agricultural communication.  From there, the added career experience allowed my career path to broaden.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? What was your favorite and why?
I really enjoyed the hands on classes, such as the agricultural communication course that had us producing the AgriNaturalist, which was a magazine about the college. I guess, all the classes specific in my major were my favorites!

Did a specific faculty member have an impact on your education?
Dr. Kirby Barrick was my advisor and he was always helpful. If I was struggling with what to take or drop, or questioned an internship opportunity, he always had sound advice.

Outside of the classroom, what activities what were you involved in?
I was a member of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT), Agricultural Education Society, Sigma Alpha Sorority and was an Alpha Gamma Sigma Little Sister. I also worked in the Norton-Scott Office and the CFAES Dean’s office.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
The life long friends I made, and all the things we did together, from studying to campus activities.

After you graduated from Ohio State, what was your first job?
I was an agricultural broadcaster for the Indiana Agri-Business Network in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Over your career, what positions have you held?

  • Indiana Agri-Business Network (now the Agri-America Network)
    WFIN/WHMQ Radio, Findlay, Ohio
  • Ohio State University Extension, 4-H Educator, Sandusky County
  • Ohio State University Extension, Director of Communications, Agricultural Business Enhancement Center, NW Ohio
  • Ohio Department of Transportation, Public Information Officer, District 2, Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Director of Communications, Toledo, Ohio
  • HNTB, Architects/Engineering Firm,  Senior Public Involvement leader, Toledo Office, Maumee River Crossing Project
  • Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO
  • Seneca County Commissioner (2013 – present)

In what ways have you stayed active in your community and have you recieved any awards for your work?
I have been very active in the community over the years and belong to Tiffin Rotary, Ohio Farm Bureau, Grace Community Church, Old Fort Lions Club, Ohio State University Alumni Association, Ohio FFA Alumni Association, Sigma Alpha National Alumni Association, Tiffin Area Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee (Chairman). I am a former 4-H Advisor and Seneca Co Jr Fair Swine Committee member.  I did receive a Volunteer of the Year Award from the Seneca County Jr. Fair for the committee work, as well as Honorary State FFA Degree and am an Old Fort FFA Honorary Member.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I would have to say my career highlight is the continuation of networking that occurs.  As I built my career experience, new opportunities came my way.  I have found that with each career change I made I still am drawing on the experiences from the previous positions and utilizing the networks that I have that extend back to my college days.  So, it’s not a specific project or outcome that I worked on as much as it is simply the satisfaction that I am still growing, learning and contributing to what ever the current situation or task is at hand.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Build your network and stay connected with those individuals. Gain valuable career experience through internships and part-time jobs . . . as you never know when that experience really will come in handy.

What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
Enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy.  You have to have a passion for what you do, then it never feels like work! The classes, activities, career advise, exposure to many aspects of the agricultural industry; this all helped me to gain the knowledge and experience I needed in the area of communications. Then, through various positions, I was able to find my passion in what I was doing.

 

 

 

Alumni Spotlight: Matt Reese, ’99, ’04

Matt Reese is a two time graduate of Ohio State, completing is bachelors of science in agricultural communication in 1999 and his master’s in agricultural education in 2004. He is originally from Mt. Cory, Ohio, but now calls Baltimore, Ohio home. He is the editor of Ohio’s Country Journal.

Hi Matt! What made you decide that you wanted to major in agricultural communication?
The legendary farm broadcaster Ed Johnson came to our family Christmas tree farm to do a television shoot when I was in high school and it seemed like he had a pretty enjoyable job. I had always enjoyed writing and photography and my father told me that a career in agriculture would allow me to work with some of the best people out there. I majored in agricultural communication and ended up (courtesy of some serious assistance from Mark Tucker and Sherrie Whaley) working for Ed Johnson as assistant editor of Ohio’s Country Journal upon graduation. I was very lucky and in the right place at the right time with the right major.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I have a long family history of predecessors who have attended Ohio State, and what better place to go in Ohio for agricultural communications?

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
The educational components at both the Lantern and the AgriNaturalist were instrumental in helping me improve my writing and photography to the next level in terms of style, professionalism and quality. Ohio State also put me in a position to work at my dream job right out of school.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? What was your favorite and why?
I enjoyed my senior capstone class, the AgriNaturalist, photography, and all of my Lantern writing courses the most. Those all taught me skills that I have built my career upon and they were subjects I enjoyed (and still do enjoy).

Did you have a professor that were influential to you?
Dr. Sherrie Whaley and Dr. Mark Tucker were fantastic and they literally got my foot in the door for my dream job right out of school. They were great folks and I was very lucky to get to work with them. Dr. Jamie Cano was a fantastic teacher and I learned much about the importance of detail and proper procedure from him. And, there were many tedious and long hours for my thesis made more enjoyable with the stories and company of Dr. Robert Agunga.

What were you involved in outside of the classroom?
I served as the photo editor of the Lantern for several quarters and that really taught me about management and the long hours it takes in the “real world.” The Lantern and the AgriNaturalist also showed me the value of emphasizing the details to create a desirable end product. I was also in the Men’s Glee Club for three years and that experience allowed me to make many great friends and travel the country and world sharing music with others. I worked for the Chadwick Arboretum as well and did a newsletter for them, along with extensive weeding, mulching and planting efforts on long, hot summer days. These were all great experiences that set me up for future success.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
There are many fond memories, but taking photos on the sidelines and visiting the press box during the OSU-M*ch*gan game as the Lantern photo editor is pretty hard to beat.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I was hired as assistant editor for Ohio’s Country Journal with one quarter remaining for my undergrad work and I still work there.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
There are many, many highlights, but at the end of the day, the greatest highlight is the chance to work with the people of Ohio agriculture. From my second family co-workers to the hundreds of kind people who take time from their busy schedules to work with me to help share their stories, the chance to work with the fine people of Ohio agriculture is by far the highlight of my career.

What advice do you have for a current student studying agricultural communication?
Ohio State offers many opportunities for you to find your niche and explore your interests. Life as a student allows you to pursue those. Pursue those things and enjoy and appreciate the wonderful opportunity you have to do so.

What was cultivated in you during your time with our department?
Rather than cultivate something in me, ACEL helped me to build upon and expand the strengths, character and work ethic that had already been instilled in me before OSU. ACEL provided the tools, knowledge and people to take me to the next level and set the stage for what has followed.

Alumni Spotlight: Tori Thomas-Dunton, ’90

Tori Thomas-Dunton came to Ohio State from her hometown of Conesville, Ohio in the fall of 1986 to major in agricultural communication. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1990 and now resides in Acme, Pennsylvania where she is an independent contractor for A to Z Promotions as an account executive.

Read our conversation below about her time as an Ohio State Buckeye.

[ACEL]: Hi Tori! You majored in agricultural communication as a student at Ohio State. Why?
[Thomas-Dunton]: I chose agricultural communication because I had a desire to write for an agricultural publication.

Out of all the colleges available, why did you chose to attend Ohio State?
I chose Ohio State because I wanted to be a Buckeye and they were the best choice for an agricultural degree.

Did you have any favorite classes while you were a student?
A few classes that I really enjoyed were Ag Econ 101 with Dr. Glenn Himes.  He made the class enjoyable with fun projects and stories. My agricultural communication classes with both Dr. Agunga and Dr. Paulson were also favorites because they helped fuel my passion for writing.

Ohio State gives students a lot of opportunities for involvement. Did you participate in any activities outside of the classroom?
I began as a writer for the AgriNaturalist magazine and became editor for the Autumn 1990 publication.  I was an ACT (Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow) member.  I completed an internship with Milgrom and Associates, an event marketing firm responsible for attaining sponsorship for The Ohio State Fair. I also worked at Jesse Owens North Recreation Center, Ohio Agricultural Statistics and Lazarus department store.

Do you have any favorite memories from your time at Ohio State?
When I was the editor for the AgriNaturalist, we worked through the night to complete it for publication.  I even grabbed a couple hours sleep on Dr. Robert Agunga’s office floor.

After you completed your education at Ohio State, what was your first job following graduation?
I worked in sales at an AM/FM radio stations in southwestern Pennsylvania.

How does your education at Ohio State help you in your current position?
My current job is not in the agricultural industry, but I do have agricultural companies that are my customers.  Because of my agricultural background and education at Ohio State, it is easier for me to search for the right products to fit their needs.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Get involved inside and outside the classroom! Meet new people and soak up new experiences.  Those connections that you make now may lead you to a future job or career.

Ohio State Bound: Kathaleen

Welcome to the Buckeye family, Kathaleen!

Kathaleen will be a freshmen studying agricultural communication on the Columbus campus this autumn.

When asked about why she selected her major, she said “I chose agricultural communication because I want to be a voice for the 2% of Americans that help feed the world.”

She is a recent graduate of Green High School and said “I’m excited to be part of the legacy of THE Ohio State University!”

Ohio State Bound: Kolt

Welcome to the Buckeye family, Kolt!

Kolt is a recent graduate of Kenton High School and will major in agricultural communication this autumn.

When asked why he selected his major and what he was most excited about, Kolt said “I chose this major to help bridge the communication gap between agriculturalists and consumers. I’m most excited have access to all of the brilliant resources and networking opportunities at OSU!”