ACEL students at ATI named outstanding

Paige Schaffter, Outstanding ATI Student


Nicole Middaugh, Outstanding ATI Student


Jamie Water, Outstanding ATI Student

Three of our ATI students were named Outstanding Ohio State ATI Students at the ATI Student Awards Banquet last month.

Nicole Middaugh (agricultural communication, Jamie Walter (agriscience education and agricultural communication) and Paige Schaffter(agriscience education) were recognized with the honor by ATI Director Dr. Kris Boone Payne.

Congratulations to these students and their accomplishments as ATI students! We’re excited to have you join us on the Columbus campus this fall!

ACEL Research: with Dr. Joy Rumble

Dr. Joy Rumble, along with coauthors Taylor Ruth, Alexa Lamm, Traci Irani, and Jason Ellis, published an article in the research journal Science Communication titled, “Are American’s attitudes toward GM science really negative? An academic examination of willingness to expose attitudes.” This national survey of over 1,000 US residents “revealed the majority of respondents had positive attitudes toward GM science; however, these respondents were no more willing to express their attitudes compared to those with neutral or negative attitudes. The findings from this study did not fully support the spiral of silence but provided insight into public opinion formation and measurement.”

Ruth, T. K., Rumble, J. N., Lamm, A. J., Irani, T. A., & Ellis, J. D. (2019). Are American’s attitudes toward GM science really negative? An academic examination of willingness to expose attitudes. Science Communication, 41(1), 113-131.

For more information, see:…/full/10.1177/1075547018819935

For a full news release from the lead author’s institution, see:

Woodworth completes internship with Ohio Technology Consortium


Jessy Woodwroth, of Ashville, recently completed an internship with the Ohio Technology Consortium in Columbus, Ohio.

During her internship, Woodworth used her communication skills to work with social media and digital content to promote the company. She assisted in producing printed publications and digital content, including social media graphics, event photos, brochures, invitations and psoters, for the Ohio Technology Consortium and it’s members.

“The internships our students complete are valuable, hands-on experiences,” said Dr. Annie Specht, program manager and associate professor for agricultural communication. “Not only do they have the opportunity to put the skills they have acquired in their courses into practice, but they also expand their knowledge and create connections by working with professionals in the industry.”

Woodworth returned to Columbus in August, where she is completing a degree in agricultural communication at The Ohio State University.

The agricultural communication major at Ohio State prepares students to plan, develop, and implement a communication campaign, using visual media, writing and editing. Students study crisis communication, graphic design, marketing, and journalism so they can spread the word about agriculture. To learn more about the agricultural communication major, visit or call 614-247-6358.


Isaacs defends master’s thesis


Congratulations to Emily Isaacs, and agricultural and extension education master’s student, on the successful defense of her thesis “Toward Smart City Goals: Promoting Sustainable Commutes Among University Students.”

Isaacs advisor was Dr. Mary Rodriguez and Dr. Joy Rumble served as her committee member.

Congratulations Emily!

Stohlmann defends master’s thesis

Lauren Stohlmann and committee members


Congratulations to Lauren Stohlmann, an agricultural and extension education master’s student, on the successful defense of her thesis “Application of VFTs to Increase Agricultural Literacy of Youth.”

Dr. Emily Buck served as Stohlman’s advisor and Dr. Annie Spect was her committee member.

Following graduation this Sunday, Stohlmann has accepted a position as 4-H and Youth Educator in Cass County, Nebraska.

Congratulations Lauren!


Masambuka defends disseration

Dr. Fally Masambuka and committee

Congratulations to Dr. Fallys Masambuka, an agricultural and extension education doctoral student, on the successful defense of her dissertation “Agricultural communication: Whose voices, for who and for what? A case study of Malawian Agricultural communication programs.”

Masambuka completed her dissertation under the advisement of Dr. Mary Rodriguez and Dr. Emily Buck. Dr. Jera Niewoehner-Green and graduate faculty representative Dr. Rebecca Garabed served on her committee.

(Niewoehner-Green, Rodriguez and Buck are pictured below with Masambuka.)

News Release: ACEL students selected to join CFAES ambassador team

Five students from the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership were recently selected to join the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Ambassador Team. The CFAES Ambassador Team members give prospective families tours of our college campus, serve as liaisons to the Ohio State student body to increase awareness around our college and attend CFAES events as representatives of the college.

ACEL students recently selected to join the team include:

  • Alexis Elliott, agricultural communication, Mount Victory, Ohio
  • Ethan Keller, agricultural communication, Sharon Springs, New York
  • Olivia Pflaumer, agriscience education, Chillicothe, Ohio
  • Paige Schaffter, agriscience education, Edon, Ohio
  • Brittany Weller, agriscience education, Bellevue, Ohio

“Their selection to serve as an CFAES ambassador not only signifies their abilities to represent our department, but to represent CFAES as a whole,” said Dr. Tracy Kitchel, professor and chair of ACEL. “Our students tend to be well-represented among the college ambassador ranks because of our department’s dedication to and study of connecting with people in and around our industries and communities.”

These five students join 12 ACEL students currently serving as a CFAES Ambassadors. They include: Emma Lynn Johnson (community leadership), Wyatt Jones (agriscience education), Taylor Lutz (agriscience education), Cody McClain (agriscience education), Micah Mensing (agriscience education) Abby Motter (agriscience education), Cody Myers (agriscience education), Meredith Oglesby (agricultural communication), Milan Pozderac (agriscience education), Sydney Snider (agricultural communication), Kayla Walls (agriscience education) and Meghann Winters (agricultural communication).

CFAES ambassadors are selected each Spring Semester through an application and interview process.

ACEL Students named to Autumn Semester Dean’s List

During Autumn Semester 2018, 81 students from the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership were named to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Dean’s List.

Congratulations to these students for their outstanding work in the classroom.

Agricultural Communication
Madeline Bauer
Amber Bergman
Alexis Elliott
Keri Felumlee*
Hanna Fosbrink
Joanna Frankenberg
Courtney Fulton
Christina Gaerke
Paige Hamrick
Jane Hulse*
Mary Jenkins
Kathaleen Kuhn
Kasey Miller
Mariah Morris
Emma Newell
Meredith Oglesby
Bailey Pees*
Makayla Petersen
Haley Plahuta
Louisa Pullins
Eva Scott
Sydney Snider
Maria Stavridis
Zachary Steiner
Linnea Stephens
Marlee Stollar
Kamala Sweeney
Kalyn Swihart
Maura Waitkus
Meghann Winters
Jessica Woodworth
Kiersten Wright

Agriscience Education
Gabrielle Adair
Jenna Alfman
Ellen Andres
Megan Bergman
Maryellen Bliss
Makayla Eggleton
Kristen Eisenhauer
Troy Elwer
Kayla Erickson
Katie Fath
Mitchel Gehret*
Caleb Hickman*
Alexis Howell*
Wyatt Jones*
Alaina Kessler
Klayton Kilzer
Samantha Kline
Elizabeth Landis
Madison Layman
Taylor Lutz
Cody McClain*
Josie McDowell
Summer McLain
Micah Mensing*
Chloe Metcalf
Abigale Motter*
Devon Mullen
Julia Naus
Taylor Orr
Milan Pozderac
Ellyse Shafer*
Sydney Stinson
Claire Vilagi
Kayla Walls*
Barbie Warthman
Brittany Weller
Chloe Wilson*
Emily Wilson
Haley Wilson

Community Leadership
Madison Allman
Trenton Baldwin
Melanie Fuhrmann*
Courtney Hovest
Allyson Irwin*
Emma Johnson
Sarah Longo*
Allyson McCurdy
Amelia Michaels
Emily Paulsen
Kayla Ritter*
Rachel Stoneburner*

* indicates a 4.0 GPA

Intern Spotlight: Cassady Interns with Wren Farm Events as Event Manager

Hailie Cassady
agricultural communication

My name is Hailie Cassady and I am a senior studying agricultural communication, and I have been interning with Wren Farm Events in Mechanicsburg, Ohio as an event manager/coordinator since April.

Wren Farm is an event venue located 35 minutes from Columbus and 45 minutes from Dayton. The venue primarily hosts weddings but can accommodate functions such as high school proms, homecomings, dinner parties, showers, etc. This wedding season (late April through early November) we had 26 weddings booked and at this point we have 21 of those completed.

The facility is a two story, historic barn that was formerly used to house livestock such as dairy cattle, hogs and sheep. The hay mound was converted into the reception area and the downstairs features the original feed troughs which is where buffet style meals are set up.

Being an event manager, I have been involved in multiple weddings and have worked with a lot of different people. I am involved in the touring and booking process, taking deposits and payments, preparing contracts, sending out vendor forms to upcoming brides to get their vendor information and how they want their space set up, setting up tables and chairs prior to couples arriving to decorate and then assisting with decorating inside and outside of the barn, setting up ceremony seating, helping with food, drinks and trash and any other last minute things that the couple may need.

I have really enjoyed working with all of the different couples and seeing the barn set up in so many different ways. Wedding planning and coordinating is a lot more demanding than I expected when I first started but it is fun to be busy and on your feet, making the couple’s special day everything that they expected! I love that I get to be involved in the entire process and work alongside different people all the time. Every weekend is something completely different and I like that aspect of it.

Cassady, agricultural communication


Wren Farm Events

Internship Spotlight: Plahuta Completes Summer Internship 

Haley Plahuta
agricultural communication

Throughout the last spring, I had the pleasure of helping put on the Ohio Farm to Cafeteria Pre-Conference and the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference. This opportunity came about after I saw an advertisement for the conference in a flyer.

The national conference is put on by the National Farm to School Network, an information, advocacy and networking hub that serves communities by using local food, school gardens and food and agricultural education in schools and early care settings. With my major being agricultural communications and working towards minors in youth development and Spanish, farm to school combined both of my interests. I found out that they were not only interested in having a volunteer, but would be willing to help me count the experience towards an Ohio State internship credit. This was in January and over the next four months, I worked as a Farm to School Communications Intern out of Campbell Hall to help promote the conference to people across Ohio.

The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference was planned for Cincinnati in May. Carol Smathers, OSU Extension specialist and the Ohio Farm to School Program Coordinator and Amy Fovargue, OSU Extension, were responsible for an Ohio-focused pre-conference. Most of my work involved promoting the pre-conference, which included an Ohio producer showcase with tables from companies like DNO Produce, Peaceful Fruits and Cincy Beef. There was also a panel of speakers from the local food industry and round tables for guests to discuss issues and topics surrounding local food.

While promoting the pre-conference, I learned a lot about event planning and especially the importance of staying organized. I used various tactics to help promote the conference as well as excel sheets to keep track of all email lists and publications that highlighted the event. I promoted the pre-conference through mass emails, press releases and Facebook. I found Facebook to be especially helpful. I had not previously experienced using Facebook to set up an event page and learned some of the benefits and challenges of this media platform.

I also worked with Ohio State’s Office of Trademark and Licensing Services to ensure that our branding was compliant with the University’s brand on the Farm to School website, flyers and post cards. I helped update the Farm to School website, created a monthly flyer that contained information about the upcoming conference. For these flyers, I used the approved OSU templates. I also developed postcards to hand out to promote the pre-conference. Working on the website, flyers and postcards provided a valuable learning experience. I also had to build in time to receive feedback and edits for the branding to be approved. This taught me to build in extra time when working with others.

Throughout this internship, I learned more than I could have imagined about event planning. This experience was especially unique because of the event being a pre-conference with a national conference happening the following day. I feel that the work I did helped prepare me for a job that includes event planning and creating promotional materials such as postcards, flyers, press releases and a website.

Table decorations for the conference that Plahuta made.


Plahuta (left) with Amy Fovargue (middle), and Michaela Graham (right), another intern who helped with the conference.