Meet Our Graduate Students: Karen Argabright

Janer and Vicki

Karen in her element…with horses.

Karen Argabright, a graduate research associate, got her start in agriculture in Shelby County, Ohio where she grew up on a crop and livestock farm. Having earned her associate’s degree from Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) in horse production and management with a specialty in reproduction, Karen worked in the equine industry for the next nine years. She spent time in North Carolina, Texas, and Ohio as she managed herds of both Clydesdales and performance quarter horses.

In 2007, Karen moved back to Ohio where she finished her bachelor’s degree in animal science at Ohio State while managing a small farm in Pataskala, Ohio. Three years later in 2010, Karen began her master’s degree in agricultural extension education with a focus in organizational leadership. During her studies she worked on the topic of developing emotional intelligence, and examined Onboarding in OSU extension. Her thesis topic was assessing organizational values within The Ohio State University Extension system.

Upon completion of her master’s degree, Karen stayed at Ohio State as she began her PhD research for her doctoral program in 2012. As a part of her doctoral program, Karen has either worked on or is currently working on the following projects: continuing focus on Onboarding in Ohio State extension, collaborating on a multi-state study that assesses the organizational culture within Extension’s North Central Region, and collaborating with a steering committee for a Strategic Foresight project looking at the future of extension.

Karen says that throughout her academic career she has had a lot of really valuable hands-on experience by working directly with the people that her projects would impact the most. She says that, “I was brought to the realm of organizational development research to fulfill a passion for helping people and organizations discover and achieve their optimal potential.”

Karen’s personal hobbies include helping on the farm, repurposing, tending to her many house plants, cooking, traveling, and exploring new places.


To learn more about graduate opportunities within ACEL, contact Mary Kivel by emailing

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