[ACEL]: Hi Leslie! You majored in agricultural education, why did you select that major?
[Maurice]: I selected agricultural education as a major because of everything the 4-H and FFA organizations did for me. I also knew that I wanted to be able to tell the positive story of agriculture to others.
Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I chose Ohio State because of everything the program had to offer. The department was equipped with some of the best teachers and offered outstanding student organizations within the college.
How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path? Through the people that I met while in college and the networking that Ohio State, in particular, the CFAES, allowed me to have access to, I was able to secure an internship with Select Sires Inc., during my 4th year. These things allowed me to realize that my passion was not only in agriculture, but more specifically, the dairy industry and the easy access to so many influential people within the industry encouraged me to follow that passion and stay in the dairy industry.
What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved in the Buckeye Dairy Club, was a member of the Dairy Judging Team, Scarlet and Gray Ag Day and a member of Alpha Sigma Upsilon.
What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? What was your favorite and why?
The agricultural communication classes that I took were some of my favorite. I enjoyed 310 (publication design) and 390 (public speaking). Speech and writing, two things that I have always enjoyed and learning how to be better at both. They were both really engaging classes that allowed students to better themselves and perfect these skills.
What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education or career?
I think that another big influencer in my career was dairy judging. So I would regret not mentioning Pete Spike as one that had an influence on my career. The time that he spent taking us to contests and practices allowed me to further the network that I was a part of. This also introduced me to people who would later become my supervisors and coworkers.
What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
Attending the 2003 National Championship is right up there at the top – no doubt! But I can’t pick just one favorite memory that happened on campus. I have so many fond memories of being a student at The Ohio State University. Whether it was sitting in a soils lab, or in the ACSM shop learning to pour concrete or my student teaching, it is too hard to pick just one!
What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
After graduating, I went to work for the American Jersey Cattle Association as an assistant editor of the Jersey Journal.
What positions have you held throughout your career?
The only two organizations I have worked for during my career are the American Jersey Cattle Association (1.5 years) and Select Sires, starting year 13.
During your career, have you received any awards or honors?
I have been recognized through the Cooperative Communicators Association with awards for projects that I have had a major involvement. Last year, a video that I collaborated on was named Best of Show!
As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My favorite? That is hard! Because, I feel really lucky that not only do I get to work for the best A.I. company in the world but I am a part of building and strengthening its brand through print advertisements, video and social media. Plus I am surrounded by some of the brightest and most sought after minds in the industry.
What advice would you give to a current student?
To the current students I would give two pieces of advice. First, enjoy your time as a current Buckeye. Don’t just turn to your professors for education, you can learn a lot from the peers you have surrounding you and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you, you never know where they will take you. Second, don’t ever ignore your passion. Your passion is what will drive you to do what you love – embrace it and follow it.
What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
Confidence. I really have no doubt that without the experiences that I had and the people that I met while a student in ACEL, I would have never had the courage to even apply for the position I am in now. I think that the education that students gets from ACEL is no-doubt recognized as the best, but I think that it is the support of the people behind you that make you feel like you can do anything! And as a young adult entering the work force, that meant the world!