Alumni Spotlight: Norman Stanley ’67, ’71 M.S., ’73 Ph.D.


Norman M. Stanley, West Liberty, Ohio received all three of his degrees from Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural Education. He retired as the assistant director of institutional services and personnel at Ohio State ATI in 2001.

Why did you select your major or graduate program?
I selected agricultural education as my major because of the influence of my vocational agriculture teacher Doc Heminger at Zanesfield- Monroe high school. His approach to teaching and his love for agriculture instilled within me a desire to make that my profession.

Dr. Ralph Bender, chairman of the Department of Agricultural Education was most influential in my desire to attend graduate school. His insight to future agricultural needs and his organized approach to teaching and administration set before me an example, which I chose to emulate.

Also John Morgan, state supervisor of vocational education, encouraged me to go beyond the master’s degree and complete the PhD.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I chose Ohio State because they had the best agricultural education department in the US with an excellent faculty reputation. It also was just an hour from home.

How did your education at OSU influence your choice of a career?
The opportunity to explore a number of departmental offerings through what were called “exploratory meetings” helped me settle on agricultural education. In addition, the departmental faculty advisors and courses helped me gain assurance that ag ed was for me. The exploratory meetings, particularly the forestry department enthused me to apply for Federal Fire Crew jobs in the western US. As a result I spent two summers during college fighting forest fires in the Northwestern US on district and regional fire crews.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was a member of the Agricultural Education Society and served as Secretary and vice-president during my undergraduate years.

During my graduate program, I was inducted into The Honor Society of Agriculture- Gamma Sigma Delta and Phi Delta Kappa, a professional education fraternity.

One of my most rewarding experiences at OSU was working three years in food service at Neil Hall, a female medical and transfer student dormitory. It was there I met my future wife, a transfer student from Radford College in Virginia, and mother of our two Ohio State graduates and grandmother to our 8 grandchildren.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
The classes offered by Drs. Ralph Bender, Willard Wolf, Leon Boucher, and Clarence Cunningham on teaching methods were especially helpful and enjoyable. In my graduate program, courses I enjoyed most were Dr. Robert Warmbrod’s research methods and Dr. William Moore’s classes in higher education administration.

Did a faculty or staff member have an impact on your Ohio State experience?
It is very hard to limit this to one person, so I will list a few individuals who were impactful to my development over the 38 years associated with Ohio State and the Department.

Certainly Dr. Ralph Bender as teacher, chair of the Department, my dissertation committee chair, and mentor guided me throughout my journey in agricultural education.

Dr. Roy Kottman, VP & Dean of the College, set for me the example of being decisive as an administrator. Dr. Harold Bauman, financial officer for the College, was a true mentor and friend who lead me through many experiences with the OSU administration, as ATI grew in size and stature. He was a man with great wisdom and a great sense of humor. For example one time when a proposal to the OSU treasurer’s office was rejected, Harold said “Stanley you need to eat a pound of raw sausage and go back in there and get mean”!

Dr. Jerry Halterman, first Director and visionary of ATI, was a father like figure and mentor who showed me how important it was to enjoy the job regardless of how difficult it becomes….. a true man of integrity and faith!

Two staff members of the College who helped me immensely were Sue Hayes and Connie Rice, both enjoyable to work with.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at  Ohio State?
I believe I enjoyed most the interaction between my classmates and the faculty during my agricultural education classes. I now realize that many fine teachers and leaders came from these classes. These individuals have made a serious impact on the development of agriculture in our state and across the nation.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I taught vocational agriculture at Fredericktown High School in Knox County (home of the FFA jacket). I taught in a two person department and had excellent cooperation and support from the principal, superintendent and school board.

Tell us about the jobs you held throughout your career.
Graduate Research Assistant to the OSU ATI Director Designate 1971-72

  • Developed course and admissions materials, class room schedules, recruited the first year students

Graduate Teaching Associate- Department of Ag Ed

  • Supervised student teachers of Vocational Agriculture-1972-73

Vo Ag teacher at Fredericktown High School-1967-71

  • Taught grades 9 & 11; coordinated young ad adult farmer programs; lead the FFA chapter and various judging teams

Served as the Administrative Assistant to the Director at OSU ATI Wooster-1973-76

  • Taught Ag Ed courses on Campus; responsible for business, purchasing and campus facilities

Served as Assistant Director of Institutional Services and Personnel OSU ATI Wooster 1976-2001

  • Was responsible for business office, personnel, farm and campus facilities, and the capital improvements.

What honors and awards have you been presented?

  • Honorary Chapter Farmer-Fredericktown FFA
  • Outstanding Support of Employment For Ohioans With Handicaps-1988
  • Wooster Kiwanis- Lay Person of the Year-1996
  • OSUATI Outstanding Staff Award-1998
  • Outstanding Service to the American Red Cross, Wooster -1999
  • Charles Cairnie Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to The Nick Amster Workshop, Wooster-2000
  • OSU Distinguished Staff Award-2000
  • OSU Distinguished Alumni Award-2002
  • OSU Distinguished Service Award-2003
  • Establishment of The Norman M Stanley Scholarship Fund by friends at my retirement in 2001

What is your favorite career highlight?
The opportunity to have been a part of a pioneer effort for OSU ATI and to have seen the growth, development, and quality of students and alumni over the last 46 years. “ATI is a jewel in the OSU Crown”.

Also because of my education and career experiences through Ohio State and the College, I have had many opportunities for international travel and consulting. I continue volunteering for mission travel to SE Asia.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Study and work hard! Seek out faculty who can help you mature. Enjoy your interactions on campus…It should be one of the best times of your life!

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
The Department of Agricultural Education was like “a family away from home” in the 1960’s. It was a place you went for guidance, encouragement, and mentorship. I am sure ACEL continues that tradition today!

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