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.)

ACEL Alumni Awards

In 2017, the ACEL Alumni Board went through a restructuring period as the department celebrated its centennial and is now comprised of 12 alumni members, 3 from each program area and 3 at large positions as well as 1 student from each program area. In this newly visioned board, our mission is to connect alumni to students, connect alumni with each other and recognize our alumni for the good work they are doing in their careers and communities. 

At the 2019 ACEL annual banquet, the Board recognized five alumni who were selected from a large pool to receive the first of ACEL alumni awards. 

Congratulations to our alumni.

Distinguished Alumni Award

John Poulson ‘81, ‘87 M.S.
Agricultural Education

John attended The Ohio State University where he dual majored in Agricultural Education and Animal Science and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1981. 

After graduation, John taught agricultural education at Crestview High School in Ashland and Richland counties. In 1988, in order to move closer to family, John became an organizational director for the Ohio Farm Bureau serving Williams, Fulton and Henry counties. He was in his position with Farm Bureau for two years, before being offered the opportunity to return to the classroom at Pettisville High School. John has served as the agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor at Pettisville for the past 29 years.

John and his wife, Lexie (Zenz), reside in Archbold, Ohio. They have two children, Jessie (Patrick) Schulze and Shane (Hilary) Poulson. He is also the proud grandfather to Meyers & Ellis Poulson.



Young Alumni Award

Rose Hartschuh ‘08
Agricultural and Extension Education

Upon graduating from The Ohio State University, Rose Hartschuh taught high school agriculture classes for several years at Bellevue and Mohawk schools. After stepping out of the classroom, Rose began local agritourism efforts. 

Rose has led significant agritourism efforts on the family dairy farm, at The Pickwick Place and now through the newly launched Acres of Adventure, a nonprofit that utilizes a governing board and supporting partners from industry and community to execute a new vision for agritourism in north central Ohio.

The parents of twin boys, Rose and her husband Greg have also recently started their own sheep flock – breeding and selling club lambs to junior livestock exhibitors. The family lives outside Sycamore, Ohio and are members of Crossroads Community Church.


Kayla Oberstadt ‘15 M.S.
Agricultural and Extension Education

Kayla Oberstadt currently works for OSU Extension in her role as an Ohio 4-H program manager. In addition to her degree from Ohio State, Oberstadt is a 2012 alum of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with an undergraduate degree in human services leadership. Prior to her role with Ohio 4-H, Kayla was a 4-H Youth Development Educator for University of Wisconsin Extension in Winnebago County. She got her start as 4-H member in Waupaca County, Wisconsin, where being involved in 4-H continues to be a multi-generational part of her family. 

In Kayla’s current role with Ohio 4-H, she manages Ohio Military Kids programming and provides guidance to Older Youth Leadership Development programs. Entering her third year in this position, Kayla has worked closely with Extension Specialists for Camping & Older Youth Development as well as Healthy Living to help bring these statewide efforts to 4-H members in counties across Ohio. 



Mentor to Students Award

Beth Boomershine ‘00, ‘01 M.S.
Agricultural and Extension Education

Beth Boomershine has been a 4-H Youth Development educator with Ohio State for the past 14 years, currently serving as the Franklin County 4-H educator. Beth’s role is to serve 4-H audiences through community clubs, volunteer management, camping programs, service learning, and more. The 4-H program located in Columbus and surrounding communities serves approximately 900 youth and 185 adult volunteers through the community club program and nearly 400 youth at camp. 

She served as a committee chair for the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference and represented the state on the North Central Region’s First Generation 4-H Taskforce. In 2019, Beth was awarded the NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award. 


Larry Lokai ‘67, ‘73 M.S.
Agricultural Education

Larry Lokai has dedicated more than 48 years to the advancement of agriculture by teaching hundreds of students through secondary and post-secondary agricultural education. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of today’s career development events, servicing the largest career technical student organization in Ohio with approximately 27,000 student members. 

Upon retirement in 1996 from a 30-year career of agricultural education, Larry Lokai joined the staff at The Ohio State University as an adjunct instructor for the Department of Animal Sciences, serving as the coach of the Ohio State Poultry Judging Team from 1998 to 2001. Under Larry’s direction, the team earned many national top 10 team and individual honors.


Student Showcase at ACEL Banquet

At our annual department banquet this year, we added a new student showcase feature where our undergraduate and graduate students were invited to display posters of their internship, study abroad and field experiences, research, class projects and student organization activities.
Thank you to our students at both the Columbus and ATI campuses who made this first year a success.

ACEL Distinguished Students

At the 2019 Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership Banquet, one graduate student and 10 seniors were named as Distinguished Students.

Congratulations to these students on their academic success and best wishes in their future endeavors!

2019 CFAES Celebration of Students

Students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership were recognized at the annual CFAES Celebration of Students Recognition Program on April 4, 2019.

Held in the Archie Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union, students and student organizations in ACEL were recognized for their academic achievements and community engagement.

Congratulations to our students on a fantastic year!

Marlee Stollar, a junior studying agricultural communication (left), and Megan Bergman, a junior studying agriscience education, served as two of the three student co-chairs of the recognition program.

Paige Schaffter, a sophomore studying agriscience education at Ohio State ATI, and Sarah Longo, a senior studying community leadership, were recognized as Newcomb Scholars. This award is presented to the top four students for each rank in CFAES.

Haley Evans and Kaitlyn Evans, both juniors studying agriscience education, were presented the Ray A. Miller CFAES Student Council Scholarship. Both students are active members of the Council. This scholarship is in memory of long-time Council advisor, and former assistant dean, Dr. Ray A. Miller. The Evans sisters are pictured with Miller’s wife, who presented the award.


Our department nominated Bart Johnson with the CFAES Meritorious Service to Students Award. Bart owns Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net Radio and has been instrumental with the success of A Night for Young Professionals, an event hosted by Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.


Agricultural Education Society was presented with the New Activity Award. AES has been active in the development and success of an after school agriculture club with Metro Middle School. Twice each month, AES members present lessons on agriculture to the students, ranging from the evolution to agriculture, types of soybean plants and tours of the Waterman Dairy Farm.


Josie Montoney, a junior studying agricultural communication and public affairs, was awarded the CFAES Outstanding Student Worker Award. Josie works in the CFAES Office of Government Affairs and was nominated by her supervisor and director Adam Ward.




News Release: ACEL names 2019 Distinguished Students

The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership has named 11 students to the first class of ACEL Distinguished Students in 2019. These students were selected by the faculty and staff of the Department for their excellence both in and out of the classroom.

2019 ACEL Distinguished Seniors include:

  • Jane Hulse, agricultural communication
  • Mary Jenkins, agricultural communication
  • Sarah Longo, community leadership
  • Cody McClain, agriscience education
  • Micah Mensing, agriscience education
  • Abby Motter, agriscience education
  • Emily Paulsen, community leadership
  • Sydney Snider, agricultural communication
  • Kayla Walls, agriscience education
  • Meghann Winters, agricultural communication

“These 10 seniors are great examples of how you can succeed in both academics and student life,” said Dr. Tracy Kitchel, professor and chair of ACEL. “Each has a unique combination of involvement around student organizations, Greek life, research, internships, and education abroad while performing well in their academics. It’s within that unique combination where we see potential for extraordinary success beyond their undergraduate careers.”

Dr. Fally Masambuka was named the 2019 Distinguished Graduate Student. Masambuka will graduate in May with a doctorate in agricultural and extension education with specialization in international development and agricultural communication.

The ACEL Distinguished Students will be recognized at the Department’s annual banquet on April 16, 2019.

ACEL prepares communicators, educators and leaders in the food, agricultural, and environmental sciences to integrate research-based learning, practice and engagement, in ways that will advance positive changes that strengthen individuals, families and communities. For more information on the academic programs and research available in ACEL, please visit