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.


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