Student Teaching Spotlight – Kayla Erickson, Fairfield Union High School

Written by:
Kayla Erickson
agriscience education

Student teaching has been a whirl wind of emotions. Some good, others not quite as a good but the whole experience has been amazing none the less. One of my favorite parts of student teaching has been getting to know the students. Each student has their own personality. In turn, each class has its own personality. Some things work for some students and classes while they do not work with others. It’s been fun getting to know the personalities of the students and the different classes and differentiating for each.

A part of student teaching that I have struggled with is behavior management. I have a hard time deciding where my line is. The students definitely test that line, but it is hard to discipline them if I am not sure where it is. My cooperating teacher has been great about giving me advice and helping me through this learning curve. I have also got good advice before from my peers as well. While I struggle with this part of teaching, I appreciate the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and successes throughout this process.

I was not really sure what to expect when I began student teaching. I thought that I was unprepared, I was concerned with making relationships with students, and whether teaching was a good fit for me. Standing on the other end of student teaching, I realize that I was as prepared as I could have been for the experience. I often had to remind myself that four months was not a lot of time to form strong relationships. I made relationships with students that were unique to the experience. I am sad to think that I may not get to see the students anymore. We learned a lot together throughout my time teaching. As far as teaching being a good fit for me, I will say that I was not sure that I would teach up until this point. After student teaching, I could absolutely see myself becoming an agriscience educator.

My cooperating teacher and I are very similar. I think that our personalities and out teaching styles are very much alike. I think the students appreciated the similarities. I think that made the transition a little easier for them. The individuals that chose the student teaching placements did a fantastic job when they picked my placement and cooperating teacher.

The thing that I will miss the most about student teaching will be the students. I have enjoyed getting to know them and their learning needs. I will also miss working with my cooperating educator and learning from her years of experience. The students, teacher, and school district that I have gotten to be a part of has been so welcoming and great to work with throughout my experience.

The entire experience has made me look forward to having a classroom of my own. I am excited to decorate the room and interact with the students on a daily basis. I am looking forward to experimenting with lessons to see what works and what doesn’t work. I look forward to developing relationships with students, faculty, and staff within the school that I will be working with. I am excited for the next step in my teaching career.

I have earned a lot of valuable experience from my time student teaching. I am sad that it was cut short, but I am thankful for the time that I got. I am looking forward to the next steps in my teaching career.

Below are some pictures from my student teaching experience.





Graduate Spotlight: Paige Andrews

Paige Andrews is a current master’s student in agricultural communication, education, and leadership where she is studying community and extension education and leadership. She is from Sherrodsville, Ohio and graduated with a B.S. in animal science from Ohio State.

When asked why she chose ACEL to pursue her master’s degree Andrews explains, “to broaden my expertise and get more of the human exposure that I thought would be beneficial.” She also added that “I chose Ohio State because the faculty are helpful and encouraging and I had a great experience during my undergrad at the university!”

Paige’s thesis is analyzing parent involvement in 4-H projects and she plans to work in community outreach or with animals in some capacity after completing her degree.

When asked what she loves about Ohio State and the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, she shared that “I love that you can go to any professor with questions and they’ll do their best to help you. I’m thankful for the amount of resources available to students, as well.”

Ohio 4-H Week Alumni Spotlight: Sara Deakin

Sara Deakin is a third-year student studying community leadership with a specialization in community and extension education. She is from Columbus, Ohio – Franklin County, where she was an active member of the K-9 Wonderdogs and Fantastic Futures 4-H Club for 7 years.

During your time in 4-H, what projects did you complete?

Dog project, veterinary science, shooting sports, market hogs, market goat, market rabbit, and beef feeder. I learned how to take care of many different animals along with public speaking skills, and leadership skills.

Why did you turn Green & White into Scarlet & Gray?

4-H is the reason I am studying extension education and I hope to one day be an Ohio 4-H extension educator.

Ohio 4-H Week Alumni Spotlight: Jasmine Mabry

Jasmine Mabry is a second-year agriscience education student from Camden, Ohio – Preble County, where she was an active member of the Just Horsin’ Around 4-H Club for 10 years. 

During your time in 4-H, what projects did you complete?

I completed several different projects and learned many valuable life skills. Through my horse project, I learned the value of patience, determination, and independence. Through my goat project – the importance of hard work and persistence. With my various miscellaneous projects, I learned many new skills that are applicable to adulthood.

Why did you turn Green & White into Scarlet & Gray?

4-H is what began my passion for agriculture. It is what fueled my love for serving others and inspired me to go the distance. I am pursuing a career as an educator because my 4-H advisors, senior fair board members, and extension educator all inspired me with their willingness to help students be successful in all aspects of life.

Ohio 4-H Week Alumni Spotlight: DaVonti’ Haynes

DaVonti’ Haynes is a Ph.D. student studying agricultural communication, education, and leadership with a focus in community and extension education. 

He is from Cleveland, Ohio – Cuyahoga County, where he was an active member of the Youth Advisory Committee of Cuyahoga County.

During your time in 4-H, what projects did you complete?

All of our projects were related to leadership and service; such as the Cuyahoga County Annual Youth Summit. My involvement with 4-H was really the prelude to me discovering my passion of advocating for, empowering, and uplifting others and communities. 

What did you learn through your involvement in 4-H?

4-H helped prepare me for my academic and professional career in ways that I could not have expected. It instilled in me a love for giving back and servant leadership and helped equip me for success after high school by providing me with the necessary supports, environment, and network of friends, educators, and mentors to grow. 4-H introduced me to life-long leadership skills such as resilience, facilitation, communication, and advocacy, among many others. The experiences, skills, and knowledge that I gained during my time in Cuyahoga County 4-H have (and will continue to) directly contribute to my personal, professional, and academic growth and success.

Ohio 4-H Week Alumni Spotlight: Emma Newell


Emma Newell is a fourth-year studying agricultural communication at Ohio State. She is from Pickerington, OhioFairfield County, where she was an active member of the Unleashed 4-H Club for 11 years and has served as an advisor for 3 years. 

During your time in 4-H, what projects did you complete?

Dogs, Alpacas, Pigs, Chickens, various Leadership projects, numerous Community Service projects, PetPALS (certified therapy animals visiting those in need). I also served on the following leadership boards: Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council, Ohio 4-H Foundation Board, National 4-H Young Alumni Advisory Committee, Fairfield County Junior Leaders, Fairfield County Junior Fair Board, National 4-H Conference (Roundtable Facilitator)  

Why did you turn Green & White into Scarlet & Gray?

I always knew I would one day turn from a clover into a Buckeye. The active participation of the college within the youth development program solidified my desire to attend The Ohio State University at a very young age. I grew up admiring the professors and learning from them at workshops and sessions. There is always more to learn and people within this network who are willing to share their knowledge.

Ohio 4-H Week Alumni Spotlight: Lindsey Okuley

Lindsey Okuley is a first-year studying agricultural communication at Ohio State. She is from Wapakoneta, Ohio – Auglaize County, where she was an active member of the Fryburg Happy Farmers 4-H Club for 7 years. 

During your time in 4-H, what projects did you complete?

I completed various poultry projects and was also a member of the junior fair board. 

What did you learn through your involvement in 4-H?

I learned the value of responsibility, how to lose, and how to effectively work to solve issues as a team member and leader.

Why did you turn Green & White into Scarlet & Gray?

4-H helped flame the fire of the love I had for agriculture. It helped guide me to Ohio State and CFAES due to connections I made through my show days and experiences unique to 4-H through OSU.

News Release: Washburn selected as next chair for ACEL

Dr. Shannon Washburn has been named the next chair of the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. His four-year term will begin July 1, 2020.

In an email to CFAES faculty and staff, Dr. Cathann Kress, dean and vice president for agricultural administration, said “I am excited about the vision Dr. Washburn has for our Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. I am confident that his leadership will be a great asset for the department and our college.”

Dr. Washburn earned his Ph.D. in agricultural education from the University of Missouri, his M.S. in secondary education with an emphasis in agricultural education from Kansas State University, and a B.S. in agricultural education with a minor in animal science and industry from Kansas State University.

Dr. Washburn is currently the assistant dean for academic programs at Kansas State University where he focuses on policy, student success, faculty development, and curriculum and assessment.

Prior to his current role, Dr. Washburn has held various positions prior to his current role including professor and associate professor of agricultural education at Kansas State, assistant professor of agricultural education at the University of Florida, graduate assistant for agricultural education at the University Missouri. He also served as a secondary education agricultural educator in Kansas and is an accomplished researcher and leader with numbers teaching and advising awards.


Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Mary Rodriguez

Dr. Mary Rodriguez is an assistant professor and academic advisor for the community leadership program in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL).

Rodriguez received her B.S. in Agricultural Education in 2008 from Texas A&M University, he rM.S. in Agricultural Education in 2010 from University of Florida and went on to complete her Ph.D. in Agricultural Extension at UF in 2015.

Dr. Rodriguezhas conducted research in multiple areas including women and community development, building resilient communities, developing community food security, and community leadership.

As a Buckeye, Dr. Rodriguez has taught a variety of classes in our department including research methods, extension education in developing countries, foundations of personal and professional leadership, and methods of teaching in nonformal learning environments.

In addition to her involvement in ACEL, she also holds memberships in several organizations including Association of Leadership Educators (ALE), American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE), and the Association for International Agriculture and Extension Education (AIEE).

We are so glad to have supportive faculty like Dr. Rodriguez in our department!

Buchenroth awarded Ambassador of the Year in home town


Last week, agricultural communication student Kolt Buchenroth was awarded the “Ambassador of the Year” award by the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance.
In their news release, the stated “Kolt is known throughout the community for his dedication to helping wherever he is needed with kindness and excellence. Kolt is a behind the scenes humble volunteer that works on providing solutions for critical tests for the Alliance.”
Congratulations Kolt!