ACEL Distinguished Senior: Trent Baldwin

Trent Baldwin is a senior studying community leadership with a focus in community and extension education from Salinas, California.

Baldwin transferred to Ohio State from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where he was majoring in agricultural business. While at Cal Poly, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in youth development and extension education, which was not available there, so he decided to make the move to Ohio.

“I visited Ohio State for a conference and immediately fell in love with the university and campus,” said Baldwin. “Coming from a much different setting than Columbus, it was exciting to move to a city with so much to explore.”

In its second year, the Distinguished Senior Award recognizes top students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. This year, Baldwin is one of 10 students to be selected by faculty for the honor.

Of his nomination as an ACEL Distinguished Senior, faculty noted that “Trent has been engaged in activities outside of the classroom, from helping to lead camp counselor workshops to participating in national 4-H organization events. He also has maintained a strong academic standing throughout his undergraduate career.”

As a student at Ohio State, Baldwin immediately got involved on campus. He has served as treasurer of Ohio State’s chapter of Cultivating Change, a national foundation whose purpose is to value and elevate LGBTQ agriculturists through advocacy, education, and community, service coordinator for Pi Lambda Phi, and an events chair for Collegiate 4-H. He has also been involved with Social Change with the Office of Student Life that brings together the communities of Ohio State and the State of Ohio through community-driven, multi-disciplinary programs to empower the local community.

Baldwin has completed internships with both the Licking County and Ashtabula County extension offices, where he assisted with the 4-H programs during the summer.

“It was an incredible and formative experience, and it taught me a lot about the work involved in youth development, not only with the individual child but with the whole community,” said Baldwin. “These internships helped me understand more about the experience of being an extension professional.”

Noting that his time with the Ashtabula County Extension Office was one of his best college memories, Baldwin said he came from a different background than Ashtabula County, but was embraced by the community and learned a lot from his experiences.

He also enjoyed the real-world experiences that several of his community leadership major courses offered, including the Teaching Methods in Non-formal Environments (Community Leadership 5330) and Prevention and Youth Development Through Sport, Recreation and Play (Social Work 2110).

“Having the experiences to develop my own lesson plans and design my own programs has been exciting,” he said.

Following completion of his undergraduate degree, Baldwin plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work.

“The community leadership major has so many potential career paths that it can prepare you for, and covers a variety of relevant information that anyone going into community work or development should know, such as leadership and educational theory, program design and more,” he said.




Baldwin on The Oval with the Non-formal Methods of Teaching course conducting tours of Ohio State’s campus.

Baldwin (far right) with OSU Mountaineers at Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia.

With his Pi Lambda Phi fraternity brothers.

Congratulations Trent and we wish you the best in your next endeavor! Thank you for letting ACEL be a part of your college experiences!

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