News Release: Landaverde receives international fellowship

Rafael Quijada Landaverde, graduate associate and doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) at The Ohio State University was named one of seven recipients of the Kirchner Food Fellowship.

The Kirchner Food Fellowship is a pioneer in the lean investment movement, harnessing the power of highly-committed millennial talent to find, fund and assist promising socially-responsible, for-profit agricultural businesses. Through the use of a “real-world, real-time, real-money” model the program has proven that it is possible for newly formed investment teams to become effective venture capital allocators in a matter of months. The combination of compressed learning time frames and low operating costs makes it possible to more cost efficiently deploy smart and impactful capital in parts of the world where angel capital is needed most.

As the model spreads beyond North America, the Fellowship partners with local groups to establish resident teams in less developed economies. The program strengthens in-region capital allocation capacity, the apex element of any healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem that is well-networked into the global financial markets.

“We are excited for Rafael to be selected as recipient of this highly regarded fellowship,” said Dr. Shannon Washburn, professor and chair of ACEL. “His knowledge, talents, and experience will be an asset to his cohort and participating partners.”

The importance of the program has been greatly highlighted by COVID-19 and the worldwide focus on food security, from organizations, countries and regions. The program combines access to decades of institutional impact investment experience and the innovative problem-based learning approach honed over the last seven years. Landaverde will be part of the 2020-2021 cohort based in Mexico. The other is based out of the United States.

“Our selection process gets more and more difficult each year as the program’s profile grows, expanding our remarkable applicant pool,” commented Blair Kirchner, Director. “The fellowship will commence in early September, concurrent with the next Kirchner Investment Academy, a unique program designed to demystify investment for entrepreneurs and young professionals.”

Landaverde is a graduate of Texas Tech University, where he earned a master of science in agricultural education, and a graduate of Zamorano University in Honduras with a bachelor of science in environment and development.

Students in the ACEL graduate program at Ohio State may specialize in agricultural communication, agricultural education, community and extension education, international development or leadership. The agricultural communication, education, and leadership graduate program offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science, Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. The Doctor of Philosophy degree prepares students for careers as administrators, specialists, university faculty and researchers.

ACEL Social Media Ambassadors

Do you love Ohio State and ACEL? Are you social media savvy? Do you love telling stories? Do you speak emoji? Can you narrate a TikTok?

The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership is looking to establish a team of “social media ambassadors” who can share the unique viewpoint of being a student at The Ohio State University.

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an ACEL major or minor who are interested in social media, photography, video production, blogging and creativity are invited to apply. We encourage all students to apply to show the diverse perspective of our students.


  • Must be a student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program within ACEL*
  • Able to effectively communicate our Buckeye pride through various media platforms
  • Maintain professional work habits (dependable, team player, responsible)
  • Interested in performing social media ambassador duties for fall and spring semester

*Students with an ACEL minor may apply.


  • Brainstorm and create content for ACEL social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, blogs and other outlets
  • Work closely with ACEL communication professionals to follow university, college and department branding
  • Spread ACEL’s message through shares, likes and comments
  • Time commitment is approximately 1-2 hours per month


  • Communication and social media experience that can be shared with potential employers
  • Increase awareness of ACEL majors, courses, student organizations and opportunities
  • Share a real-time student perspective of life as an ACEL student
  • Exposure to social media brand strategy and new platforms through practice and training

Application Process

Sanders defends master’s project

Join us in congratulating Abby Sanders on the recent successful defense of her master’s project “Branding in Higher Education: Arkansas Tech University Department of Agriculture.”
Dr. Annie Specht served as Abby’s advisor and Dr. Emily Buck was her committee member.
Congratulations Abby!