The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) has named 13 students to the 2022 class of ACEL Outstanding Seniors. These students were selected by the faculty and staff of the department for their excellence both in and out of the classroom. Maddie Allman, a senior studying community leadership with a specialization in community and extension education, was named as one of ACEL’s Outstanding Seniors for 2022.
Read about Maddie’s Ohio State experience below.
Why did you choose your major?
Much of who I am is because of my involvement with the Ohio 4-H program. 4-H introduced me to Extension work and sparked my passion for non-formal education and youth development. Because of 4-H, I was introduced to CFAES and Ohio State, in which I fell in love. If it were not for my involvement in the 4-H program, I wholeheartedly believe I would not be where I am today. I aspire to be a 4-H Extension Educator and have used the extensive network CFAES offers to learn more about my career path, engage with administration, and gain necessary skills I will need in the future. Hopefully one day I can inspire youth just like me to attend higher education through Extension programs.
Why did you choose to attend Ohio State?
Ohio State was the only school I applied to in which I had to pay an application fee. Ohio State was my first and only choice. I knew from the beginning that this was my home, and I was so right. Ohio State, being the land-grant institution that facilitates Ohio 4-H Youth Development and Ohio State Extension, was the best option for what I wanted to do. I knew that I would be set up for success here, make incredible connections, memories, and truly learn about my future profession.
What classes did you enjoy the most?
My favorite classes were my Rural Sociology classes. Many of them challenged me to work hard – especially RURLSOC 4500 (S/O Dr. Campbell) – but I truly fell in love with community development work because of them. They inspired my undergraduate research and gave me more tools to keep in my community leadership toolbox.
What student organizations were you involved in and what roles did you hold within those organizations?
During my time at Ohio State, I have been involved with a multitude of organizations and experiences that have shaped my college experience. My involvements include:
- 2021 Homecoming Court
- Undergraduate Research
- The Buckeyes First Student Organization (Director of Community Outreach and Founding Executive Member)
- The Buckeye Leadership Fellows program
- Community Leadership student representative on the ACEL Alumni Board
- Ohio State Honors & Scholars as an Arts Scholar
- Alpha Zeta Partners Agricultural Leadership Honorary (and Brazil Study Abroad)
- The 115th Class of the SPHINX Senior Honorary (Secretary)
- Ohio 4-H Youth Development Student Program Assistant
- National 4-H Conference Roundtable Facilitator
- Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council Vice President of Outreach (2018-2019)
- Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council Junior Advisor (2019-2020)
- Collegiate 4-H at The Ohio State University (President)
What internships did you complete and what were your responsibilities/projects as an intern?
I have worked as a student assistant at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center since January 2019. This experience has truly shaped me as a person and future professional and I am so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to work for the organization I love. I support all Ohio 4-H state staff members with their programs including but not limited to the Ohio State Fair, Ohio 4-H State Leadership Camp and other camping programs, OMK and Healthy Living programs, Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership and Older Youth Opportunities, Ohio 4-H STEM, and Ohio 4-H Administration. I’ve done everything from writing lesson plans and contributing to new and revised 4-H project books to sorting office supplies. I typically answer the phone at the 4-H Center, so if you ever have questions about Ohio 4-H programs, call me!
As a student assistant with Ohio 4-H, I have worked in a variety of roles including as the Ohio 4-H International Program Student Assistant in 2019. For around nine months, I specifically worked to support Ohio 4-H international initiatives and coordinated 4-H youth exchange programs to countries like Norway, Costa Rica, and Japan. I was able to successfully coordinate our largest program, the Labo Japanese Exchange program, and bring 75 Japanese youth and adults to stay with Ohio 4-H families over the summer.
Last summer I was hired by Logan County OSU Extension as a 4-H Youth Development summer intern. I had the most incredible time working with Logan County and bringing new things into their program. This past summer, Logan County 4-H had a lot of firsts including their first ever livestock project book evaluations AND county overnight 4-H camp. We had a very small staff, so it was incredible to see us introduce so many new things over the summer and have a successful program year. I am very passionate about 4-H camping programs, so to assist with Logan County’s first ever overnight camp was an awesome learning experience.
Currently, I am completing my COMLDR 5380 senior internship program. My internship consists of my work at the Ohio 4-H Center and the Franklin County OSU Extension Office. I am excited to be working with Margo Long, Ohio 4-H Workforce Development and Pathways to the Future Program Manager, on new 4-H workforce development initiatives. My “big project” for the semester is to research and develop a campus experience program for eighth grade students to learn about potential programs and careers to explore at Ohio State. As part of my project, I am working with Margo and CFAES admins to establish a program that allows Ohio 4-H members to receive college credits for their 4-H project work. It’s very exciting and I am so honored to be a part of it!
This semester I am also working with Franklin County 4-H to learn more about urban 4-H programming, after-school programming, and 4-H SPIN clubs. I have yet to really work with an urban community, so I am excited to learn more about urban 4-H programs and navigate the rural-urban interface. I will be heading up Franklin County’s CARTEENS program and developing animal science SPIN clubs to teach urban youth about agriculture.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to pursue a career in Extension Education. I also plan to pursue a master’s degree in ACEL with a specialization in Community & Extension Education. I hope to continue my research on Appalachian community development and hope to expand upon my current findings from my undergraduate research project. I’m also hoping to travel to as many U.S. National Parks while I have the time post-graduation,
What stands out as your best college memory?
Serving on the 2021 Ohio State University Homecoming Court. I will never forget the incredible experience of stepping onto the football field with over 100,000 screaming fans looking at me. The support I received from my Ohio State community while fundraising on behalf of Ohio 4-H as a member of the Court is something I’ll never forget, and I’m so grateful I got to be just one of 20 students to experience it. The bonds I made between myself and my fellow Court members can never be broken, and I am so thankful for the new family The Ohio State University has given me. Being a member of the Homecoming Court is a memory I’ll cherish forever.
How did the pandemic impact your college experience?
The pandemic has taken so much of my college experience away from me and I am so willfully sorry for myself and my fellow seniors about it. I missed so much – from receiving and being recognized for awards, to not experiencing regular traditions for organizations, and so much more. I missed celebrating my boyfriend’s graduation from college, receiving my CFAES Award for Outstanding Student Employee, and traditions Homecoming Courts and Inductees into the SPHINX Senior Honorary normally expe
rience. I lost internship opportunities, valuable in-person learning experiences, and meaningful student org connections. I truly feel that extracurriculars have suffered due to the pandemic and I worry for the future of many clubs and organization at Ohio State including my own.