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. Ashley Garlick, an agriscience education major, was named as one of ACEL’s Outstanding Seniors for 2022.
Read about Ashley’s Ohio State experience below.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose my major very last minute. As a high school student, I was taking CCP classes at the University of Toledo. For a science credit, I decided to take an introduction to Environmental Science. During one class, he asked the group as a whole, “Why are we here?” In that moment for some reason, I stopped and looked at him. The tone he used caught my attention. Some students tried to guess the answer, but he kept telling us we were close. He stood in the middle of the room, looks around for a second at all of us, and states, “We are here to help.” In that moment, I knew that the years of my Grandma Loeffler telling me I would be a great teacher and my love for agriculture from my family’s farm would lead me in my pursuit to help people by teaching agriculture.
Why did you choose to attend Ohio State?
I chose to attend Ohio State ATI first. I was nervous to move to a large school, but I needed a school that had my major of choice. ATI seemed like the best fit. During my two years there, I was very sad to leave. I was nervous about life in the big city of Columbus, but in these two short years, I have learned to love both schools. Attending Ohio State ATI and Main Campus was the best thing that could have happened to me.
What classes did you enjoy the most?
My favorite class by far was either my Agriculture Current Issues or Education Psychology. I have always loved to learn, but these classes were so interesting and well taught that I continue to find ways to learn the things we covered.
What student organizations were you involved in (locally and nationally) and what roles did you hold within those organizations (if applicable)?
During my time at ATI, I helped establish the ACELT club that was specific to my department. In my second year there, I was able to hold the Vice President position. When I transitioned to the Columbus campus, I joined Agriculture Education Society. This past year, I was the Committee Chair for Education and Outreach.
What internships did you complete and what were your responsibilities/projects as an intern?
I completed three total internships during my time at Ohio State. My first internship was through the Ohio Soybean Council as a Grown Next Gen intern. In this position, I was responsible for attending events at fairs and schools all over Ohio teaching about agriculture. I helped teach at places like the Ohio State Fair. My next two internships were with Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness. My first year, I was an Operations Intern. My job responsibilities included counting inventory, receiving customer orders, and delivering chemicals/seed to farmers. My position was stationed in Dundee, Michigan. During this time, I created a summer project where I made a small activity for branch employees to complete a role reversal activity. This allowed them to step into a new position in a relaxed environment for a couple hours and broaden their knowledge on co-workers’ daily tasks. In the next summer, they rehired me to be the Heartland Intern (KS, NE, IA, MI, TX, and OH). During this time, I was able to travel to complete my role reversal activity with other branches in my region. I was also tasked with working with a team to create two new structured internships. One position I held that was not an internship was at Ohio State ATI where I worked in the engineering wing. I was able to be the tool room assistant where I grew my knowledge in tool identification, small engine repair, metal fabrication, and welding.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to have a position as an Agriculture Educator in Ohio.
What stands out as your best college memory?
My best college memory is hard to choose. I had such an amazing time that I think I would not do my time justice by only picking one.
How did the pandemic impact your college experience? Is there anything you missed because of it?
I think I truly missed the opportunity to be a Columbus Campus student. During my first year here, I could not truly emerge into the life of a student down here. My classes were mostly online, and we had no in person events.