Welome Justin Kurtz!

From State College, Pennsylvania, Justin is a graduate student in agricultural communication, education, and leadership with a focus on community leadership. He is focusing on food study among migrant populations and is completing research during his time.  

Justin studied at Penn State University, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural and extension education, with a minor in international agriculture.  

 “I hope to teach agriculture in a classroom or outreach setting to reduce local food insecurity,” said Justin. During his search for a graduate program, he has found that Ohio State has a strong focus on food security and agricultural education.  

Welcome new ACEL Buckeyes!

On Monday, August 22, 13 new students attended the CFAES/ACEL pre-convocation. These students are first year freshman, transfer students or have transitioned from an Ohio State regional campus to Columbus.

While not all new ACEL Buckeyes were in attendance, we’re glad we got to meet these 13 and wish all new students an easy transition to their time with us!

Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership is happy to have Nicole Volk back as a graduate student.

Nicole Volk, from Gibsonburg, Ohio, is a new ACEL graduate student working towards a master’s degree in agricultural communication, education, and leadership. Nicole attended The Ohio State University where she completed a Bachelor of Science in agricultural communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs. She will be serving as a teaching assistant for agricultural communication courses during her program. 

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Nicole enjoyed her time as communicator in the agriculture industry. She said, “during my career as a full-time ag communicator, I discovered a love for passing on knowledge to others in my field.” In the future, Nicole hopes to secure a faculty position at the collegiate level. Nicole enjoys the community at Ohio State but feels extra special for the ACEL.  

Rockers hired as assistant professor at TSU

Alyssa Rockers stands in front of a Tennessee State University sign on their campus.


Congratulations to recent graduate Dr. Alyssa Rockers ’22 PhD who has been hired as an assistant professor of agricultural media and communications at Tennessee State University.
Rockers graduated earlier this month with a doctorate in agricultural communication, education, and leadership during our summer commencement ceremony.

Rex works as safari tour guide

Bradi Rex and Mrs. Ramsier in front of the safari bus.

Rex and Ramsier


Bradi Rex, a sophomore studying agriscience education, worked at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio as a tour guide.

Rex drove the open air safari bus while giving a fun filled tour about various endangered and extinct in the wild exotic animals. The mission of The Wilds is to lead and inspire by connecting people and wildlife.

She even had a few ACEL faces on a tour this summer, as Mrs. Ramsier, ACEL program coordinator at Ohio State ATI, and Dr. Filson, associate professor of agriscience education, visited with their families.

While students majoring in agriscience education complete their internship requirement through field experiences, many students gain additional educational opportunities like this one to broaden the knowledge about food, agricultural, and environmental sciences.

Kraus defends master’s project

Screenshot of Mary Rodriguez, Jera Niewoehner-Green and Erika Kraus.


Congratulations to Erika Kraus on the successful defense of her master’s project “Addressing Gender Inequality in Morocco through Partnership with a Women’s Cooperative.”

Dr. Jera Niewoehner-Green, assistant professor of community leadership, served as Erika’s advisor. Dr. Mary Rodriguez, associate professor of community leadership, was her committee member.

Congratulations Erika!

Mellott attends AFA institute

Lauren Mellott in front of a field in California.
Lauren Mellott, a junior studying agriscience education, recently attended the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Crop Science Institute in Sacramento, California.
Mellott was selected from a national pool of applicants to attend. While in California, she had the opportunity to network with a variety of professionals, companies, and young leaders in the industry, as well as experience diversity in crops, ideas and individuals in California and around out country.
A group of AFA participants in front of a field and mountain range in California.
Mellott’s participation in the educational experience will provide her with knowledge and experiences to share in her own agricultural education classroom.

Internship Spotlight: Cluxton interns with Ohio Farm Bureau

Carlie Cluxton stands in front of a photo backdrop with Reagan Feldner.

Cluxton, right, with fellow intern Reagan Feldner

Carlie Cluxton (right), a junior studying agricultural communication, completed an internship with Ohio Farm Bureau as the Ohio State Fair intern.

In her role, Cluxton worked with exhibitors and the Ohio Expo Commission to create the Ohio State Fair Land and Living exhibit. This exhibit educated fair visitors about animal agriculture, food, technology and the environment and the importance of these industries. It also hosted the Join Legislative Agricultural Committee meeting.

News Release: Lawson hired as assistant professor of agricultural communication at Ohio State

Headshot photo of Dr. Cara Lawson

Lawson, 2022

The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) at The Ohio State University is pleased to share that Dr. Cara Lawson will join our department as an assistant professor in agricultural communication

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Lawson back to Ohio State to be part of our faculty,” said Dr. Shannon Washburn, professor and chair of ACEL. “Her experiences as a professional in the industry, as well as her passion for developing students into great communicators and researchers make her an excellent addition to our department.”

In this new role within the department, Lawson will engage in advancing the agricultural communication program through teaching and research by teaching undergraduate courses in agricultural communication and graduate courses that serve students across our department. She will also serve as an undergraduate academic advisor, work with our faculty and students in Columbus and at Ohio State ATI.

“I am honored and excited to join the faculty at Ohio State and look forward to engaging students and stakeholders in teaching and research opportunities,” said Lawson.

Lawson received a bachelor of science in agricultural education and a master of science in agricultural communication from Ohio State and a doctorate in agricultural communication from Texas Tech University. Most recently she was an instructor of agricultural communication at Oregon State University.

ACEL prepares communicators, educators and leaders in the food, agricultural, and environmental sciences to integrate research-based learning, practice and engagement, in ways that will advance positive changes that strengthen individuals, families and communities. For more information on the undergraduate and graduate academic programs and research available in ACEL, please visit acel.osu.edu.

Pulley hired as assistant professor at Tarleton State

Justin Pulley wearing a purple Tarleton State University t-shirt.Congratulations to recent graduate Dr. Justin Pulley on his new position with Tarleton State University as an assistant professor of agricultural mechanics.

Pulley graduated with a doctorate in agricultural communication, education, and leadership during our summer commencement ceremony.