The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) has named 12 students to the 2023 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 Coppel, an agricultural communication major from Chillicothe, Ohio, was named as one of ACEL’s Outstanding Seniors for 2023.
Read about Maddie’s Ohio State experience below.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose my major of agricultural communication because I wanted to learn more about the background of where my food comes from and how to share that with others. I have always been interested in food and sustainability and wanting to connect my passion for writing back to that.
Why did you choose to attend Ohio State?
I chose Ohio State because I had heard nothing but great things about the university from friends and family! I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to major in when I first started, and I loved the range of opportunities here at Ohio State. I also think the alumni network is amazing!
What classes did you enjoy the most?
The classes I have enjoyed the most are my major courses that relate to writing and design and any class I have taken with Tom Stewart.
What student organizations have you been involved in and what roles did you hold within those organizations? How were these organizations beneficial to your collegiate experience?
During my time at the university, I have been involved in peer mentoring for the university exploration program, a mentor for Ohio Youth Capital Challenge, am the current sales manager for the AgriNaturalist student-produced magazine and was also a student representative during my study abroad program in Perugia, Italy!
These roles have made me become more independent, well-rounded, and have improved my leadership skills. I found that because of these positions, I have created a portfolio for myself that reflects both my goals as a student and as a professional.
What internships did you complete and what were your responsibilities/projects as an intern? How were they impactful in figuring out your career path?
I completed two internships during my time here. The first was a role as a communications assistant at The Chillicothe County Club. I worked closely with their staff to design flyers for events, manage social media accounts, and adequately communicate to members. My second was a communications and marketing internship at The Perennial Homestead, in Omaha, Nebraska, where I worked to improve consumer outreach and interaction by creating blog posts, sourcing local ingredients for their products, designed merchandise, thank you cards, and recipe templates to align with their branding goals.
Both these positions made me realize how much I enjoy marketing and communications in the field of food and agriculture. In both opportunities, I saw how local businesses operated first-hand, which made me realize how important supporting local and small-scale is. Now as I start my job search, I hope to find a similar role to the ones I had during my internship experiences.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I am not 100% sure, but I hope to have a marketing/communications/writing role that works closely with the greater Columbus community. I could see myself working with extension, community outreach, and marketing/design as a whole – of course related to food, agriculture, and the environment!
What stands out as your best college memory?
My best college memory has been the conversations I had with my professor Tom Stewart! Tom has helped me so much over the years in terms of preparing for “the real world”, job searching, portfolio/resume prep, and simply enjoying life and my time here at Ohio State!
What advice would you give to the freshman version of yourself?
I would tell myself that even though the COVID-19 pandemic made it seem like my time in college was going to be spent fully virtually, you would persevere as the world came back together and have a great time at university (in-person!!!) and even get the chance to study abroad!