2022 ACEL Outstanding Senior: Maryellen Bliss

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. Maryellen Bliss, a senior studying agriscience education, was named as one of ACEL’s Outstanding Seniors for 2022.

Read about Maryellen’s Ohio State experience below.

Why did you choose your major?
My time in the Hillsdale FFA Chapter opened my eyes to the possibilities and importance that the agriculture industry has to offer. As I juggled many ideas for what I wanted to do, being in agriculture education allows me to combine my passions of working with people and growing my knowledge of agriculture that I can teach to future generations.

Why did you choose to attend Ohio State?
From a young age, I knew the spirit of the Buckeyes because my family have always been big OSU sports fans and in high school, I put it at the top of my college lists. After the tour of the Columbus campus my junior year of I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else as atmosphere of campus felt like I had found my second home and I had the opportunity to be in a nationally recognized agriculture education program.

What classes did you enjoy the most?
The classes that I enjoyed the most taking were my courses about environmental science. I took 3 different courses where I was able to learn the scientific basics, historical background, and how society intersects with our natural resources.

What student organizations were you involved in?
At Ohio State I have been involved with the Kellogg-Moser Food Security and Sustainability Learning Community and Collegiate Farm Bureau. In the Agricultural Education Society, I served as the CFAES representative, treasurer, and president. I have been actively involved in Jacob’s Porch Lutheran Campus Ministry and was the student board president. I currently am honored to serve as a 2021-22 NAAE National Teach Ag Ambassador.

What internships did you complete and what were your responsibilities/projects as an intern?
In the 2019 fall semester, I was enrolled in the Early Field Experience for the agriscience major. My placement site was Global Impact STEM Academy observing the biotechnology course. During this internship, I observed classes and was able to interact with students in the classroom and FFA setting through the mindset of a teacher with the guidance of my cooperating educator.

In 2019 I worked the summer for ExploreAg Camps where students come to a college campus and are immersed in hands-on learning that exposes them to a multitude of careers in agriculture, including those careers in STEM.My duties included organizing ice breakers, facilitating five Ag Challenge presentation groups each week to connect knowledge of experiences with current wicked problems, having enthusiasm, and ensuring participants safety.

I was the 2021 Franklin County Farm Bureau Fellow. I assisted with day-to-day office responsibilities and summer programing with Central OH Young Ag Professionals. I created #MemberBenefitsMonday where posts gave a membership benefit spotlight to the advantages that come with being a Farm Bureau member. I also was working in the community at the downtown Pearl Market and Franklin County Fair to spread the word about Farm Bureau.

What do you plan to do after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to use my experiences and knowledge to start out my career as a high school agricultural instructor and FFA advisor in a program somewhere in Ohio!

What stands out as your best college memory?
My best college memory during my freshman year and attending the 2018 OSU vs. that team up North football game with my roommate, Jenny. My first ever OSU football game was this same match up when I was younger with my grandpa and the energy felt in the stadium is unmatched. On top of the win and getting to go on the field, the icing on the cake was standing in the student section and getting on the jumbotron.

How did the pandemic impact your college experience? 
My idea of the “typical” college experience shifted because of the pandemic as I had to take some Zoom classes and hanging out with people that weren’t my roommates involved a lot of screens. I missed getting to be at football games my junior year but being back in The Shoe for my last season as a Buckeye was so electric and meaningful as I didn’t want to take a single play for granted.

2022 ACEL Outstanding Senior: Maddie Allman

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.

ACEL names 2022 Outstanding Seniors

 

ACEL names 2022 Outstanding Seniors

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.

2020 ACEL Distinguished Seniors include:

Maddie Allman, a community leadership major from Chillicothe

Maryellen Bliss, an agriscience education major from Ashland

Stacey Butler, an agricultural communication major from Alexandria

Mallary Caudill, an agricultural communication major from DeGraff

Abby David, a community leadership major from Oak Harbor

Joanna Frankenberg, an agricultural communication major from New Bremen

Ashley Garlick, an agriscience education major from Swanton

Jasmin Mabry, an agricultural communication major from Camden

Nicole McMullen, an agriscience education major from Holland

Alexa Rednour, an agriscience education major from Middletown

Maddy Schupp, an agricultural communication major from New Philadelphia

Madilyn Youngpeter, an agricultural communication major from Findlay

Hannah Ziegler, an agricultural communication major from Sycamore

“We are excited to celebrate this year’s seniors for their perseverance over the past four years, through some of the most challenging times to be a college student,” said Dr. Shannon Washburn, professor and chair of ACEL. “As they move into life after graduation, we hope they reflect fondly on their time as a Buckeye.”

Those selected for the 2022 Outstanding Senior award will graduate in the 2022 calendar year. They were recently recognized at the department’s annual banquet on April 19, 2022 at the Ohio 4-H Center on Ohio State’s Columbus campus.

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 academic programs and research available in ACEL, or to donate to student scholarships, please visit acel.osu.edu.

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Giffin defends master’s thesis

 

Congratulations to Beth Giffin on the successful defense of her master’s thesis “An Exploratory Study of 4-H Professionals’ Experience with Computer Coding, Professional Development, and Implementation of Coding into Community Programs.”

Dr. Theresa Ferrari served as her advisor and Dr. Caryn Filson served as Beth’s committee member.

Rinehart defends master’s thesis

Congratulations to Kameron Rinehart on the successful defense of his master’s thesis, “Determining Ohio Agricultural Organizations Engagement with Diversity and Inclusion: An Ohio Case Study.”
Rinehart was advised by Dr. Jera Niewoehner-Green, an assistant professor of community leadership, and Dr. Washburn, a professor of agriscience education and chair of our department, served as his committee member.
At Ohio State’s Spring Commencement, Rinehart will graduate with a master’s of science in agricultural communication, education, and leadership.

Stoneburner defends master’s thesis

Congratulations Rachel Stoneburner on the successful defense of your master’s project, “Transitioning 4-H Community Club Experiences through Targeted Volunteer Training.”
Stoneburner was advised my Dr. Jeff King, associate professor of community leadership, and Dr. Kirk Bloir, assistant professor in the Department of Extension and State 4-H Leader, served as a committee member.
Rachel will graduate in May with a master’s of science degree in agricultural communication, education, and leadership. She is a program coordinator with Ohio State Extension in Franklin County.

Evans defends master’s thesis

Congratulations to Kaitlyn Evans on the successful defense of her master’s thesis “Exploring the Perceptions of Ohio Agriscience Education Teachers on Mental Health Wellness in Their Schools.”
Dr. Jeff King, associate professor of community leadership, served as Kaitlyn’s advisor, and Dr. Caryn Filson, assistant professor of agriscience education, served as her committee member.
Evans will graduate in May with a master’s of science in agricultural communication, education, and leadership.

Steiner defends master’s thesis

Congratulations to Zachary Steiner on the successful defense of his master’s thesis, “First-year Students in CFAES Mentoring Experience.”

Dr. Jeff King, an associate professor of community leadership, served as Zach’s advisor and Dr. Susie Whittington, a professor of agriscience education and director of Ohio State’s STEP program, served as a committee member.

Congratulations Zach!

Kinion defends master’s thesis

Congratulations to Kane Kinion on the successful defense of his master’s thesis, “An examination of social media marketing strategies by Ohio show livestock producers.”
 
Dr. Emily Buck, professor of agricultural communication, served as Kane’s advisor and Dr. Joy Rumble, an assistant professor of agricultural communication, served on his committee.
 
Kane will graduate in May with a master’s degree in agricultural communication, education, and leadership.
 
#ACELatOSU #CFAES #OSUgradlove

Watkins named AFA campus ambassador

Congratulations to Hannah Watkins, an agricultural communication major, who has been selected to serve as a campus ambassador for Agriculture Future of America (AFA).
The main duty of Ambassadors is to promote AFA to peers, university faculty and staff and industry professionals. The health of AFA’s relationship with a campus relies heavily on the work of Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, Watkins will organize campus meetings to increase awareness of AFA programs and interact with industry professionals at various events and meetings on behalf of AFA.
AFA Leaders Conference is the bridge between college and career for undergraduate students studying food and agriculture. The four-track program is designed to provide you with different personal and professional development opportunities based on where you are in your collegiate experience. The 2022 conference will be held November 10-13 in Kansas City.