News Release: Hovermale selected for national agricultural education symposium


Ohio State agriscience education student Maggie Hovermale was selected to attend the Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) Symposium as part of the National Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 1-4, 2020.

Hovermale is one of 20 agriscience education students from across the nation who were selected to attend the conference’s track for current preservice agricultural educators. Throughout the MANRRS conference, students participating in the FAST Symposium will be provided with a professional development experience for preservice agricultural education majors that includes networking and mentoring with current and future agricultural educators from across the country, as well as attending sessions focused on creating inclusive classroom environments, inquiry based learning, classroom management and job interview success.

“I’m excited for Maggie to have the opportunity to grow in her professional development skills with an experience like the FAST Symposium,” said Dr. Scott Scheer, interim chair of the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. “She will gain key information that will aid her in creating an inclusive learning environment for her future students.”

Hovermale is a senior at Ohio State studying agriscience education. She is a graduate of Westfall High School and is currently competing her student teaching experience at Northwestern High School under the supervision of Mrs. Erica Hillard.

The agriscience education major at Ohio State prepares its students to acquire a license to teach agricultural science in secondary high schools in Ohio and across the country, with extensive training in agricultural science, educational psychology, instructional methods, and youth development. For additional information on the agriscience education major, visit or call 614.247.6358.

Reid shares experiences with future students at university’s Buckeye Bound event

This past weekend, community leadership student Deja Reid served on a panel of current Ohio State students at the Buckeye Bound event.

Buckeye Bound is a series of visit days for admitted students. Deja, and her fellow current Buckeyes, shared with the high school students about their experiences at Ohio State.


Graduate Student Spotlight: Mark Light


Mark Light is a current Ph.D. student studying agricultural communication, education, and leadership. He received a bachelor’s in civil engineering at Ohio Northern University and a master’s in college student personnel at Bowling Green State University.

He is from Ada, Ohio and is currently a full-time 4-H educator in Hardin County and area leader supervisor. In the future he shared that, “My goal is to be a state specialist in Extension and perhaps teach in ACEL.”

“I chose ACEL (for a PhD) because it matches my current career path in Extension… and also because my dad and mom both have a degree from Ohio State.” Mark also shared that the flexibility with online courses has helped him pursue his Ph.D. while living one and a half hours from campus.

As a student in ACEL, Mark’s area of focus is in educational technology and his thesis explores the work-home boundaries of 4-H educators who use personally owned devices to connect with audiences, both internal and external, outside standard office hours.

“Being able to grow and learn more about the profession I am in as a Buckeye is what I love most about Ohio State and ACEL.”




FFA Alumni Spotlight: Rose Zeedyk

Rose Zeedyk is a freshmen studying agriscience education at Ohio State. She came to OSU from the Fairview FFA chapter in Sherwood, Ohio.

Why did you choose Ohio State?
I chose Ohio State because it felt like somewhere I could make “home” for four years and it has a really great agriculture program.

How did FFA help you choose your major?
FFA impacted my choice of major because it showed me how much I loved teaching and advocating for agriculture.

How did FFA prepare you for your future career?
FFA prepared me for my future career by making me step out of my comfort zone and develop skills to communicate clearly and think critically.

FFA Alumni Spotlight: Colby Gregg, Geronimo FFA

Colby Gregg is a PhD student studying agricultural communication, education, and leadership at Ohio State, specializing in agricultural education.

Colby comes to Ohio State from Geronimo, Oklahoma, where he was a member of the Geronimo FFA.

Why did you decide to attend The Ohio State University?
Ohio State has excellent agricultural education faculty and I wanted a chance to learn about agricultural education and FFA in a new state!

How did your experiences in FFA help you choose your major?
It opened my eyes to how agricultural education is an area where every student can succeed, and I wanted to be a part of that.

How did FFA prepare you for your future career?
By showing me how impactful it can be for young people and communities alike.


Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Annie Specht

Dr. Annie Specht is an assistant professor and the undergraduate coordinator in the agricultural communication program in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL).

Specht received her B.S. in 2008 and M.S. in 2010 in agricultural communication from Ohio State University and received her Ph.D. in agricultural communications and journalism from Texas A&M University in 2013.

She has conducted research in multiple areas including media portrayals of agriculture, visual communication, social media, and public perceptions of food, agricultural and environmental sciences.

Before coming home to Ohio State, Specht taught undergraduate courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in public relations, media production and professional development.

As an assistant professor at Ohio State, Dr. Specht teaches several courses in multimedia production, publication design, news and feature writing and editing, as well as data visualization. In addition to her various roles in ACEL, she also serves on the Ohio State University Senate.

We are very grateful to have an involved and passionate professor like Dr. Specht in our department!

Graduate Student Spotlight: Kenzie Johnston ’16

Kenzie Johnston is a current master’s student in agricultural communication, education, and leadership where she is specializing in leadership. She is from Richwood, Ohio and graduated with a B.S. in agricultural communication in 2016 from Ohio State.

She returned to ACEL for her master’s because she “wanted to become a more qualified extension educator.” She also added that “Ohio State feels like home to me and I love being a buckeye!”

Kenzie is currently working as an extension educator for Delaware County and is conducting research describing the efficacy of research videos used in extension education for her master’s degree.

When asked what she loves about Ohio State and the department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, she shared that “I love the traditions of Ohio State and CFAES has the greatest people.”

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jera Niewoehner-Green


Dr. Jera Niewoehner-Green joined the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) in August 2017 as an assistant professor of community leadership.

Niewoehner-Green teaches courses for ACEL about foundations of personal and professional leadership, youth organizations and program management, the leadership capstone project and critical perspectives in leadership development.

Prior to becoming a Buckeye, Dr. “N-G”, as the students call her, spent more than nine years as a public school educator for Metro Nashville Public Schools teaching Spanish and leadership development courses, as well as working outside the classroom as a Career and Technical Education academy coach for the Academies of Nashville, before returning to graduate school to obtain a doctorate in leadership development at the University of Florida in 2017. Her research at UF focused on women’s empowerment participation in leadership roles in rural Honduras.

She earned a B.A. in Spanish from Sweet Briar College and a post-baccalaureate teaching certification from St. Edward’s University, where she studied abroad in Spain at the University of Seville. She also completed her student teaching in Monterrey, Mexico through instructing pre-service primary teachers at the Escuela Normal Migeul F. Martínez. During her tenure at MNPS she completed her M.Ed. in community development and action at Vanderbilt University with research focused on high school service-learning to address community issues.

We are so thankful to have Dr. N-G as a member of our ACEL family!

ACEL well represented at NACS

The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership was well represented at the National Agricultural Communication Summit (NACS) in Louiseville, Kentucky in early February. Graduate students Alyssa Rockers and Abby Sanders, along with faculty Dr. Emily Buck, Dr. Joy Rumble and Dr. Annie Specht attended the conference with paper and poster presentations.

Papers presented:

Impact of Animating Infographics About Genetic Modification on Information Recall
Jessica Holt, Alexa J. Lamm, Kristin Gibson, Kevan Lamm, University of Georgia; Jason Ellis, Kansas State University; Joy N. Rumble, The Ohio State University

Unobserved Interaction Between Participants and Discussion Topics Within Focus Group Discussions: An Application of Social Network Analysis
Yu Lun Wu, Joy N. Rumble, The Ohio State University; Taylor K. Ruth, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Alexa J. Lamm, University of Georgia; Jason D. Ellis, Kansas State University

Technically Speaking: Technical Skills Needed for Agricultural Communication Baccalaureate Graduates
Arthur Leal, University of Tennessee; Kati Lawson, Ricky Telg, University of Florida; Joy Rumble, The Ohio State University 

Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resource Opinion Leaders in Online Environments
Tiffany M. Rogers-Randolph, Kansas State University; Lisa K. Lundy, Ricky Telg, University of Florida; Joy N. Rumble, The Ohio State University


Posters presented:

Young farmers’ choice of communication channels when communicating with consumers: A case study of midwestern farmers
Yu-Lun Wu, Fally Masambuka-Kanchewa, & Emily Buck, The Ohio State University

Reality or historical romanticism: The impact of agricultural images on cognitive dissonance
Alyssa Rockers, Joy Rumble, & Emily Buck, The Ohio State University

It’s almost as if they have a problem with women: A constant comparative analysis of feminist conversations on agricultural Twitter
Abigail Sanders, Alyssa Rockers, & Annie Specht, The Ohio State University

Can we increase motivation? An Experimental Design of Motivation and Personal Relevance
Yu-Lun Wu, Joy N. Rumble, The Ohio State University; Alexa J. Lamm, University of Georgia; Taylor K. Ruth, University of Lincoln-Nebraska; & Jason D. Ellis, Kansas State University