ACEL Distinguished Senior: Taylor Lutz

Taylor Lutz is an agriscience education major from Bucyrus, Ohio.

As an FFA member in high school, she loved sharing agriculture with others and knew that a career in agricultural education seemed to be a great fit, as she was passionate about teaching others about the agricultural industry.

She began her college education at Ohio State, which she feels was the best fit for her as she transitioned to college from a small high school.

Now finishing her fourth year as a Buckeye, Lutz was selected by faculty in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and leadership as one of 10 students to be named an ACEL Distinguished Senior.

“Taylor has been active in professional development in several areas of agriculture, beyond agricultural education while at both the Ohio State ATI and Columbus campuses. Taylor is active across CFAES, in AFA and was a runner up for Ms. Agriculture, all while she has maintained strong academic standing,” said ACEL faculty in her nomination.

As a student she helped start the Collegiate 4-H Club at Ohio State ATI and served as it’s vice-president. Once she transitioned to the Columbus campus she became a CFAES Ambassador and joined Collegiate Cattle Association. She also attended the annual Agricultural Future of America (AFA) Conference and served on their student advisory team her final year.

The internships and work experiences she held during college had a large impact on her future. She worked as a loss control representative for Nationwide Insurance and oversaw northern Ohio farms for the Agribusiness Risk Management division, was an education marketing intern with Valent USA LLC where she traveled across the country to talk with diverse farmers and growers to better their marketing and communications, and she worked for CFAES Marketing and Communications where she managed social media posts and created a podcast for the college.

“Each of these experiences have helped pave the path I choose after graduation,” said Lutz.

Lutz also recently completed 14-weeks of student teaching at Northmor High School and Northmor FFA. This experience gave her the in-person experience of teaching in an agricultural education program while under the supervision of a cooperating educator.

As her time as a Buckeye comes to a close, Lutz shared that although she has too many fond memories to count, some of her best ones would simply be meeting people as an ATI and CFAES ambassador and her time with AFA.

She reflects on her major, saying “Agriscience education is a great all around major. As a wise man once said, in the agriscience education major, you will learn an inch deep and mile wide worth of information about agriculture.”

Following graduation, Lutz will be pursuing a career as a high school agricultural educator, but is also open to a career in communications and marketing in the agricultural industry.

Leading activities the CFAES booth at the National FFA Convention.

Following an Ohio State victory over Michigan.

In Ireland with the CFAES Human and Animal Interactions

Speaking at AFA.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Clinton “Gage” Smith

Gage Smith is a senior majoring in community leadership, with a specialization in community and extension education, from Racine, Ohio.

He saw the impact that community based development has on people who need empowerment, and chose to major in community leadership. He became a Buckeye because he knew Ohio State would allow him to pursue his dream of working alongside diverse communities and that CFAES believed in him and his abilities.

Now, as his time as a Buckeye comes to a close, Smith has been selected by faculty in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership as one of 10 students to be named an ACEL Distinguished Senior.

“Gage has been involved in Ohio State life and academics at many levels,” said ACEL faculty in his nomination. “He is a program assistant in OSU Extension at the Community Development state office and is the founding President of the new student organization Cultivating Change whose mission is to value and elevate LGBTQ agriculturalists through advocacy, education, and community. He is making positive change in our college.”

Throughout his time as a student, Smith has been actively engaged in student organizations on campus. He served as president of the Ohio State chapter of Cultivating Change, member and social media chair of Voyagers, treasurer and fundraising chair for Collegiate FFA at Ohio State ATI and founded the Ohio State Wooster Campus Food Pantry.

During his summers throughout college, Smith interned with an international non-profit in Ghana, West Africa. “The experiences working with subsistence farm women to promote gender equity in micro-loans and savings has guided my career goals post-graduation to pursue a career in international development and community based program planning,” he said.

One experience during his internship has become his favorite college memory, caravanning alongside bull-elephants in the Guinea Savanna in Ghana, West Africa.

In the classroom, Smith enjoyed the classes that promoted learning outside of the classroom by offering volunteer opportunities at local nonprofits in the Columbus community.

“Community leadership graduates are skilled in diverse areas of community based engagement to solve the most wicked problems effecting communities across the world,” said Smith. “ If you are passionate about equity for all, progressive social change through science-based education, and creating positive change for entire communities – then community leadership is the major for you.”

Following graduation, Smith will be pursuing a graduate degree in international development.

In Ghana, Africa during his internship.

Hanging out with Brutus in the Ohio Union.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Brittany Weller

Brittany Weller is an agriscience education major from Bellevue, Ohio.

As an alum of a high school agricultural education and FFA, Weller recognizes the need for agricultural educators.

“As an agricultural educator, my hope is to bridge the gap between farm and consumer, and that all starts with education,” said Weller. “There are so many people in today’s society who do not know where their food comes from, and that is scary to them.”

From the first time she stepped on Ohio State’s campus, she knew there was no other option for her education, she was going to be a Buckeye!

“I remember my freshman year of high school I went to the CFAES booth [at FFA Convention], and talked to a couple CFAES ambassadors, and from that point on I was hooked. I knew that Ohio State had the best opportunities for agriscience education,” she said.

Eight years later, Weller has been selected by faculty in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership as one of 10 students to be named an ACEL Distinguished Senior.

“Brittany has been active in student organizations in CFAES, while also being a friendly face as an office worker in ACEL,” ACEL faculty noted in her nomination. “Brittany strives to maintain her strong academic standing and is passionate about caring for others and being in the ASE major. Brittany has represented OSU ASE at national professional development conferences.”

Weller just completed a 14-week student teaching experience at South Central High School agricultural education program and the South Central FFA. She is currently serving as an Ohio Teach Ag Ambassador, an opportunity that has confirmed her desire to be the in the classroom educating others. Internships with Sandusky County 4-H, Sunrise Cooperative and Ohio 4-H have also provided her with skills and lessons she will be able to apply to her teaching in the future.

She has been a member of the Poultry Judging Team, Saddle & Sirloin, Ohio Collegiate Cattle Association, Alpha Sigma Upsilon, the CFAES Banquet Committee, Agricultural Education Society and the Poultry Science Club.

In the classroom, Weller has always maintained high academics. But there was one class that she took as an elective that ended up being her favorite class from throughout her time at Ohio State.

I loved meat science with Dr. Garcia. Hands-down the best class that I took throughout college,” she said. “It wasn’t required, so I felt a little crazy for taking it because it was challenging for me, but I am so glad that I decided to do so. I learned so much in that class that I apply to both the classroom and my real life.”

Her interest in meat science also led her to being a member of the Ohio State Poultry Judging Team, following a poultry evaluation course.

“My best college memory would have to be traveling to Louisiana with my poultry judging team and placing 2nd at the contest. We had the chance to tour NOLA, eat good food, and go on a swamp tour,” she said. “It was a great trip with even better people.”

Now that her time at Ohio State is coming to an end, Weller encourages others to consider Ohio State and/or the agriscience education major because of the endless opportunities and the variety of classes.

“ACEL is also a home away from home, so being there in general is something that I enjoyed,” she said.

Following graduation, Weller plans to pursue a career as an agricultural educator in a comprehensive program, but is open to all opportunities that lie ahead.

South Central FFA’s student teacher.

At an Ohio State Football game with family.

In Italy on the Human and Animal Interactions Study Abroad.

Poultry Judging Team

Poultry Judging Team

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Marlee Stollar

Marlee Stollar is a senior studying agricultural communication from Marietta, Ohio.

Stollar grew up helping family with their agritourism farm and was a 4-H member. Both of these programs fueled her passion for agriculture. After being prompted to look into the agricultural communication major by her mom and sister, a student in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership at the time, she visited campus and knew it was the major for her.

As a senior, Stollar was selected by faculty in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and leadership as one of 10 students to be named an ACEL Distinguished Senior.

Stollar has been active in Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, serving as education chair, vice president and now president. She also was a co-chair of the CFAES Celebration of Students Banquet, a member of Towers Agricultural Honorary and their reporter and service chair, along with a sister in Alpha Sigma Upsilon.

She also completed a variety of internships with Congressman Bill Johnson, Ohio State University Extension’s Community Development office, Dairy Farmers of America, Mideast Area Office and Local Matters.

“My Local Matters and Community Development roles have helped me to better realize my passion for helping others,” said Stollar. “I hope to be the communications director of a nonprofit relating to food education and access in the future.”

Education Abroad was also a part of Stollar’s experiences at Ohio State. “I would say my best college memory was going to Brazil with Alpha Zeta partners. Specifically, I really enjoyed staying with my host family. That weekend, my best memory was visiting an agritourism-type lunch place in Brazil and getting ice cream afterwards with my host sister,” she said. She also traveled to England and Scotland with the agricultural and environmental communication program.

In the classroom, Stollar excelled in her agricultural communication courses and found that her favorite courses were both within and outside of her major. However, these courses both confirmed desire to work in nonprofit communications.

“My favorite class in the ACEL department was publication design and production with Dr. Specht,” said Stollar. “I learned so much about the basics of design, which has helped me so much in internships and jobs. One of my favorite parts about the class was learning more about fonts. Fun fact–my favorite font is Avenir!”

“Another class I really enjoyed was in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations. I learned so much about the importance of nonprofits in our world today, and all of the materials were relevant and interesting. It has also further developed my passion for food access and education,” she said.

When asked why someone should consider the agricultural communication major at Ohio State, Stollar shared “Agricultural communication gives students the tools to succeed in the communication field. You learn to improve your writing, as well as your design and photography skills. The professors are very helpful as well–they are always there to assist you if you need it. I would tell students to choose ag comm to be best prepared for communication in the agricultural industry.”

Following graduation, Stollar will enroll in graduate school at Ohio State where she will work towards a master’s degree in agricultural communication.


Marlee and a jersey cow at the Waterman Ag and Natural Resources Laboratory during ACT’s annual Farmers Share.

With Meredith, comparing photos during a study abroad trip.

Recruiting new ACT members at the annual CFAES Back to School Bash.

On the CFAES Agricultural and Environmental Communication study abroad program in England and Scotland.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Caleb Hickman

Caleb Hickman is a senior studying agriscience education from Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Hickman holds a passion for aiding youth from rural areas and he knew a major in agriscience education would open countless doors to help guide the next generation of agriculturalists.

With several alumni of The Ohio State University in his family, he knew of the opportunities he would be provided as a Buckeye which ultimately led to his decision to attend Ohio State.

“I was born a Buckeye,” said Hickman. “My family instilled a passion in me for the scarlet and gray.”

In its second year, the Distinguished Senior Award recognizes top students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. This year, Hickman is one of 10 students to be selected by faculty for the honor.

Of his nomination as an ACEL Distinguished Senior, agriscience education faculty shared that “Caleb has been and involved and committed ASE student. He has been active in organizations at the department and university levels while maintaining an excellent academic record, strong work ethic and overall positive contribution to the program and his peers.”

Hickman has been very active in student life, participating in ten student organizations and serving on several executive teams. He was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity – ATZ Chapter, Bucket and Dipper Junior Class Honorary, Romophos Sophomore Class Honorary, Stadium Scholarship Program, Fabulous Unique Neighborhood Hall Council, Agricultural Education Society, Buckeye library Leadership, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Community Commitment.  He also served as a senator for Undergraduate Student Government.

Although he participated in student organizations, his academics were always a top priority and led him to new passions.

“In the future, I plan on helping rural communities understand the complexities of living in a diverse world. This interest was sparked after taking a course titled Toward Cultural Proficiency, which was taught by Dr. Susie Whittington,” said Hickman. “She taught us how to help others understand an array of identities, cultural differences and ways of life. I found my passion for enhancing rural communities and aiding them in understanding an array of diverse backgrounds.”

“I loved classes that challenged me to my breaking point. Teaching methods with Dr. Kitchel and experiential learning with Dr. Bowling were two classes that pushed me to my limits,” he said.

He shared that in the teaching methods course, students were taught how to handle positive criticism, but more importantly the perspective that every child has a different set of needs, and it is up to the teacher to meet those needs.

“My experiential learning course, at times, made me exceedingly angry because I was passionate about the topics that were discussed in her course,” he said. “Positive youth development plays an essential role in children’s lives, but it is a challenging concept to comprehend. For myself, this topic hit exceedingly close to home, but I am a better person because of this course.”

Hickman also found time to complete a two-year internship with Guthridge, a construction company that provided him with resources on how to communicate trade school to his future students.

“College is not for everyone, and that is okay,” Hickman said. “Gutridge provided me with talents in disciplines that I have yet mastered, and I will be a better agriscience educator because of my time spent with them.”

He also completed 14 weeks of student teaching at Big Walnut High School with the Big Walnut-Delaware Area Career Center FFA Chapter.

“Student teaching provided me with an excellent opportunity to learn from an experienced educator that cares about enhancing the future of agricultural science education,” said Hickman. “Mr. Stimmell has become a mentor that I look forward to working with in the future. I am thankful for the time spent in this classroom and I cannot wait to see what the students of the Big Walnut FFA Chapter achieve next.”

She also recently completed 14 weeks of student teaching with Marion Local High School and the Marion Local FFA Chapter.

“Agriscience education is the first step in ensuring that the future of agriculture is going to continue to flourish. Becoming an educator is more than teaching in the classroom; it is becoming a community member that has a passion for bettering the lives of children outside of school,” Hickman said.

“Agriscience education and its parameters are vastly growing, and we must work together to bridge the gap between urban and rural youth. In my opinion, agriscience education is the solution, and that is why one should consider my major at Ohio State.”

Hickman also had a few parting words for underclassmen at Ohio State. “College is filled with ups and downs but embrace each opportunity and learn from the failures. It is up to you to change your mindset to eliminate the word failure because failure is only possible when you declare it. If you have the chance to try again, do it, but never stop trying to reach your fullest potential.”

Following graduation, Hickman will be attending the University of Kentucky’s graduate program in community leadership and development. He looks forward to becoming a high school agricultural educator following graduate school.

CFAES Senator Campaign Poster

Caleb’s first day as a student teacher at Big Walnut High School.

Caleb and his FarmHouse Fraternity brothers following the 2019 Christmas dinner with faculty and staff.

At centerfield with Stadium Scholars Program friends.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Lea Kimley

Lea Kimley is a senior studying agricultural communication from South Charleston, Ohio.

Growing up on a hog farm, Lea watched her family and other farmers mold to the changes in the world around them. She knew she wanted to purse a degree in agricultural communication in order to create a platform for her to speak out for an industry that has taught her so much.

And how did she end up at Ohio State? She grew up always wanting to be a Buckeye, but once she looked into agricultural communication programs at other colleges and universities, she realized the uniqueness of Ohio State’s program.

“[At Ohio State] we are able to learn vital communication skills, but at the same time our curriculum allows us to learn more about agriculture,” said Kimley.

This year, Kimley has been named one of 10 students selected by faculty as recipients of the ACEL Distinguished Senior Award. This award recognizes top students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL).

As a student, Kimley has been involved in the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) student organization, where she has served as president, social chair, education chair and leadership co-chair. She is also a member of Sigma Alpha, a professional agricultural sorority and served as their recruitment chair.

In the classroom she really enjoyed the public relations course and the publication design and production course, of which she became an undergraduate teaching assistant.

Kimley’s resume is also full of internship experiences, six to be exact. She completed internships with Herdmark Media, Ohio State Extension’s Agricultural and Natural Resources, Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net, Ohio Beef Council/Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Shift•ology and the Wendt Group/

“I was fortunate to complete six internships during my undergraduate career. As a result, I interned for a variety of companies that taught me an array of skills for my future career. Each internship helped me learn more about what kind of worker I am and what environments I thrive (and don’t thrive) in,” said Kimley, “However, through each real-world experience I learned that no matter where my career path leads me, I hope to continue to advocate for agriculture.”

As her time at Ohio State came to an abrupt close in March with the closure of Ohio State’s physical campus and move to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kimley shared that she will remember her friendships the most.

“While I may no longer be able to live so close to these amazing people, I know I will continuously cross paths with many as future peers, colleagues and friends within the industry,” she said.

And as for her time at Ohio State and a student in ACEL, “I have grown close with my peers as well as advisors because of the inclusive ACEL community. My favorite part about being an Ohio State agricultural communication major is that I never felt like just a number, the staff genuinely cares about the students.”

Following her graduation from Ohio State, Lea will begin as the digital marketing and community manager with The Wendt Group.

Lea and friends.

At Stonehenge during the CFAES Agricultural and Environmental Communications study abroad trip to England and Scotland.

Working with a friend and coworker in the NCBA booth.

With friends, cheering on the Buckeyes.

Preparing to cheer on the Buckeyes during a home football game.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Taylor Orr

Taylor Orr is a senior studying agriscience education with a minor in production agriculture from Frazeysburg, Ohio.

Orr chose to study agriscience education so that she could spread her love of agriculture to others, just as her mentors did for her.

“I want to be able to educate and inspire the growing minds of the variety of agriculture around them,” said Orr.

Ohio State was the right spot for her to pursue this dream, because of her love for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL).

In its second year, the Distinguished Senior Award recognizes top students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. This year, Orr is one of 10 students to be selected by faculty for the honor.

Of her nomination as an ACEL Distinguished Senior, agriscience education faculty noted that Orr “finds opportunities to participate in professional development within agricultural education as she prepares for her future as an ag teacher and has been an active student within the major and an excellent student role model for her peers.”

In the classroom, Orr excelled in her classes, maintaining high academic achievements. She enjoyed the agriscience education and production agriculture classes she had with her fellow agriscience education majors, as well as the study abroad courses she has that focused on human and animal interactions.

“This major (agriscience education) allows you to try a little of everything. As a future educator, this allows you to be a jack of all trades,” she said. “I have found that this major allowed me to look into different fields, such as meat science and welding. Agriscience education allows you to see agriculture in all of its different forms and then gives you the tools to teach it to others.”

Outside of the classroom, she completed an internship with the Ohio FFA Foundation that focused on the Teach Ag Campaign, which promoted the agricultural education profession to junior high and high school students at a variety of events and through various programming.

“This internship helped to reassure me of my passion for agriculture in the classroom and the ways that it impacts the world around us,” she said.

Orr also completed a 14-week student teaching experience with Ridgewood High School and Ridgewood FFA Chapter in West Lafayette, Ohio. She worked with cooperating educator Mrs. Sue Davis to learn about day-to-day experiences of an agricultural educator.

When asked about a favorite memory, like many others who have had the experiences, Orr said her time abroad with CFAES Education Abroad programs.

“I absolutely loved the opportunity to explore and learn about agriculture in other countries. Both of my experiences truly were eye-opening and allowed me to grow not only as a student but as a future educator,” she said.

Following graduation, Orr will be pursuing a career as a high school agricultural educator.

In Venice, Italy with the CFAES Human and Animal Interactions study abroad program in 2019.

At the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland with the CFAES Human and Animal Interactions study abroad program in 2018.

Taylor traveled to Italy with the CFAES Human and Animal Interactions study abroad program in 2019.

At a sheep farm in Ireland with the CFAES Human and Animal Interactions study abroad program in 2018.

A road side stop on the way to Florence, Italy during the CFAES Human and Animal Interactions study abroad in 2019.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Meredith Oglesby

Meredith Oglesby is a senior studying agricultural communication from Hillsboro, Ohio.

As a junior in high school, Oglesby was a member of the Ohio Youth Capital Challenge where she had the chance to implement a community garden at the Highland County Homeless Shelter in her hometown of Hillsboro.

Throughout the project she hand the chance to interact with residents who didn’t know about gardening or agriculture and weren’t eating the vegetables they had grown in their gardens. Olgesby worked with her county Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) educator and started hosting cooking demonstrations where residents were shown how to cook the vegetables and were provided with recipes. By the end of the summer, Oglesby saw the residents taking care of the garden without assistance from the program and enjoying the fresh produce.

When it came time for her to choose a major in college, she knew she has always enjoyed reading and writing, but she also thought about her experience with the garden and knew that communication was important, especially in agriculture.

“I had become interested in food security and hunger so I thought agricultural communication would allow me to combine a lot of things I liked to do,” said Oglesby. “I also looked at the sheet that the college has with potential jobs associated with the majors and the agricultural communication jobs sounded like fun!”

Both of Oglesby’s parents attended Ohio State, her dad graduating from a degree in the Department of Agricultural Education (now the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership),  so she grew up as a Buckeye.

“When I was nine my mom brought me to my first Ohio State football game and I remember walking in the stadium and seeing the student section, watching script Ohio and being excited when we won the game,” said Oglesby. “After the game I looked at my mom and I said ‘I want to go here!’ And from the age of nine I had my heart set on being a Buckeye. I had no idea what I wanted to do or what college even was at that point, but I was like ‘this place is amazing.’”

Many years later as a senior in high school, she visited the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and found that she still loved the atmosphere and everything CFAES had to offer, including the agricultural communication major.

“I didn’t apply to any other schools which in hindsight probably wasn’t the best idea, but this is where I wanted to be,” said Oglesby.

More than 12 years after her decision to attend Ohio State as a nine-year-old at Ohio Stadium, Oglesby has been selected as an ACEL Distinguished Senior. She is one of 10 students selected by faculty from the Department for the honor.

As a student at Ohio State, Oglesby has been a member of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT), serving as a CFAES Student Council representative, treasurer and secretary, Alpha Zeta Partners, where she was the Class 20 chronicler and the 2018-2019 chronicler, served as a CFAES Ambassador, participated in Buckeyethon for two years, Bucket and Dipper Junior Class Honorary, the CFAES Celebration of Students Banquet Planning Committee and was a member of the Ohio State Fair Junior Fairboard.

Education abroad programs were also a highlight of Oglesby’s college experience, as she participated in four programs. She traveled to Nicaragua in 2016 with other CFAES first year students, Australia, Brazil for six weeks with Alpha Zeta Partners and England and Scotland with the agricultural and environmental communications program.

During her senior year, she also completed a research project with Dr. Emily Buck designed to determine how the departments in one midwestern college of agricultural and environmental sciences are engaging with students. She also served as the editor of the AgriNaturalist, the annual student publication of the agricultural communication major.

In the classroom, Olgesby found the publication design and production course taught by Dr. Annie Specht to be her favorite, because she was encouraged to be creative through creating brand guides and graphics.

“I had never even heard of the Adobe Creative Cloud before her class,” she said. “This class proved to me I picked the right major.”

Agricultural communication students are required to complete two internships for graduation, and Olgesby did that and more. Completing internships with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, Ohio State Extension Highland County, Ohio Association of Foodbanks, Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net and Ohio State’s Sustainability Institute, she has gained real world experience that will prepare her for career in the agricultural communication industry.

“Through my internships, specifically with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and the Sustainability Institute, I realized the importance of effectively communicating research, data, and science,” she said. “I gained insight into how policy and communication take a systems approach in providing individuals with greater access to food. I began to understand how research and data are used to illustrate the need for agricultural and food programs in the state of Ohio.”

This internship experience, along with her time at the Sustainability Institute, solidified her decision to apply for graduate school after graduation to learn more about the impact research can have and how to effectively communicate science and research.

When asked if she has a favorite memory from throughout the past four years, Oglesby said it was hard for her to choose just one because she has loved being a student at Ohio State, but selected the opportunities to study abroad and travel the world as some of her top.

“My favorite memory from being a Buckeye is having the opportunity to study abroad in Australia. It was something I had on bucket list for years and I know that if I would have just traveled to Australia (as a vacation), I would have never have gotten to experience everything I did on my Ohio State study abroad,” she said. “My favorite moment was spending three days snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, seeing the sea turtles, clownfish and coral. I was basically living a real-life version of Finding Nemo and it is something I will never forget.”

Olgesby will begin her next chapter in the fall at the University of Florida, where she will be attending graduate school to study agricultural communication with a focus in food security and nonprofit studies. After graduate school, she hopes to obtain a communication job working for a nonprofit organization with a focus on food insecurity and agriculture.

Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.

With friends at an Ohio State football game.

Meredith during a visit to the Ohio Union.

Oglesby with Marlee Stollar, a best friend she met through her publication design and production course.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Elizabeth Landis

Elizabeth Landis is a senior studying agriscience education from Anna, Ohio.

Landis chose the major of agriscience education because she wanted to make sure future middle school and high school students had the opportunity to be educated about their food and have the option to pursue a career in agriculture if they desired.

She decided to choose Ohio State in hopes that the University, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) would provide her with the opportunities, challenges and relations that would prepare her to be the best educator.

“Being a Buckeye has fulfilled all the hopes I had as an incoming freshman,” said Landis.

In its second year, the Distinguished Senior Award recognizes top students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. This year, Landis is one of 10 students to be selected by faculty for the honor.

Of her nomination as an ACEL Distinguished Senior, agriscience education faculty noted that Landis has been a “servant leader, who maintains excellent academic standing, has completed several internships and is a positive role model for ASE students.”

As a student at Ohio State, Landis was involved with both Alpha Zeta Partners (AZP) and Agricultural Education Society (AES) of which she served as president in 2019 among a number of other roles throughout her four years in the organization, such as education and outreach chair, programming chair and secretary. She also represented the agriscience education on the ACEL Alumni Board for two years. For AZP, she was the Class 19 chronicler and scribe.

Landis completed several internships, including the Teach Ag Ohio agriscience education internship program as a freshman. “This experience gave me a lot of exposure to agricultural educators and insight to what a career in agricultural education would be like,” said Landis.

She also completed internships with Harvest Land Cooperative as a field technician, Ohio Soybean Council and Grow Next Gen, which gave her exposure to production agriculture on the producer and consumer side, and Beck’s Hybrids as an Ohio sales intern.

“My experiences with Harvest Land Cooperative, Ohio Soybean Council and Grow Next Gen made me realize that I enjoy being the link between producers and consumers. Sales is just like education. You work with people, communicate new information and help them make decisions.”

She also recently completed 14 weeks of student teaching with Marion Local High School and the Marion Local FFA Chapter.

In the classroom, Landis enjoyed the classes that she was able to take with her fellow agriscience education majors. “Learning and bonding with peers who have similar aspirations and passions was a great experience!” She also noted that she enjoyed her biology and agricultural communication classes, where a lot of the content was centered around current issues in our world, like global warming and antibiotic resistance.

Landis shared that the agriscience education major at Ohio State will prepare you for a career where you help students succeed every day and show them the opportunities that exist within agriculture.

“Being a Buckeye will prepare you to take on new challenges and strive to make yourself better every day so you can be a role model for your future students.”

When asked what memory stands out as her favorite, it involved football Saturdays in Columbus. “Making breakfast with my friends on football Saturdays and cheering on the Buckeyes together.”

Following graduation, Landis plans to teach agricultural education in a high school agriculture program.

Orientation for Dunn Sports and Wellness Scholars during her first week of college, with her cousin Sarah, a food science major.

Participating in CFAES Olympics with Agricultural Education Society.

CFAES Celebration of Students banquet committee.

With the 2019 ASE Block at FFA Camp Muskingum.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Trent Baldwin

Trent Baldwin is a senior studying community leadership with a focus in community and extension education from Salinas, California.

Baldwin transferred to Ohio State from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where he was majoring in agricultural business. While at Cal Poly, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in youth development and extension education, which was not available there, so he decided to make the move to Ohio.

“I visited Ohio State for a conference and immediately fell in love with the university and campus,” said Baldwin. “Coming from a much different setting than Columbus, it was exciting to move to a city with so much to explore.”

In its second year, the Distinguished Senior Award recognizes top students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. This year, Baldwin is one of 10 students to be selected by faculty for the honor.

Of his nomination as an ACEL Distinguished Senior, faculty noted that “Trent has been engaged in activities outside of the classroom, from helping to lead camp counselor workshops to participating in national 4-H organization events. He also has maintained a strong academic standing throughout his undergraduate career.”

As a student at Ohio State, Baldwin immediately got involved on campus. He has served as treasurer of Ohio State’s chapter of Cultivating Change, a national foundation whose purpose is to value and elevate LGBTQ agriculturists through advocacy, education, and community, service coordinator for Pi Lambda Phi, and an events chair for Collegiate 4-H. He has also been involved with Social Change with the Office of Student Life that brings together the communities of Ohio State and the State of Ohio through community-driven, multi-disciplinary programs to empower the local community.

Baldwin has completed internships with both the Licking County and Ashtabula County extension offices, where he assisted with the 4-H programs during the summer.

“It was an incredible and formative experience, and it taught me a lot about the work involved in youth development, not only with the individual child but with the whole community,” said Baldwin. “These internships helped me understand more about the experience of being an extension professional.”

Noting that his time with the Ashtabula County Extension Office was one of his best college memories, Baldwin said he came from a different background than Ashtabula County, but was embraced by the community and learned a lot from his experiences.

He also enjoyed the real-world experiences that several of his community leadership major courses offered, including the Teaching Methods in Non-formal Environments (Community Leadership 5330) and Prevention and Youth Development Through Sport, Recreation and Play (Social Work 2110).

“Having the experiences to develop my own lesson plans and design my own programs has been exciting,” he said.

Following completion of his undergraduate degree, Baldwin plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work.

“The community leadership major has so many potential career paths that it can prepare you for, and covers a variety of relevant information that anyone going into community work or development should know, such as leadership and educational theory, program design and more,” he said.




Baldwin on The Oval with the Non-formal Methods of Teaching course conducting tours of Ohio State’s campus.

Baldwin (far right) with OSU Mountaineers at Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia.

With his Pi Lambda Phi fraternity brothers.

Congratulations Trent and we wish you the best in your next endeavor! Thank you for letting ACEL be a part of your college experiences!