ACEL to celebrate National Teach Ag Day, host info session

For the last 12 years, the National Teach Ag Campaign has celebrated current and future agriculture teachers across the United States with National Teach Ag Day. The 2021 celebration will take place on September 16th and the National Teach Ag Campaign wants to invite everyone who has been positively impacted by agricultural education to join in the celebration.

More than 13,000 agriculture teachers nationwide and more than 530 in Ohio strive to impact the lives of students through classroom instruction, experiential learning, and leadership development every day, and National Teach Ag Day is just one-way individuals are encouraged to pursue a rewarding career in teaching agriculture.

National Teach Ag Day also brings awareness to the current, national demand for agriscience teachers. Every year, more than 100 new agriscience programs open and need highly qualified, diverse, and dedicated agriscience teachers to make a difference in the lives of their students across the country.

To celebrate, the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) at The Ohio State University will host a virtual info session on the agriscience education major on National Teach Ag Day. The one-hour program, from 7-8pm EDT, will include an overview of the major, a breakout session with current students and an overview of Ohio State and our application process. Any high school or college students interested in learning more about this profession are encouraged to register at go.osu.edu/ASEinfosession.

“Contrary to popular opinion, agriscience education programs are increasing in Ohio with 26 new programs and 35 additional teaching positions added in the state since 2015,” said Dr. Shannon Washburn, professor of agriscience education and chair of ACEL, “We believe that all young people deserve to have opportunities to learn about the science of food production and to be exposed to the wide spectrum of exciting careers involved in preserving our natural resources while feeding the world. This learning begins for so many young people in an agriscience education classroom and agriscience education teachers make that happen.”

The agriscience education major at Ohio State began in 1917. This program prepares its students to acquire a license to teach agricultural science in secondary high schools in Ohio and across the country. They go through extensive training in agricultural science, educational psychology, instructional methods, and youth development. The major continues to develop ways to prepare aspiring agricultural educators so they can use their education to mold the youth of today into the future leaders of tomorrows agriculture industry.

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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Evans hired as 4-H educator in Huron County

Evans, 2020

Join us in congratulating alum Haley Evans ‘20, who was recently hired as a 4-H Youth Development educator for The Ohio State University Extension Huron County.
 
Evans completed a bachelor of science in agriscience education in May 2020. During her time as an undergraduate Buckeye, she completed internships with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources , Franklin County Metro Parks and 12 weeks of student teaching at Firelands High School.
 
Congratulations Haley!

McMullen places first in regional interview contest

McMullen, 2020

Nicole McMullen, a junior studying agriscience education, earned the top award in the interview contest during the virtual Region V Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Cluster. She will represent Ohio State and Region V at the National MANRRS Conference this spring.

MANRRS is a national society of people of all racial and ethnical groups in agricultural and related science careers with a focus on promoting these fields in a positive manner among ethnic minorities.

The interview contest is an opportunity to practice real-life skills needed to apply for a job. Participants prepare a resume and cover letter for a job they chose from the Interview Contest Job Descriptions. Contestants are also evaluated on their performance during a mock interview.

The goal of this contest is for participants to consistently meet and practice the skills that bring the benefits of comfort in interview scenarios; confidence, critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, impromptu speaking, self-esteem and non-verbal practice and awareness.

“We are proud of Nicole for the growth and effort she put forward to lead to success in this contest,” said Dr. Shannon Washburn, professor of agriscience education and chair for the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. “Participation in organizations like MANRRS and the opportunities they provide to students are valuable in the development of their careers. Nicole will benefit greatly from this experience as she enters the agricultural education profession.”

In 2019, McMullen was awarded first place in the impromptu speech contest for Region V. She completed a virtual internship this past summer with John Deere, which she obtained during a career fair at the 2019 Region V MANRRS Cluster at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Agriscience education is one of three undergraduate majors within ACEL. This major prepares students to acquire a license to teach agricultural science in secondary schools through extensive training in agriculture science, educational psychology, instructional methods and youth development. For additional information on the agriscience education major or how you can make a financial contribution to student scholarships, visit acel.osu.edu.

News Release: Shaffter awarded national agricultural education scholarship

Paige Schaffter, a senior in agriscience education from Edon, Ohio, has been selected for the 2020 Upper Division Agricultural Education Scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

NAAE awards the $1,500 scholarships to twenty students across the United States. The purpose of the scholarship is to offset expenses during the recipients’ student teaching experience and selection was based on academic performance, as well as on leadership and service activities. Schaffter will be student teaching with Pettisville High School in Pettisville, Ohio during the 2021 Spring Semester.

“We are thrilled to hear that Paige has been selected as a recipient of this scholarship,” said Dr. Shannon Washburn, professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership at The Ohio State University. “Paige is deserving of this national recognition and this scholarship will help her as she works in a full-time student teacher position with evening and weekend responsibilities that are part of the agricultural education profession.”

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 acel.osu.edu or call 614.247.6358.

Whittington selected as president-elect of NACTA professional society

Dr. M. Susie Whittington, professor of agriscience education in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL), has been selected as president-elect of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agricultural (NACTA). NACTA, which was formed in 1955 as a professional society, focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning in agriculture and related disciplines at the postsecondary level. Members of NACTA are from two-year and four-year colleges, both public and private.

Whittington will serve as president-elect for 2020-2021 and will take over leadership of the organization at the 2021 annual conference, which is scheduled to be held at Ohio State’s Wooster campus in June 2021.

Since joining the department in 2000, Whittington has taught a variety of courses in the agriscience education major, preparing students to become high school agricultural educators through teaching methods, cultural proficiency, and program planning, as well as graduate courses in data collection and in advanced teaching methods.

In addition to her faculty role with ACEL, Whittington serves as executive director for Ohio State’s Second-Year Transformational Experience Program (STEP), which is a university-wide program focused on student success and development that allows students opportunities to engage in high impact practices that cater to their individual interests and needs.

“We are so proud in ACEL and Ohio State to have our very own Dr. Susie Whittington serve as president in this premier international organization,” said Dr. Scott Scheer, professor and interim chair of ACEL. “NACTA is fortunate to have Dr. Whittington in this role because she brings in a wealth of national and university leadership experience from serving as president in the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) to the university-wide Director of STEP at Ohio State. NACTA will certainly thrive and improve with Dr. Whittington as its president.”

“As a member of NACTA since the early 1990s, my teaching has benefitted from the talent and expertise of its members,” said Whittington. “I look forward to giving-back and to paying forward to a society that has given so much to me.”

Whittington is a three time graduate of Ohio State, earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in agricultural education in 1982, 1988 and 1991, respectively.

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.

ACEL undergraduates present research

Students from the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) presented at undergraduate research forums at The Ohio State University. The University’s Richard J. and Martha D. Denman Undergraduate Research Forum was held on March 3, 2020.

Because of the closure of Ohio State’s physical campus, the Undergraduate Research Forum for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences was cancelled and the University’s annual Spring Undergraduate Research Festival was moved to a virtual edition from April 14-21, 2020.

Hickman

Caleb Hickman, a senior studying agriscience education from Mount Vernon, participated in the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum. For his research project, “Exploring the Factors that Influence Post-Secondary Enrollment in Rural Communities,” Hickman was mentored by Dr. Jera Niewoehner-Green, assistant professor of community leadership.

Stollar

Marlee Stollar, a senior studying agricultural communication from Marietta, participated in the Undergraduate Research Festival. Her research project, “The Impact of Labels and Preconceptions on Ohio State Students’ Food Buying Habits” was presented at the virtual version of the event. She was mentored by Dr. Annie Specht, assistant professor of agricultural communication, and Dr. Amanda Bowling, assistant professor of agriscience education.

Oglesby

Meredith Oglesby, a senior studying agricultural communication from Hillsboro, also participated in the virtual Undergraduate Research Festival. Her research project, “Engaged audiences through social media in colleges of agricultural and environmental sciences,” she was mentored by Dr. Emily Buck, professor of agricultural communication.

“We’re extremely proud of our undergraduate students who have taken the imitative to perform research that will answer questions related to post-secondary enrollment, food purchasing habits and social media usage of colleges of agriculture,” said Dr. Scott Scheer, professor and interim chair of ACEL. “It is clear these students advanced their research skills by putting in many hours as they collected and analyzed data, along with preparing their results for presentation.”

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.

ACEL alumni named finalists for Ohio’s Golden Owl Award

Eight alumni from Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) were named finalists for Ohio’s Golden Owl Award.

In the second year of the award program, 10 teachers from Ohio were selected as honorees, each receiving a $500 price and entrance into the finalist selection state. This award is presented in partnership with Nationwide, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio FFA to shed light on the contributions of Ohio’s agricultural educators. They collected over 400 nominations from local students, fellow teachers, parents and community members.

Eight of Ohio’s 10 honorees have at least one degree in agricultural education from Ohio State:

  • Christi Bachman ’89, Bloom Carroll High School
  • Nathan Birkhimer ’15, Fayetteville Perry High School
  • Hannah Everetts ’12, Edon Northwest School
  • Colin Gierke ’83, Global Impact STEM Academy
  • Sarah Lucha ’01, ’02 MS, South Central High School
  • Tyler Pope ’05, Buckeye Central High School
  • Jeremy Ryan ’11, West Muskingum High School
  • Wendi Mizer Stachler ’99 , Miami Trace High School

“It is evident that our alumni make an impact in their communities based on each of these individuals being nominated for this award,” said Dr. Scott Scheer, professor and interim chair of ACEL. “On behalf of the department, I congratulate them on their recognition and thank them for being mentors to their students, our Ohio State students and the example they set daily for the agricultural education profession.”

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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News Release: Ohio State student presents at national CABLE spring conference

Ohio State agriscience education student Haley Wilson recently attended the annual spring conference for the Consortium for Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Education (CABLE). The conference was held in early March at Colorado State University.

As a CABLE Student Delegate, Wilson completed a research project related to bioeconomy and presented it at the conference. Wilson’s project, completed with three other CABLE student delegates from across the nation, was “Beyond the Billon Ton Report: A look into the financial, technical, and motivational barriers facing the bioeconomy.” This project was sponsored by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Haley has been a great asset to the CABLE program as a student delegate. Her expertise is in agriscience education and communication and through the CABLE program, she used these skills to show the importance of social- science in a hard-science industry,” said Dr. Caryn Filson, assistant professor of professional practice for agriscience education and faculty mentor to Wilson. “Haley had the opportunity to collaborate with other student delegates, who were trained in the traditional hard-sciences, to help them better communicate and educate their research to the general public.”

In addition to the research project, Wilson also received leadership training, networked with industry leaders and learned about internship opportunities as part of the yearlong delegate program. Delegates participate in monthly one-hour webinars, attend two four-day events, conduct campus seminars and engagement projects on their home campus and participate in mentor sessions with a faculty mentor.

“As Haley’s faculty mentor, I was proud to see her step into a leadership role among her delegate peers and use her agriscience education skills to impact future leaders in the bioeconomy,” said Filson.

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 acel.osu.edu or call 614.247.6358.