Vanco hired as closing specialist

Congratulations to 2019 agricultural communication graduate Josie Vanco who recently began a position with Farm Credit Mid-America as a closing specialist in Albany, Ohio.

Josie will also continue her livestock marketing and photography business by serving as a subcontractor to photograph livestock shoes and rodeos throughout the United States.

Best of luck Josie!



CFAES Alumni Award: Dr. Bryan Garton

Dr. Bryan Garton
2019 CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Bryan Garton is currently associate dean of academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri (MU). Dr. Garton’s academic roots extend to the Department of Agricultural Education and Leadership at MU, where he served the ranks of Assistant, Associate and Full Professor. He has received prestigious awards including induction as an AAAE Fellow, Kemper Teaching Fellow, and many research journal article and conference paper awards.

Dr. Garton has been recognized in numerous ways at the University of Missouri for his teaching excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Within the profession, his recognition is continued as a teacher educator and researcher. His reputation for mentoring graduate students is well-documented by the number of students whose career successes as university professors include leadership titles such as Assistant Dean, Department Chair, Teaching Center Co-Directors and Provost Faculty Fellow from universities across the country.

Dr. Garton is proud to be an Ohio State graduate and in particular, a graduate of this college and our department. He credits his experiences at Ohio State for preparing him for success as a teacher and researcher.


Congratulations Dr. Garton on your success as an agricultural educator and your recognition as an outstanding alum of CFAES!

Alumni Spotlight: Lori Heiby, ’91

[ACEL]: Hi Lori! Why did you select your major?
[Heiby]: I was raised on a farrow to finish swine and diversified crop farm in Mercer County, Ohio and was actively involved in the Coldwater FFA chapter so I decided to dual majored in agricultural education and animal sciences. I wanted to find a career that would allow me to remain involved in agriculture, as well as, help others understand the importance of agriculture.  Teaching agricultural education at the high school level gives me a chance to do both while helping young people realize their potential and prepare for the future.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
When I was selecting a college, Ohio State had a reputation for a excellent agricultural education department so it was an easy decision.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
After completing my degree, I looked at some options in the animal sciences field but nothing seemed to really fit at the time.  I guess down deep I knew what I really wanted to do was teach, so I began traveling the state looking for a teaching position.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I enjoyed a lot of my animal science and agriculture mechanics and systems classes.  I really enjoyed my swine and sheep production classes, too. They were very hands-on and gave me a chance to get back into the barn and out of the classroom.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education?
The professor that probably had the greatest impact on my career was Dr. Cano.  Dr. Cano was a graduate student when I began at Ohio State.  He taught Introduction to Agricultural Education my first quarter and eventually my methods of teaching class. He really help me become more confident in my teaching and helped me realize that the classroom was where I really belonged.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first teaching job after graduation was at Vanguard-Sentinel Career Center in Fremont, Ohio.  For the first two years, I spent the first half of the day as the second teacher at Lakota High School in Sandusky Coounty and the last half of the day at Old Fort High School in Seneca County. After two years, I became full-time at Old Fort High School.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
After teaching seven years with Vanguard-Sentinel, I moved to Spencerville High School for two years.  I just started my 17th year at Wayne Trace High School in Paulding, Ohio.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I have had many students accomplish great things so it is difficult to select a favorite.  Every success is a highlight of its own. No matter if it was a student winning a district contest, being elected as State FFA President or being a National Proficiency finalist, all are moments I am very proud of.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Don’t be afraid to go where ever the job is. So many graduates today seem to be fixated on going back to their home area. The best thing I ever did, for my career, was take a job over two hours from home.  It allowed me the chance to really concentrate on developing myself as a teacher and building a successful program.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
It cultivated in me a pride for my profession, a desire to help and educate other, both young and old, about the importance of agriculture by allowing me a chance to learn the skills and gain the knowledge needed to do so.


Alumni Spotlight: Kelly Newlon, ’98



Kelly Newlon came to Ohio State from Perry County, Ohio. She now works for the University as the Director of Education Abroad for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, a position she has held for 10 years. With her job, she has been able to travel to all seven continents!

[ACEL]: Hi Kelly! You completed your undergraduate degree in agricultural education. Why did you select that?
[Newlon]: I knew I wanted to pursue higher education administration by the end of my sophomore year. I had a love for CFAES and agricultural education and knew it would provide an excellent foundation for my career.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I am a third generation Buckeye and grew up coming to football and basketball games, imitating the drum major and knowing the cheers. There really was no other university in my mind.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
My production agriculture minor courses are what impress people in my general life the most today. People think it is cool that I know how to weld and select animals for breeding based on their EPDs. I also did some cool things with classes, most fun was earning my private pilot’s license.

What professor, faculty, or staff member had an impact on your education/career? How?
It is hard to think back now and think of what I thought as a student, but through my professional career Dr. Ray Miller made a huge impact. His quiet humility and extreme work ethic were exemplars for all around him.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
I studied abroad between my freshman and sophomore year and on the program met a student who was serving as a University Ambassador. She encouraged me to apply to be an ambassador and I got the job! As I have developed professionally I gained skills and it has taken me back to the classroom at the college level and I am ever grateful for having classroom management and student teaching course content.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
My primary involvement was as a University Ambassador and Alpha Sigma Upsilon sorority. I was also involved in CFAES Student Council, the Recognition Banquet Committee, Collegiate 4-H, Sphinx and Bucket and Dipper.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
Nothing beats the goose bumps I feel when the drum major comes running down the ramp during a home game against TTUN. The anticipation of the game to come and the comradely shared with those around you is unequaled.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I was the assistant director of admissions at Indian University in Bloomington, IN.

What other schools have you worked for during your career?
Indiana University, Capital University, The Ohio State University.

During your career, have you received any awards or honors? If so, what are those?
I have received the University Outstanding Student Organization Advisor award twice, Dr. L.H. Newcomb Excellence in Leadership and Service Award in 2015, Sphinx/Mortar Board Senior Honorary Faculty and Staff Award four times.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I love my work and take pride in the small moments of seeing students grow on programs. It is pretty cool that my career has taken me to seven continents though!

What professional organizations have you been involved with during your career?
North American College Teachers of Agriculture, National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association, National Association of Foreign Student Advisors, Forum on International Education, Diversity Abroad, National Association of College Admissions Councilors.

How are you involved in your community outside of your profession?
I have continues to advise Alpha Sigma Upsilon and helped found an alumnae association. I have also been active in the United Methodist Church including choir membership.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Be strategic and plan for your future, but always keep an eye out for how you could improve upon that vision. Don’t rule anything out!

What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
ACEL is all about servant leadership and I take great pride in being in a career that allows me to build a workforce that will give back and grow Ohio communities.

Newlon visited her seventh continent this summer when she visited Tanzania.


Newlon spent time in Antarctica a few years ago, learning about and experiencing a new education abroad program.


Alumni Spotlight: Katy Wuthrick Mumaw, ’07

Katy Wuthrick Mumaw graduated from Ohio State with a degree in agricultural communication in 2007. After eight years with the National FFA Organization, Katy now works as a reporter for Farm and Dairy in Northeastern Ohio.

[ACEL]: Hello Katy! You majored in agricultural communication. Why did you select that major?
I was always interested in pursuing a career in agriculture, but my strengths in high school were in social sciences and English. When I discovered a degree that combined my passion with my skills I was hooked.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Going to Ohio State was always a dream of mine, as my parents are both alumni. I chose Ohio State because of the reputation and caring staff.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
My education opened my eyes to all the possibilities in agricultural communications Because of my education, I continue to share the story of agriculture.

How were you involved outside of the classroom?
I was involved in the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Saddle and Sirloin Club and Sigma Alpha. I also worked in the Ohio State Extension Business Office.

Did you have a faculty or staff member that was influential to your time at Ohio State?
Dr. Mark Tucker showed me the power of inclusion. He ensured each member of the class was valued for what they brought to the table. Kelly Newlon opened my eyes to different cultures and concepts. I traveled to the Czech Republic with her and several other students during my time at Ohio State and I am still amazed at what I learned and the growth I experienced while abroad.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I have so many wonderful memories. One that sticks out is serving food at the Farm Science Review with Saddle and Sirloin — it was hot, it was fun and inside jokes kept us smiling.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I worked as an education specialist for the National FFA Organization.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My involvement in the development, launch and marketing of the National FFA Organization’s website in 2015.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Never stop learning and care deeply. Care about other people, care about your work, care about your influence on others.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL cultivated a passion in me to ask questions. ACEL instilled in me the value of diversity of thought and the power of a 360 perspective.

CFAES Top Ten Seniors in 2007

At an Ohio State game my senior year – 2006.

O-H-I-O with coworkers.

Czech Republic study abroad in 2005.

Dear Leah…CFAES Organizations

Dear Leah

Q: What different groups or organizations should I get involved in through the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences?

A:  Luckily for you, the answer to your question is a long list! No matter what your interest, there is a club or organization that I’m sure will provide the perfect fit!

Within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, there are various ways to get involved with a group of people who have the same kind of passion you do.

To start off with, there are academic teams to join that allow you to learn while also practicing skills you might already know. While there over 15 different teams to choose from, a few include the food product development team, weeds team, or even judging teams such as livestock, meat, horse, dairy, and soil.

Men of Alpha Gamma Rho

CFAES also has six different Greek organizations. There are four agricultural fraternities for the men to choose from, including Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Gamma Sigma, FarmHouse, and Delta Theta Sigma. As for the ladies, there are two agricultural sororities- Alpha Sigma Upsilon and Sigma Alpha. Greek life allows students an in-depth way to connect with their peers in organizations that are committed to brotherhood/sisterhood.

A few honoraries are offered as well, a couple of which are Alpha Zeta Partners and Towers Agricultural Honorary. These honoraries are committed to service to the College and the surrounding community.


Class ’17 Members of AZP doing Saturday community service at a Columbus homeless shelter.

The majority of the organizations on the CFAES campus are under the big umbrella category of “academic organizations.” With nearly 50 different groups to choose from, chances are you’ll find at least one that will be a fit for you! Some groups, such as Agribusiness Club, Agricultural Systems Management Club, or the Pre-Vet Club are geared towards students within those majors, although anyone is welcome to join, no matter your major! There are also clubs focused on different animals, such as the Buckeye Dairy Club, Collegiate Cattlewomen, or Saddle and Sirloin Club.



Saddle and Sirloin teaching the public about sheep.

As you can see, while I only listed a few of the groups or organizations within CFAES that you could join, there are many more! The full list of which can be viewed at Campus Life: Clubs and Organizations. My best advice is to join as many as you can juggle while still focusing on classes, personal life, work, or whatever else your schedule might hold! Your best college friends and best college memories are waiting for you among these organizations!

Meet Our Faculty: Dr. Caryn Filson

Growing up in a home centered around agriculture, it’s no wonder that Dr. Caryn Filson is now a lecturer in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State. Dr. Filson got her start in agriculture living on a hog and grain farm in Harrison, Ohio where she spent her childhood actively showing steers, hogs and lambs in 4-H.

She graduated from Diamond Oaks Career and Technical Center in an equine science program, then proceeded to earn her bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees all from Ohio State in agricultural education. Before returning to Ohio State as a lecturer, Dr. Filson taught middle school agriscience and earth science classes in Virginia for three years.

Aside from spending time with her two boys, Grady and Jasper, Dr. Filson also has an affinity for rescuing animals including two rescue dogs, Tanner and Josie, as well as two rescued bunnies from OSU animal research, Buckeye and Blitz. In her spare time, Dr. Filson loves to garden, work with livestock, go to outdoor country concerts, visit the beach, and travel to see family and friends across the state.

When asked what her “fun fact” is, it included her siblings. Three of the four siblings in her family all graduated with college degrees across the country in the same weekend. Her younger brother from Oklahoma State with his bachelor’s, her older sister from the University of Cincinnati with her master’s, and then Caryn from Ohio State with her PhD. The most impressive part? Her parents and older brother made it to all three graduations that weekend!


Dr. Filson and son Jasper




Sons Grady (5) and Jasper (2)



Grady hanging out with the hogs.


Dr. Filson can be contacted via email at

Dear Leah…study abroad?

Dear Leah
Q: As an incoming student to CFAES this fall, I have been looking forward to college and was curious about the study abroad opportunities. I was wondering what all study abroad trips would be available for me to do, and if it’s worth it to spend that much money? I’m also concerned that studying abroad would make me graduate late because I would be taking time away from school to travel. Any advice?

A: As a senior this fall, I have studied at Ohio State for three years. Cheered on three winning seasons of Buckeye football. Taken three different psychology courses. Eaten three times my weight in Raising Cane’s chicken tenders. Had three different jobs. Had three different roommates. And traveled abroad to three countries.

The dream of studying abroad was one of the major reasons that I was so excited to move away to college and experience the world. I came from a small farm town in Ohio where I was fairly sheltered about what the world and global community had to offer. Ohio State was the perfect avenue for me to get out and culture myself.

For me, studying abroad has been one of the most beneficial and influential things I have done since moving to Columbus. The summer after my sophomore year I went on a two-week study abroad trip to England and Scotland that was primarily focused on agricultural communication. We spent time learning about the culture of the United Kingdom, eating their foods, talking with locals, admiring architecture, visiting various agricultural newspaper and magazine companies, and comparing their agricultural practices to our own.

This past spring I traveled to Brazil with fourteen of my peers where we spent six weeks immersed in Brazilian culture. Alpha Zeta Partners, a professional agricultural honorary fraternity in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, takes students to Brazil every January to learn about their fast growing agricultural sector. What I learned and experienced while in Brazil taught me more than I could have ever imagined.

Although I can’t speak for everyone, my best advice to incoming and current students is that if you have the opportunity to study abroad and see the world- DO IT! Take the leap. The programs are designed to fit with your class schedule so that you still receive course credit and can stay on track to graduate. There are also programs that you can do where you study abroad during summer break, winter break, and even spring break if you would rather not travel during the school year. Financially, I can almost guarantee that you won’t find a better price point to travel and do everything that is included in the programs. Although they can be somewhat expensive, they are relatively cheap in comparison to doing the exact same trip on your own. There are also scholarships available to students who wish to study abroad, and the College works very hard to financially help out every student that wants to travel. Throughout CFAES there are many trips abroad that focus on agriculture and environmental sciences, but there are also countless programs within the University as a whole that can take you anywhere around the world.

College is the place where you go to learn, and what better way to do that than by traveling and immersing yourself in other cultures? Diversity and cultural awareness are highly sought after in any workplace, and the skills and lessons you learn while abroad way exceed what you can learn in a classroom in Columbus. So my final advice is: get your passport, pack your bags, and go explore all that the world has to offer!


A Brazilian bull at a breeding facility.



The agricultural school we studied at in Brazil.



“I love Brazil”



One of the best parts of Brazil: a steakhouse.



Our Ohio State group and Brazilian student Alan at the National Cathedral.



Posing with a bagpipe statue in Scotland.



O-H-I-O at Stonehenge.

To learn more about study abroad opportunities within CFAES, visit Agricultural Administration Room 100, or email Kelly Newlon at For study abroad opportunities for all of Ohio State, visit the Office of International Affairs.



The “Dear Leah” column is written by agricultural communication senior Leah Schwinn. You can submit a student life related question at


ACEL Chair Appointed

Tracy Kitchel, Ph.D. will return to Ohio State as the Chair of the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. Subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, Dr. Kitchel’s appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2016.

Dr. Tracy Kitchel

Dr. Tracy Kitchel

Kitchel recently served as assistant vice provost for graduate and postdoctoral affairs for the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Missouri where he directed the campus fellowship selection process, coordinated events and graduate assistant teaching orientation, and advocated for graduate students on various committees. He also was an associate professor for the Department of Agricultural Education and Leadership in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. He was a faculty member for the Center for the Collaboration and Development of Educational Innovations and the Center for Human Dimensions in Natural Resources.

The Gold Chalk Award for excellence in graduate teaching from the University of Missouri Graduate Professional Council, the Superior Graduate Faculty Award from the University of Missouri Graduate Student Association, and the Great Plains IDEA (Interactive Distance Education Alliance) Faculty Excellence Award are among many of Dr. Kitchel’s awards and honors. Dr. Kitchel received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Ohio State University and his doctoral degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Missouri.

Some information from this post was included on the CFAES faculty and staff blog.



Upcoming Deadlines

There are a variety of applications that are due in the next few weeks. Students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership should look into each opportunity and submit an application if you wish to become more involved.


CFAES Ambassador Team
Deadline February 5, 2016 at 5pm 
The CFAES Ambassadors are a team of students who represent the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) for recruitment purposes. The team size ranges from 20 to 30 current, undergraduate students who have been selected through an application and interview process. Ambassadors are trained to provide tours of the CFAES campus as well as enhance recruitment initiatives with the “student touch.” They also have opportunities to travel and present about CFAES. The CFAES Ambassador Team recruits not only high school students, but prospective transfer and transitioning students as well.

Applicants will be notified via e-mail if they have been chosen for an interview. If selected for the first interview round, students will participate in several short interviews called Speed Interviews on February 15. The second round of interviews will include a short welcome, quiz, and traditional interview questions on February 26. Applications are available online and are due by 5pm on Friday, February 5, 2016.


CFAES Peer Mentors
Deadline February 5, 2016 at 5pm 
The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Peer Mentors serve as a contact person and teaching assistant to new first year students in the college. A Peer Mentor’s role is to help new first year students feel welcome into CFAES, be a source of information, and share experiences of transitioning to Ohio State. As a CFAES Peer Mentor, you will: strengthen invaluable personal, interpersonal, and leadership skills, develop a professional relationship with CFAES faculty and staff, gain teaching and mentoring experiences, add to your critical professional development skills for an enhanced resume, inspire new first year students to strive for excellence and facilitate their integration into Ohio State and CFAES. Submission Deadline: Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 5:00pm. Application, requirements, and important information can be found at: Contact


Day in the Life of a Buckeye Host (March 23, 2016)
Deadline February 7, 2016
Help FAES shine as we host high school sophomores and juniors on Wednesday, March 23 from 9 am – 3pm. High school student will shadow you for the day, as you attend class, eat in campus dining, visit RPAC, or go to a residence hall. The program encourages Rural and inner-city youth explore opportunities to overcome obstacles. Free lunch provided. The program is for one day only.

Sign up before the deadline of February 7 at
Click on: Ohio State Student Host Application
For more information, contact DaVonti Haynes at


CFAES Scholarships
Incoming and current CFAES, ATI/Wooster students and Ohio 4-H members your care in completing this form is very important. Please carefully read and follow the instructions. If you are applying for Ohio 4-H scholarships, there will be additional drop down boxes to complete. The priority deadline for submitting this form via the web is February 15, 2016. Apply here


University Hosts (Ohio State Campus Mingler/Greeter)
Deadline February 15, 2016
University Hosts welcome prospective students and their families to campus. They interact with families before their admissions overview and tour. Hosts are able to work on their public speaking and interpersonal skills through this position. Check out our website – – for information on info sessions, minimum requirements, and the application. It is due on Sunday, February 14th, 2016. Please send an email to if you have questions beyond what is listed on the website.


University Ambassadors (Ohio State Campus Tour Guide)
Deadline: February 21, 2016
University Ambassadors lead prospective students and guests on walking tours of campus. Ambassadors must have strong public speaking and critical thinking skills. Applications for our Summer 2016 AND Fall 2016 hiring cycles are due on Sunday, February 21st, 2016. Check out our website – – for information on info sessions, minimum requirements, and the application. Please note that you are required to attend an info session in order to apply for this position. Send an email to if you have questions beyond what is listed on the website.