Alumni Spotlight: Xiang Gu ’16

Xiang Gu came to The Ohio State University as a community leadership major for autumn semester 2012 from Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. He was the first freshman to declare this new major (formerly known as specializations of the agricultural and extension education major). After four years in Columbus, “Shaun” graduated with a bachelor of science. Shaun now works for The Ohio State University in Shanghai, China as an alumni relations and event planning specialist with the China Gateway Office.

Why did you select the community leadership major?
When I received the [admittance] offer from Ohio State, I also got a list of “recommended majors”. I wanted to pick a major with less Chinese student and this major caught my eye. After the discussion with my parents I made this bold, but right decision.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Good question for international students – most of us haven’t been to the United States of America before we started our campus life, including me. So we choose the school based on the information online and from our friends. My reasons were: 1. good academic reputation, 2. affordable tuition fee and 3. located in urban area.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
Well I think my job now is kind of self-explained. Ohio State not only offered me great academic resource, but also a global vision. So I would like to share this great experience with more Chinese students and alumni.

How were you involved in the campus outside of our academics?
I have some friends from Taiwan so I joined TWSA in my freshman year.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? 
It’s a difficult question. I will say photography. Although I didn’t do well in that class, I did learn some skills from this class – and it’s very useful in the real life.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education?
I will say Dr. Robert Birkenholz and Dr. Jeff King. They not only helped me with my studies at Ohio State, but also offered a lot of help in my campus life. They shared their own experience, knowledge and time with me selflessly. I sincerely appreciate their help during the time I spent at Ohio State.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
The time we won the [football] National Championship in 2015. Celebrating with other friends on The Oval.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I worked in a small local company in Columbus as an E-commercial operation specialist.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
After the job in Columbus, I went to Africa (Angola, Kenya and South Africa) and worked for McKinsey as a project assistant. Then I went back to China to serve the buckeye community.

How are you involved in your community outside of your career?
I worked close with buckeye community in the Greater China area and involved in nearly every alumni events.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I will say the time I spent in Africa with Mckinsey.

  • Participated in China Africa Investment Opportunity Outlook Project as surveyor in Angola and South Africa
  • Interviewed 90+ Chinese entrepreneur of SOE and private sector, collected data, completed survey and wrote field report
  • Analyzed data and composed 500 pages PPT of all project-related African countries

What advice would you give to a current student?
Take a broader view. This world is big and try to explore it before the death.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
Global vision and critical thinking through the ACEL education program and staff.


OHIO with friends.


During my work in Africa with McKinsey.

Alumni Spotlight: Kendall Glasser ’17


Kendall Glasser graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 2017. She majored in community leadership with a minor in nonprofit studies. Glasser now works as a referral intake coordinator for Make-A-Wish: Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

[ACEL]: Hi Kendall! Share with us why you selected to major in community leadership.
[Glasser]: I selected community leadership based on what I felt was important in my past experiences and what I wanted to focus on in my future. Looking at the strong communities and the leaders that has shaped and influenced me. Like many students, my first year at Ohio State I felt lost in what I wanted to study, but finding community leadership seemed like a perfect fit. I like to tell people it felt more like studying myself and the important tools and skills in order to put good into the world.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I grew up in a suburb about 10 minutes away from campus, so Ohio State has always been pretty prominent in my life. However, when it was time decide on college, it was the endless opportunities that drew me to OSU. I knew I would grow personally, professionally and academically, all while being apart of a strong and supportive community.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
Looking back on my education at Ohio State, I would say the aspect of giving back and the idea of being apart of something bigger than yourself influenced my current career choices. Working for a large nonprofit organization, such as Make-A-Wish, has always been a major goal of mine and I would credit my time at Ohio State and ACEL for giving me the confidence and skills for reaching that goal right out of college.

Did you have any classes that you took that stand out more than others?
It’s hard to choose a favorite class at Ohio State because I felt so lucky to have a diverse list to choose from. However, I would say I really appreciated the classes for ACEL.  They felt very self-reflective but at the same time group oriented and community-based which I thought was a refreshing balance compared to your average lecture.

Did a specific professor or faculty member have an influence on your time at Ohio State?
The first person that comes to mind is Dr. King.  He was the first of many professors at Ohio State that I felt I really related to.  He never made me feel like I was wrong and really got me interested in ethics and leadership within teams and groups, which are subjects I find really important and want to focus on in my current and future careers.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
Overall, I think it’s the people and pride that make Ohio State the place that it is.  The traditions that are created and continued for years make students feel like they are apart of something special.  I would bet a lot of alumni out there that would love to go back to their campus apartment or house with their roommates if they could, and I’m one of them.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
Working for Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana as a referral intake coordinator!

While you were a student, you also worked to help advance your career. What were those positions?
I worked as a youth program coordinator for First Community Church and for a small nonprofit called the Tri-Village Mentor League.  I also spent majority of my time working as a program team member and then program director for Camp Akita.  I am proud that I was able to work full-time and be a full-time student throughout my college career.

How are you involved in your community outside of your career?
Although I am working fulltime for Make-A-Wish, I am still involved in my previous jobs.  I am on the council for Camp Akita and volunteer once a week for First Community Church Youth Program.

What advice would you give to a current student?
I would tell them to consider themselves and the person they want to be in everything they do.  Try new things, talk to new people, go out of your comfort zone but although cliché, remember what is important to you.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
I think ACEL gave me the confidence and independence to be where I am today and hope to be in the future.  ACEL helped me think in ways I’ve never thought before and to see in a new perspective which I think will guide me well.


Three Weeks Left to Apply to Ohio State (for Autumn 2018!)

Dear future college student –

Deciding which college to go to is one of the more difficult decisions you will make during your young adult years. Many people look at college in different ways, but I am certainly glad I chose The Ohio State University as the college I would attend.

Melanie (right) and a friend cheer on the Buckeyes at a football game this past season.

My name is Melanie Fuhrmann. I am a current student at Ohio State majoring in community leadership. As a triplet, my decision of colleges was slightly more difficult than others; I had to decide if I wanted to leave my brothers or go where I knew I should go.

Ohio State isn’t just another college, it is a family. You will come to know that there are Buckeyes all over the world and they will support you in everything you do. I went on a service trip called BUCK-I-SERV and had the opportunity to meet alumni all the way in Louisiana that wanted to hear all about my college experiences and help any way they could.

Ohio State will never disappoint you if you decide to attend. It is a huge community, comprised of people who want to help you. You will always be a Buckeye, and will always have that connection with your Buckeye community throughout your life.

The deadline to apply for admission to the Columbus campus of Ohio State is February 1, 2018 – just three weeks from today! Don’t delay in completing your application.

Go Buckeyes!
Melanie ’22
community leadership major


P.S. If you haven’t already visited campus, schedule an “Experience Ohio State for a Day” visit to learn more about the majors of agricultural communication, agriscience education and community leadership. Schedule your visit at

Alumni Spotlight: Allen Auck ’83, ’99 MS

Allen Auck completed a bachelor of science in agricultural education in 1983 and a master of sicence in 1999. Auck currently works for Ohio 4-H Youth Development as a program manager for events and activities.
[ACEL]: Hi Allen! Why did you select a major in agricultural education?
[Auck]: I chose agricultural education because I had an interest in teaching.
Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Ohio State was one of only two colleges that offered the agricultural education major.
What were you involved in as an Ohio State student:
I was involved in Collegiate 4-H, Agricultural Education Society and I worked basketball inter-murals as an official.
What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first job following my education at Ohio State was a vocational agriculture instructor.
Throughout your career, where have you worked?
Bluffton Exempt Village Schools, Erie County 4-H Camps and The Ohio State University.
During your career, have you received any awards or honors? If so, what are those?
Distinguished Service Award, 4-H,
Meritorious Service Award, 4-H, 25 year award.

Alumni Spotlight: Lucinda Miller, ’74, ’77 MS, ’09 PhD

Lucinda Berry Miller joined our department for her master and doctoral degrees in agricultural education, which she completed in 1977 and 2009, respectively. Originally from Ashland, Ohio, Lucinda now resides in Mt. Vernon, Ohio and works for The Ohio State University Extension as an extension specialist with 4-H Youth Development livestock, companion and small animal programs.

[ACEL]: Hello Lucinda! You completed your undergraduate degree in animal science at Ohio State and then completed a master’s degree in agricultural education. Why did you choose our graduate program?
[Miller]: I wanted to do something related to agriculture and follow my love of 4-H.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University for all three of your degrees?
Is there any other? Seriously though, I chose Ohio State to get the education I needed to either teach vocational agriculture or become an Extension professional.

Did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career?
Actually it was my professors who influenced my career path.

What professor was that for you?
Dr. Joe Gliem had the biggest impact as he constantly urged me to think critically and problem solve. He never gave up on me and always encouraged me.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? Did you have a favorite?
I enjoyed the animal production classes the most. Horse Production was my favorite, because of my love of horses and Dr. Charlie Hutton as my professor.

Outside of the classroom, in what activities did you participate?
I was involved in Saddle and Sirloin Club. I also worked as a student employee at the OSU horse barns for 3.5 years as an undergrad.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I really enjoyed working at the OSU Horse Facilities and learning from Dr. Hutton and Chuck Smith.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I taught a Small Animal Care unit at Live Oaks Career Center as a vocational agriculture instructor. I actually did my student teaching during my first fall of teaching!

Over the course of your career, what positions have you held?
I have worked at Live Oaks Career Center, OSU Extension in Pike and Scioto counties and for the State 4-H Office.

You’ve been recognized by a number of organizations for your dedication to 4-H. What are some of those awards? I don’t remember all, but some include Excellence in 4-H, National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Distinguished Service Award and Meritorious Service Award and I was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame.

We know your career isn’t completed yet, so as of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I think my favorite and most rewarding is seeing former 4-H members, such as yourself*, be successful as adults; hopefully a lot of that success was instilled in them as 4-H members.

We have several students interested in Extension and positions like you have held. What advice would you give them?
My advice is for students to follow their dreams, find a vocation they love and that doesn’t seem like a job, and take advantage of job opportunities that come along to fulfill those dreams. (Good study habits never hurt, either!)

Our last question, what did ACEL cultivate in you?
I think ACEL taught me how to engage students to take risks and explore the many avenues of learning. Dr. L.H. Newcomb and Dr. Joe Gliem taught me how to be a successful teacher.

Thanks Lucinda!

*Miller refers to Emily Wickham, who conducted this interview. Wickham was a 13 year 4-H member in Pike County while Miller served as the 4-H agent/educator.

Alumni Spotlight: Tom McNutt, ’55, ’62 MS

Tom McNutt graduated with his bachelor and master degrees in agricultural education in 1955 and 1962, respectively. Originally from Dunkirk, Ohio, Tom and his wife reside in Hilliard. He has worked in a few positions over the years, with his most recognizable one being the garden expert on NBC4 each Saturday morning from 1989 to 2013.

[ACEL]: Hello Tom! You majored in agricultural education. What influenced your decision to choose that major?
[McNutt]: I was very active in 4-H, FFA, and Vocational Agriculture in school and wanted to be like my Vocational Agriculture teacher.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University? Did Ohio State influence your career path?
Ohio State University offered everything I needed to accomplish my objectives. It provided me with all the essentials for the career I had already chosen.

Did you have a favorite course and professor during your time at Ohio State?
Animal Science Feed and Feeding because the professor was a master teacher. I really liked Dr. Austin Ritchie.  He was my advisor and mentor during my undergraduate work at OSU.

Outside of the classroom, how did you stay busy?
I worked 20 hours a week in the OSU mailing room and weekends selling automobiles, Fuller Brush products, and night shift at a hamburger restaurant to pay for my education.  This left me very little time for campus life.

Share with us a favorite memory of yours from our time at Ohio State?
Once I was coming out of the shower following Phys. Ed. class and ran smack into Woody Hayes.  He picked me up by both my shoulders and said, “Young man, did you ever think about coming out for football?”  I shuddered and replied, “No, Sir!”  To which he stated, “Well you should with the way you hit!”

What a compliment from Coach Hayes! After you graduated, what was your first job?
I taught vocational agriculture at Belle Center High School in Logan County.

What other jobs have you held throughout your career?
In 1963, after teaching Vocational Agriculture at Belle Center and Dublin high school for 7 years, I moved to Ohio State University faculty, first as a 4-H Agent then promoted to Agriculture Agent and County Chairman.  I retired from extension on December 31, 1988 and hold the title of Professor Emeritus.  From 1989 to 2004 I served as executive coordinator of the Ohio Council of Cooperatives.  Also serving as Executive Director of the Ohio Agricultural Council from 1990 to 2003.  I was also the NBC4 TV News Garden Expert from 1989 to 2013, hosting a live TV show every Saturday at 8:00 A.M. and taped another garden segment for Sunday mornings.

You’ve had a long career, with many awards and honors. What are a few of those that stand out to you?
I have received numerous state and national awards for work with cooperatives, community service, public relations, horticultural management and media. I few by name that stick out include the John W. Galbreath Award, Ohio Farm Bureau Cooperative Educator Award, Educator and Public Service Award – Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, NACAA Search for Excellence Award (5 times), OFMA Award for Dedicated Service to Franklin County and the Cream of the Crop Award from the Franklin County Fair.

I have also been inducted into several Hall of Fame’s including: Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame, Dublin High School Hall of Fame and Hardin Northern High School Hall of Fame.

From throughout your 60 year career, you must have many memorable highlights. Share a few of those with us.
I wrote and published a book entitled “Tom’s (Green) Thumb – Advice to grow on in a (Mc)Nutt shell”, I have hosted farm and garden tours with my wife Joan and lectured all over the world while visiting. And while filming my NBC4 segment, I would meet so many nice people.

What advice would you give to a current Ohio State student who looks to a career like yours?
Enjoy your college years but take it seriously.  My philosophy has always been, “Promise no more than you can deliver and deliver on all your promises.”

Our final question. What did ACEL cultivate in you?
All people are important. Be willing to listen to all points of view. Most of all, enjoy life!

ACEL Banquet: Graduating Undergraduates

During the ACEL Annual Banquet on April 11, 2017, seniors graduating in 2017 were recognized. Between three graduations at the end of spring, summer and autumn terms, 49 graduates will complete degrees in agricultural communication, agriscience education or community leaderships.

Class of 2017

Stats on our Class of 2017

agricultural communication graduates: 25
agriscience education graduates: 11
community leadership graduates: 13

Home State:
Ohio: 48
North Carolina: 1

Male: 13
Female: 36