Alumni Spotlight: John Poulson ’87

John Poulson is an agricultural educator at the Pettisville Local Schools. He graduated from Ohio State in 1987 with a master’s degree in agricultural education. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and agricultural education from Ohio State, which he received in 1981.

[ACEL]: Hi John! Why did you select your majors and graduate program?
[POULSON]: I dual majored in animal science and agriculture education because I thought I wanted to work in the animal industry, but the agricultural education classes showed me the diversity of being involved in many subjects.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
It was the only school in Ohio that offered agriculture and where I could get accepted at automatically.  Plus, my mom and dad both graduated from Ohio State.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
The agriculture education classes, the course professors and student teaching showed me I could teach if I wanted to, and I decided I wanted to.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved in several ways with the Agricultural Education Society, I especially remember being co-chair of the banquet two years. I was inducted into Towers Honorary, but I don’t remember much about it. I worked three years in the Meat Lab, which was a great experience and I have used those skills often.  My last two quarters on campus I was in-charge of clean-up there.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I enjoyed several classes and it was usually because of the professor or teacher being engaging and challenging.  I especially remember the agricultural education series of 100, 200 and 330 which prepared us for the classroom.  Professors included: Drs. Peters, Knight and Newcomb.  In animal science I enjoyed 200 with Dr. Plimpton, the meat courses with Dr. Parrot and animal nutrition with TizWiz. I think Dr. Hedges did the most to make us think that the problem solving approach is the best method of teaching, then and now.

I also enjoyed taking archery and bowling.

Most professors impacted my career if they gave us material to use in class and methods to use them.  After 36 years of teaching and working in the industry, I use parts of their materials on a daily basis.  The ones mentioned above plus Drs. Gleem, Erving, Papritan II, Lichtensteiger, Conners, Burke and more, some of which I can’t remember.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I lived in Norton House all four years and those times spent with many friends made lasting memories which include meeting my wife, Lexie Zenz.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
In 1981 I became the vocational agriculture teacher at Crestview High School in Richland and Ashland counties.

Are there other places you have worked throughout your career?
I worked as the agricultural educator and FFA advisor and helped start an alumni group at Crestview until 1988 (7 years). Then was an organization director for Ohio Farm Bureau in Henry, Fulton and Williams Counties for 2 years.  In 1990 I started at Pettisville Schools as the ag teacher and FFA Advisor and have helped start an alumni group here.

During your career, honors or awards have you been presented?
I have been named an OAAE Outstanding Young Teacher, Fulton County SWCD Outstanding Supporter, Honorary American FFA Degree recipient and a NAAE AgScience Teacher of the Year.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My favorite career highlight is seeing the number of students who excel in the agriculture industry at the local, state and national levels.  It is gratifying to know the affect they have had in the industry.  I also see the many students who work in other industries but still know and love what agriculture means to our world.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Learn to learn and keep learning, with your students, employees, and customers.  Be open to working harder to help reach goals for others as well as yourself.  And, figure out how to get your family involved with what you like to do so that work can sometimes be a hobby too.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
The support that people in the college have given me as a teacher over the years has helped.  It wasn’t just during college but in many of the years since.  Like Dr. Henderson during my first years of teaching, L.H. during my master’s program and various OAAE activities.  More recently the interactions of helping Dr. Whittington teach about high school recordkeeping and working with ACEL for summer conference programming have made me a better teacher.

The best thing that can come from this celebration is the understanding that agriculturalists need a team of educators in the industry, the classroom, the research labs, etc that know what others are doing.


Alumni Spotlight: Rose Smith, ’06

[ACEL]: Hi Rose! Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?
[Smith]: I knew I wanted to be involved in informal agricultural education, educating the general public about where their food comes from. I didn’t know if that meant working in the United States or overseas, but I did know that majoring in agricultural education would prepare me best for my future career.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
It’s the best! My high school guidance counselor encouraged me attend Ohio State knowing I wanted to teach agriculture, but not necessarily in the classroom. I attended classes at OSU-Lima for the first two years of my education, as they were offering evening classes locally in Bellefontaine. This was perfect as it allowed me to work full time during the day and attend small classes in the evening. Once it was time to focus on my major, it was an easy transition to main campus.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
My education at Ohio State opened my eyes to what a huge need there is for educating consumers on the food supply and food systems. I have worked in the organic industry for over six years now and the desire for people to know how their food is raised is higher now than ever before.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
My favorite job was working at the RPAC. It had just opened when I began working there. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet such a diverse group of students and I still run into my former boss on a regular basis, mainly when tailgating before football games!

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? 
I really enjoyed the “Block” set up, spending large chunks of time with some of my closest college friends, knowing we were all working on the same thing was interesting.

Some of my other favorite classroom memories happened because my brother and I had the same major, and he was only a few quarters ahead of me, so occasionally we would have classes together. Those classes were always more challenging because we were fairly competitive with each other on anything where there could be the slightest bit of competition, so I would always try a little harder in those classes. He would also make me buy the book, saying we would “share it”… I never saw those books again.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career? 
There are a few that stand out, but Dr. Susie Whittington probably made the largest impact on me. She has a super power of knowing the special skills of each student and where they would fit best once leaving college. She has the great ability of encouraging students just when they need it most and nudging them in the right direction. She was a big part of me getting my first job after college. Just recently, I was visiting with her at a wedding, discussing women doing jobs that historically were held my men. Though I already knew it, it was an amazing reminder of what a trail blazer she is, leading the way for woman to teach agriculture in a variety of formats.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
What a hard question! There are so many, but one that is coming to mind is the 2002 Ohio State vs. Michigan Game. The game was obviously amazing and unbelievable. Digital cameras weren’t in full swing yet, and everyone was still using film cameras. I remember walking to the CVS on the corner of High and Lane to drop my film off the next day and there was a pile of film several feet tall that had been turned in to be developed. The girl behind the counter looked at me, with this look of panic on her face and firmly said, “It’s going to be a longer than an hour”. It was just the reminder of what a historic this had happened the day before. It was exciting being a part of it.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I worked as an Outreach Educator at COSI. I traveled to elementary schools putting on an assembly of a specific topic, then spent the rest of the day working with smaller classes doing hands on science experiments. The most valuable thing I got from working there was a strong ability to be independent. It was me and a box truck full of science equipment traveling all over Ohio and the surrounding states. Plus, who wouldn’t love a job where it was normal to shoot off a rocket any given day?

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
After COSI, I worked for just about a year at FFA Camp Muskingum. A job opportunity became available working in the organic industry in Bellefontaine, so I moved back home. I worked for two different organic certification agencies, Global Organic Alliance and Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, before landing what has become my dream job at Organic Valley. As a regional pool manager, I work with a dairy farmers that are currently organic and shipping milk with Organic Valley, as well as the farmers that are in transition to organic production. Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative, and it is an honor to work with organic farmers who are working hard to keep their families farming by producing organic products.

During your career, have you received any awards or honors? 
It isn’t an official award or honor, but I am the first female regional pool manager that works remotely for Organic Valley. Since I was hired there have been three additional women hired. There was a lot of discussion on how farmers would handle having a woman as their manager, but it has turned out just fine. I had been working at Organic Valley for about a month when I stopped at a farm to take a farmer out to lunch. While we were eating he said, “You know this is no job for a woman”. I had no idea how to respond. Since then, I have formed a great relationship with him and he has actually told me, “They hired the right woman for this job”, which is a huge complement.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I love being able to offer farmers a market for their milk. I remember one spring day about two years ago, when I was going through the contract we complete with farmers when they join the co-op. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day, so we sat at the picnic table in his yard and completed the paperwork. I will never forget the happiness the farmer was showing, as this meant he could be a full time farmer and no longer needed to work at his factory job. Though there are really tough parts of this job, it is always a highlight when I get to offer a contact to a farmer!

What advice would you give to a current student?
Pay attention in class! There have been so many times that I need to do something in my current career, and I remember vaguely some teacher talking about this sometime in college, but I wasn’t really paying close attention. My life would be a lot easier now if I wasn’t going back to relearn all of those things. A perfect example, I remember mildly paying attention when we learned about calculating dry matter in a feed ration, thinking I would never need to know how to do this. I calculate dry matter for farmers almost weekly now. I should have paid attention.

What did ACEL cultivate in you? 
My professors knew I had no intention of teaching in the classroom, but knew that the skills taught in the agricultural education major would be incredibly useful in informal education as well. This showed me that education isn’t a cookie cutter approach and that education is about life skills and not just grades on a paper.

Alumni Spotlight: Ken Parrott ’89


Ken Parrott lives in Lexington, Ohio and is currently the agricultural education teacher at Northmor High School in Northern Morrow county.

Why did you select your major or graduate program?
Back in the 1980’s you could dual major so my degree was ag education/animal science. I originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but my family background of education, especially in ag education, rubbed off on me.  My family is full of teachers and my grandfather, Ralph Howard, was a key part of starting FFA in Ohio serving as both executive secretary and Sstate advisor in the infancy of Ohio FFA.  My active involvement in the FFA in high school influenced me to become an ag teacher.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Several reasons influenced my decision.  My father was a graduate of Ohio State.  The rest of my older siblings all went to Muskingum, but knowing that I wanted to pursue a degree in agriculture made Ohio State an easy choice.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your career path?
I had some great professors and great experiences at the Ohio State University in both the ag education and animal sciences departments.  But, when this new guy named Dr. Jamie Cano arrived to the Department of Agricultural Education and I had a few classes with him, I knew that I was making a right choice in my career decision.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was very involved in the Alpha Gamma Sigma fraternity, Agriculture Education Society and Saddle and Sirloin. My first year and a half of college I worked on the slaughter floor at the OSU Meat Lab and then the last couple of years I lived and worked at the Sheep Center and worked for Ron Guenther.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
That is a tough one cause I had so many great instructors in both ag education and animal science.  My love for livestock made many of my animal courses some of my favorites. Anyone that ever had Dr. Tyznik for any nutrition classes could never forget his presence and influence.  I always enjoyed my advanced animal science classes with Dr. Steve Baertsche.  I had some memorable experiences with Dr. Lowel Hedges in the ag ed department and I had the nicest advisor in the world, Dr. Jan Henderson.  But without a doubt, the professor that influenced me the most and I enjoyed thoroughly attending his classes was Dr. Jamie Cano.

Dr. Cano had the biggest influence on me. He was brand new to Ohio State and was trying hard to make an impression. He recognized a talent of teaching in me and pushed me hard to excel. His instruction greatly influenced who I am today.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State
There are a lot of them and it would be hard to picked my favorite. Probably most of stories I share revolve around my experiences with Alpha Gamma Sigma. We had a lot of fun back then and I experienced college with a lot of great people.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
When I graduated in 1989, ag teaching openings at the time were pretty scarce.  I took the first job I interviewed for and that was a teaching position at Lincolnview High School near Van Wert, Ohio. A year later I moved closer to home at Highland High School. The following year, my home school, Northmor High School, called me home and I have been here for the last twenty-seven years.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I have been fortunate to helped a lot of students achieve their FFA dreams.  I have coached many successful FFA teams at the state level as well.  I have also been blessed to have my own three kids in my program and without a doubt, my son Zach winning the State FFA Sheep Proficiency Award has to be right up there as one of my favorite career highlights.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Take advantage of ALL that Ohio State has to offer.  Your education is important but the university experience is just as important. Get involved in as many things as you can handle whether it be the greek system or student clubs and organizations.

Alumni Spotlight: Amy Miller ’99

Amy Miller is currently a State NFIP Coordinator in Nashville, Tennessee. She graduated in 1999 with her bachelors in agricultural education.

[ACEL]: Why did you select your major or graduate program?
[Miller]: I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll.  My undergraduate degree is in Agricultural Education and my graduate degree is in City and Regional Planning.  My programs were selected because I enjoy working on complex issues, finding solutions and improving the quality of life for citizens.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I chose to attend The Ohio State University due to the friendly atmosphere that permeates throughout campus, the plethora of quality academic curriculum that will endure throughout one’s college and professional career, and the outstanding football program.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
My degree in Agricultural Education influenced my career path to work with various stakeholders regarding the preservation of agriculture.  My studies enabled me to take a complex issue and simplify into a message regarding the value of agriculture on the community.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, Collegiate 4-H, and City and Regional Planning Student Association.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I enjoyed my City and Regional Planning classes.  My favorite was Planning Places with People in Mind.  This class focuses on the relationship between the built environment and humans and the importance of environmental design geared towards its inhabitants.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career?
Dr. Scott Scheer had the biggest impact on my education and career while a student at The Ohio State University.   He was authentic, approachable, trustworthy and fun.  Whenever I needed to talk to someone, he was always there to listen and offer advice.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
My favorite memory was Ohio State beating the TTUN and rushing the field in 1998 to celebrate the victory.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first job was the Farmland Preservation Coordinator at the Wayne County Planning Department.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career and what were your responsibilities in those positions?
My first job was Wayne County Ohio, Farmland Preservation Coordinator working with landowners to permanently preserve farmland throughout the county.  After moving to Nashville, Tennessee, I worked for the Local Planning Assistance Office as a Regional Planner assisting 6 communities with development proposals and enforcing subdivision and zoning regulations.  After this experience, I worked as a Budget Analyst for the State of Tennessee analyzing budgets for various agencies in regards to revenue and expenditure forecasts.  My current job is the State of Tennessee National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator.  I support 400 communities with floodplain regulation interpretation, enforcement issues and statewide training.

During your career, honors or awards have you been presented?
During my career, I coordinated 62 grant applications from Wayne County landowners in 2002, for the Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program which was the most in the state and was a tremendous honor to work with each applicant.  In addition, I worked with Rails to Trails of Wayne County to secure an ODOT grant of $2.1 million to construction a 6.75 mile rails-to-trails project.  Under my leadership, Tennessee became the 2nd in the nation to initiate the Certified Floodplain Surveyor program, certifying surveyors in FEMA Elevation Certificate preparation and Letter of Map Changes.

Outside of your career, are you involved in any organizations or activities in your community?
I am a volunteer at the Tennessee Prison for Women.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My favorite career highlight was in 2001, attempting a 0.25% sales tax increase to fund a local Purchase of Development Rights Program in Wayne County, Ohio.  The program would allow farmers to voluntarily sell an agricultural easement on their property and have the land remain in agricultural production in perpetuity.  Although the initiative failed, we had a great public awareness campaign and continued interest in preserving local farmland that exists today.

What advice would you give to a current student?
What you do will not get you up in the morning.  Why you do it is what will keep you going.  Emotion is the key.

What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership cultivated in me adaptability.  Whether in my career or life, I have to have flexibility in handling change, being able to juggle multiple demands and adapt to new ideas with innovative approaches.

Alumni Spotlight: Leah Curtis ’07



Leah Finney Curtis currently works for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation as Policy Counsel and Sr. Director for Member Engagement. She is a 2007 graduate, completing a degree in agricultural communication.

Leah decided to pursue an agricultural communication degree because she felt that the industry needs people who can convey its message to the rest of the world and to help policymakers get to the the right results when they consider the laws and regulations governing agriculture. Just as important, she felt our industry needed some of their own that can help work through legal issues and translate the “legal-ese” of court decisions and regulations into information that is actually understandable and usable in everyday life.

[ACEL]: Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
[Curtis]: I actually transferred to Ohio State after starting my undergraduate education at a much smaller institution. I found that school to be too small though, and wanted a university that could provide me both the small community feel of my own college, but the opportunities of diversity of all types in my education. Ohio State gave me the opportunity to be continuously challenged with new experiences, new ideas and viewpoints.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
I was never without ideas of what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was easier to pick out what I didn’t want to be. But, being at Ohio State and my internship at the Ohio Department of Agriculture helped me hone in on the law and policy as something I really loved and felt could make a difference for people like my family. I saw the need that existed in the ag industry for legal counsel that not only knew the law but understood the practical way of life that comes with agriculture, and could help shape the policies that govern our industry.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved with Alpha Sigma Upsilon sorority, sang in the Women’s Glee Club, and worked throughout my college career, including with the Deptment of Animal Sciences, the Ohio Pork Producers, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Collegiate 4-H was also a very important part of my undergraduate experience that provided me life-long friendships with people outside my own college that had that same 4-H background.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I really enjoyed the classes that got me out of my comfort zone. I decided to add an interdisciplinary minor my junior year that was called “Legal Foundations of Society” and it exposed me to classes that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about, like “the sociology of law,” “women and crime,” and “law and economics.”  While I loved the comfort of being on the CFAES campus, these classes really helped me to grow intellectually and see things from completely different perspectives that I never would have experienced otherwise.

My favorite was actually a course in CFAES, but not in my major. I took an introductory Food Science course to fulfill one of my science credits. Not only was the class one of the most enjoyable, but it is one of the most useful I have ever taken. Food safety laws and regulations are a big part of my job today, but it also just helps with everyday meal planning and cooking as a parent.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career?
Dr. Buck was incredibly supportive of me as I was working toward law school. I know her letters of recommendation certainly helped me and I appreciate all the counsel she gave me as a student during that time (even though she technically wasn’t my adviser!). Dr. Jill Pfister was also instrumental in helping me navigate the systems of the university as a transfer student, when I could have easily fallen through the cracks.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
In my undergraduate days, my favorite memory was a Collegiate 4-H trip we took to Louisiana State University for the National Collegiate 4-H conference. The trip was only two years after Hurricane Katrina, and while we visited the state we took part in a service project to do hurricane clean-up in St. Bernard Parish, south of New Orleans. We mainly cleaned up a street median, and re-set a Blue Star Highway Sign. But, the number of people who stopped to thank us for that small contribution will always stick with me. Visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras didn’t hurt to make the trip memorable either!

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
After my undergraduate degree, I went directly to law school on the other side of campus. During my time at the law school, I worked for the Student Housing Legal Clinic and the University’s Legal Affairs Department.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
I began at the Ohio Farm Bureau as a legal intern during my last year of law school. After the bar exam, I was hired on as the Director of Legal Education, where my focus was on education and explanation of laws that impact agriculture and farms. I moved then into the role of Director of Agricultural Law, overseeing the legal activities of the OFBF policy department and providing legal review of legislation and regulations. I moved into my most recent role as Policy Counsel and Sr. Director of Member Engagement last fall, where I also oversee the member engagement staff of subject matter experts in law, energy and livestock policy, in addition to my role in representing the organization in its legal advocacy efforts.

During your career, honors or awards have you been presented?
I was selected to take part in the Ohio State Bar Association Leadership Academy. I was also appointed to the Bar Association’s membership task force and to the Women in the Profession Section Council. I also received an award from the American Farm Bureau Federation for Best Audio News Story for an episode of my Legal with Leah podcast.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
One of the topics I have spent the most time on during my nearly eight years at OFBF, has been the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) tax program. This program provides important property tax treatment to farmers, but issues in the workings of the program had caused property taxes to skyrocket. In 2017, after three years of non-stop work, we were able to see important CAUV reforms enacted by the Ohio General Assembly. We are just beginning to see the results, but I’m so glad I was able to lend my expertise to this effort that has already resulted in 30% lower land valuations across the state.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Get out of your comfort zone! Take classes on topics of personal interest that are not in your college and not in your major. Get out of your own echo chamber, and be challenged by the vast resources around you.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL cultivated in me the need to always seek to understand before you speak. You cannot productively communicate with someone if you have no context of where they are coming from and why they feel or think the way they do.

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Barbara Kirby ’76, ’81 MS

Barbara Malpiedi Kirby is from Shadyside, Ohio and currently lives in Garner, North Carolina. She graduated with her bachelors degree in Environmental Education and her masters degree in Agricultural Education. She is currently at North Carolina State University, Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education.

[ACEL]: Hello Dr. Kirby! Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
My father, aunt and one cousin graduated from The Ohio State University. My dad had season football tickets. Needless to say, my brother and I started at a very young age cheering the Buckeyes in the Shoe for many years. Everything about the university and Columbus intrigued me. I could not imagine going to school at any other university. Only three students from my high school graduating class began college careers at Ohio State. The university felt like home to me even though it was so big.

Why did you select your major or graduate program?
I grew up in a small town in southeastern Ohio, Shadyside, OH. My grandfather had a small family farm and loved hunting and fishing. He inspired my passion for agriculture and natural resources. While the livelihood of family members and friends depended on the success of the coal mines, steel mills and power plants along the Ohio River, the degradation of the environment saddened me. I attended The Ohio State University and majored in natural resources for my B.S. degree. My internship at Oglebay Park Nature Center in Wheeling, WV was a turning point for me. I loved teaching all age groups at the Center and decided to obtain my natural resources teaching license through agricultural education. The agricultural education faculty members were passionate educators and motivated me to complete my master’s degree while I was teaching.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
When I came to Ohio State, teaching was not one of my career aspirations. Drs. Newcomb, Knight and Barrick taught the intro course, teaching methods and agricultural education program courses Dr. Jim Knight, with his ton of positive vibes, supervised my student teaching. Their enthusiasm and passion for teaching was contagious and launched me into a teaching career. After graduation, I taught high school natural resources/environmental sciences at the Ashland County – West Holmes JVS in Ashland, Ohio. My greatest joy was managing our 80-acre teaching land laboratory. Although I loved teaching high school students and managing the land laboratory, my real passion was mentoring student teachers. I still remember the conversation with Kirby Barrick about the possibility of pursuing a doctorate.  My career path turned to higher education.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
Since my participation in the agricultural education program was late into my undergraduate program, I did not have much time to be involved as an undergraduate in ag student organizations. I was a member of the Student Ag Council and the Agricultural Education Society. The Fall Fest was a big event for us.  I was also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha National Fraternity and served in several officer positions, including president and was a member of the Panhellenic Association Presidents’ Council.  As a graduate student, I was inducted into Gamma Sigma Delta.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
My favorite classes were the environmental education and agricultural education major courses. I enjoyed the park and recreation planning and programming courses. The projects were a lot of fun and enabled me to use my creativity. Jim Knight taught my Intro to Agricultural Education class. Witnessing the personal interest Dr. Knight took in each of his students has resonated with me throughout my career. I have always tried to acknowledge the uniqueness and importance of each student, especially as part of a large university. My ag ed courses prepared me to teach. I was not in a high school vocational ag program or a member of the FFA. Drs. Newcomb, Barrick and Hedges engaged us in the classes and afforded opportunities to apply and practice the competencies essential for classroom and laboratory success. Dr. Joe Gleim’s ag mechanics class was on of my favorite graduate classes. Relieved that I survived Dr. Larry Miller’s research course, the project driven ag mechanics course was a nice way to spend a summer. L.H can tell the rest of the story about the notorious patio our class built that summer.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education? 
I shared early how many of the faculty members impacted my education and career. However, Dr. L.H. Newcomb was probably the most influential. I appreciated his candor, patience and humor. L.H. assisted me with my licensure program and served as my graduate advisor. He along with many others provided much need guidance for an undergraduate who was not always on track and motivation for a grad student managing a full-time teaching job and evening graduate classes. I am also grateful that Dr. Newcomb decided to take a yearlong administrative internship in the dean’s office. Dr. Warmbrod invited me to join the staff that year as a post-doc lecturer. The experience solidified my goal of pursuing a permanent faculty position in higher education. 

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I have so many wonderful memories. I made great friends in the College of Agriculture and developed lifelong friendships through Zeta Tau Alpha. The memories are special because of the friends who were there in the 70’s still sustain me today.  We are loyal, fanatic Buckeye fans. We loved the football games and now the opportunity to get together. As undergrads, it didn’t matter if we had to sit in Block O or in the rain or snow. A trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA -was more than a girl from Shadyside could fathom. We had a great time. “How firm thy friendship, O-HI-O.”

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
Teaching students enrolled in the Natural Resources and Environmental Science program at Ashland County-West Holmes JVS in Ashland, OH was my first teaching position. Our FFA included the students in Ag Mechanic classes. I enjoyed teaching in a two-teacher department.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career and what were your responsibilities in those positions?
Following my teaching position at ACWH JVS, I was a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech where I earned my doctorate degree. I taught undergraduate ag ed courses and supervised student teachers. After graduate school, I worked as a lecturer with the Department of Agricultural Education faculty at The Ohio State University. What a thrill to be part of this extraordinary program and a member of its faculty. My first tenure track faculty position was at NC State University in 1985. As an assistant professor, I taught several different courses: computer/instructional technology, introduction to teaching, history and philosophy (Foundations), and mentoring. I advised undergraduates and graduate students.

After moving through the ranks and achieving the rank of full professor, I moved to college administration. As the assistant/ associate director of academic programs, my worked involved student recruitment, new student program, directing the honors program and working with faculty on various college programs like the outstanding teacher program and Educational and Technology Funding. In 2009, I became the director of the Agricultural Institute, a two year associate degree program. Directing the Institute was a wonderful experience. The students valued ”hands on learning” so that they were prepared to return to their farms and agribusiness jobs. Several continued their education and completed BS degrees.

My last administrative position at NC State was associate vice provost for academic programs and services, a newly organized unit in the University Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) at NC State University. DASA was a unique organization that integrated curricular and co- curricular components to improve the academic performance of our students and the quality of academic and non-academic experiences at NC State University. Major responsibilities included: 
Leadership and specific administrative oversight for the overall University processing of courses and curricula and the General Education Program; Oversight of the First Year Inquiry program courses and faculty development; administrative management of the Environmental Science interdisciplinary degree program and the EcoVillage, Living and Learning Community.

After 18 years in administration, I returned to the faculty to resume my faculty role as a full professor.  I am now teaching, advising, and conducting research in the newly formed Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences.

During your career, what honors or awards have you been presented?
Some of my most meaningful awards included the Honorary State and National FFA Degrees; Outstanding Teacher of the College of Education and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; induction into the NC State University Academy of Outstanding Teachers; Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, NCSU Division of Undergraduate Academic Programs Award; NACTA Teacher Fellow; Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) Fellow; and Senior Fellow in the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). I also received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE), in the Southern Region. During graduate school, I was inducted into the following: Alpha Tau Alpha (National Honorary in Agricultural Education); Phi Delta Kappa (National Education Honorary); and Omicron Tau Theta (National Honorary in Vocational Education),

I was very honored to return to Virginia Tech to receive Virginia Tech’s Recognition of Generations of Women Teachers: Leader, Achiever, and Outstanding Alumna.

During my early career at NC State, I worked with the National Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity and local alumnae in the construction of a local ZTA chapter house near the campus. I was presented the North Carolina Alumnae Themis Award for contributions to a collegiate chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha and National Certificate of Merit for contributions to a collegiate chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
Wow. There are many. My teaching and administrative career spanned multiple levels of education: high school teacher, two-year associate degree program director, faculty member in a major land grant university engaged in undergraduate and graduate education and administration at the college and university levels. Certainly, earning my doctorate degree was a highlight. The experience humbled me and opened the door for a career in higher education spanning 33+ years. My education and training positioned me to help others. When I can mentor or help a Jr. faculty member or administrative colleague, that resonates with me as a career highlight. Any time I can help a student especially those who find themselves in challenging situations, that is a career highlight. I probably experienced several of those situations myself. Certainly, becoming an associate vice provost is a career highlight. More importantly, in that role, I was able to help a graduate student from Nigeria navigate the red tape and bureaucracy in order to resolve his admission issues and complete a master’s degree in agricultural and extension education. Celebrating his success at graduation with his family (who flew from Nigeria) and all who had been part of his NC State experience was certainly a career highlight.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Don’t ever under estimate yourself. Listen to the advice of your faculty. Make the most of every collegiate experience. That includes curricular and co-curricular experiences. In particular, study abroad, engage in service learning, seek challenging internships, network and build friendships. Everything you do positions you for the next level. Enjoy your time at the university and take charge of fulfilling your dreams.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
Being part of ACEL cultivated in me a passion for teaching, determination, perseverance, dedication and compassion. While I would attribute my acquiring many of these attributes to my upbringing, the faculty and fellow students in ACEL nurtured my desire to be a successful educator. Many people along the way have continued to cultivate and support even my craziest of idea and dreams.


Talking Shop: What are we learning today, Mr. Teacher Guy?

Throughout the history of agricultural mechanics in education, students have been asking this question has fast as teachers have been trying to figure what objectives to teach in a vocational agriculture program. Because the scope of farm and homework continued to change with different advancements and technologies (i.e. farm machinery and electricity), agriculture teachers have to revise their curriculum in order to keep up-to-date with society. With endless amount of job opportunities in industry, the skills that students have learned in an Ag Mech course has led them to immediate employment after graduation.

Agricultural education programs have always had a strong involvement in their communities, and as a result, their curricula would change based on community needs. Involving the community into the curriculum is a common practice that exist today. Teachers will create an advisory committee that consist of local industry professionals, school administration, FFA members, and other teachers who will helped design a curriculum that best suit for the students living in their communities This is a valuable practice of connecting industry, community, and education.

When I did my first Early Field Experience in agriscience education at Marysville High School, I had the opportunity to observe first-hand an “Advisory Committee Meeting.” This committee consisted of teachers, school administrations, industry professional, and community members, and they collaborate on designing a curriculum and course sequence met the goals of the students and community. This was an incredible opportunity to see the impact that an agricultural education program can have on students when people come together to better education.

Agricultural Mechanics Curriculum in the 1910s
What did students learn in school in the early 20th century? 

Photo Credits: Garland Armor Bricker, 1912

Agricultural Mechanics Curriculum in the 1930-40s
During and after World War II, there was a demand for farmers to increase food production, yet National Defense slowed down production on farm machinery.  This was a challenge that many farmers weren’t prepared for because they were short laborers, functional farm machinery, and knowledge to upkeep and repair their equipment. Vocational agriculture became a pathway for farmers to meet these demands through the offering of “defense classes” or “farm machinery repair clinics,” which were courses offered to local farmers on metalworking, woodworking, electricity, and machinery repair and maintenance. This is the method of deliver the modern-day practices to farmers. Because the teacher developed a connection with the community through these courses, the teacher had a better opportunity to create his own objectives for teaching farm mechanics. A farm mechanics course in the 1930-40s consisted of classroom learning and field experience that allowed students to practice: 

Photo Credits: The Agricultural Education Magazine, 1942


Source: H.T. Shields, The Agricultural Education Magazine, 1937

Agricultural Mechanics Curriculum in the 1970s
As the 1970s began, career technical education focused curriculum in the areas of vocational education, general education, and college preparatory, which prepared ‘youngsters’ for a wide range of job options. Regardless of a student’s educational pathway, people believed it was still vital for students to learn basic agricultural mechanical skills, especially if they were interested in production agriculture.

How was an Ag Mech curriculum taught in the 1970s? What skills were necessary to teach? Wiley B. Lewis, a PhD graduate from The Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural Education in 1972, conducted his research on “Agricultural mechanics as performed on Ohio farms in comparison with offerings in vocational agriculture.” His researched reveal that students were most successful when they were provided with an individualized instruction and curriculum. At first glance, this would seem to be a challenging task for an Ag teacher; however, this practice was successful when integrating student’s individual curriculum with the department’s curriculum and with the student’s Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects. Individualized instruction became a necessity in teaching agricultural mechanics.

A model representing individualized instruction in agricultural education.

Source: Wiley B. Lewis & T.J. Wakeman, The Agricultural Education Magazine, 1973


Examples of Content Priorities in Agricultural Mechanics Source: C. Don Knotts & Earl S. Wobb, The Agricultural Education Magazine, 1974

Agricultural Mechanics Curriculum in the 2010s
During the first 10 years of the 21st century, agricultural education transitions away from Ag Mech and shift their focus on agrisciences. Nevertheless, the pendulum swung back around and Ag Mech became major corner stone in the curriculum. With the growth of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in education in agricultural education, agricultural mechanics had an incredible opportunity to expand their curriculum. Undoubtedly, STEM has always been major pillars in an Ag Mech curriculum.

In today’s modern world in agricultural education, students are learning applications essential to machinery management, structures, soil and water management, and material handling systems. Students are prepared to understand the theory and practical skills needed on production farms. With the rise in agricultural production, sales, and processing, there is a great demand to train students and adult for careers in mechanic technicians.

This is a following description of the “mechanical principles” course taught today in Ohio’s agricultural education:

Students will engage in the mechanical principles utilized in animal and plant production systems. They will learn electrical theory, design, wiring, hydraulic and pneumatic theory, along with metallurgy in relation to hot and cold metals.  Students will apply knowledge of sheet metal fabrication applicable to the agricultural industry along with identify, diagnose, and maintain small air-cooled engines. Throughout the course, students will learn critical components of site and personal safety as well as communication and leadership skills (Ohio Department of Education).

Kids love to weld! Students who want to pursue careers in mechanical principles take multiple courses in order to have skills to enter the workforce. Welding, for example, students have to complete a basic welding course that prepares students in SMAW (stick), Oxyfuel, and MIG and learn to cut metal with Oxy-acetylene and plasma cutter. Once they learn the basic skills, they take advance courses in metal fabrication where they explore concepts like the different variables affecting welding, American Welding Specifications, and the chemistry of metals at a deeper level.

Myself teaching FFA members and pre-service teachers GMAW welding at Ohio FFA Convention

What does the future hold?
The United States is facing large skilled labor shortages, and we are needing people to enter careers in welding, construction, electrical, and much more. The American Welding Society predicts that the industry will need 290,000 people to fill welding job positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor projects that there will be 50,000 new jobs in diesel mechanics. Society will soon be facing the reality that there won’t be enough people to be service technicians for dealerships and welders for manufacturing.

With that, agricultural education is one piece of the puzzle in solving these problems by continuing to teach agricultural mechanics and ‘farm shop’ in their curriculum. Agricultural education is more than capable in preparing secondary education students with the essential knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful in the real world.

Dr. Charles W. Lifer: ’61, ’66 MS, ’69 PhD

Dr. Charles W. Lifer graduated from Ohio State in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and a master’s degree in agricultural education in 1966. Now retired, Dr. Lifer splits his time between Ohio and Florida.

[ACEL]: Hello Dr. Lifer. Why did you select your major or graduate program?
[Lifer]: Dr. Richard Wilson, professor in agricultural education and my undergraduate advisor, encouraged me to major in agricultural education because it provided the best employment opportunities in teaching and extension.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
My high school vocational agriculture teacher encouraged me to go to college and attend Ohio State.

 How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career?
My degree in agricultural education and extension education opened many doors beginning with employment as a county 4-H extension agent all the way to State 4-H Leader and professor in agriculture education.

As a student, how were you involved?
I was involved in Delta Theta Sigma Fraternity, Townsend Agricultural Education Society, and part time employment Ohio State University Cancer Research Lab.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
Dr. Warmbrod’s agricultural education research methods, Dr. Miller’s agricultural engineering drawing, and Dr. Powell’s Business Administration. Dr. Warmbrod’s agricultural education research methods, because he made a difficult subject interesting and understandable.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on our education/career?
Dr. Clarence Cunningham and Dr. Robert McCormick, who encouraged me to pursue a career in Extension and get a PhD.  This advice opened up career opportunities at the state level requiring a doctorate.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
As State 4-H leader and professor in agricultural education, I proposed the establishment of a State 4-H Center on the OSU Campus and followed through in getting it done.  This required University approval, site location, fund raising and personal gifting.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
County 4-H Agent in Monroe County, Ohio and the first 4-H Agent to be hired as County 4-H Agent and Chair.  Previously all county chairs were agricultural agents.

For what companies have you worked throughout your career?
All of my employment following graduation was with Ohio State in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Ohio State Extension. This included County 4-H Agent, Monroe County; Area 4-H Agent, McConnelsville; Area Community Development Agent, Dover; State Leader Extension Studies and Evaluation, Columbus; Professor and State 4-H Leader, Columbus; and Director of Legislative Affairs, Columbus.  Most of these positions included administrative responsibilities.

Can you share any awards or honors you have received?
Many including Honorary State FFA Degree, Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame, National 4-H Hall of Fame, Regional Epsilon Sigma Phi Distinguished Service Award, Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, and Ohio State Distinguished Service Award.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
Getting the $16 million dollar 4-H Center on the Ohio State Campus and as Area Community Development Agent in Dover, building the Outdoor Historical Drama amphitheater (Trumpet in the Land) and hiring recognized Author, Paul Green.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Choose an area of interest where there are great employment opportunities after graduation.  There is nothing worse than graduating with a college degree and no jobs available.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
Through the agricultural education student teaching and extension field experience it helped to have real world job experience.  The teachers and extension trainer agents were great mentors in preparing for my career after graduation.

Lifer as a high school senior.

ACEL Spotlight: Dr. Jan Henderson ’74, ’80 MS

Jan Henderson is from Bay Village, Ohio and currently lives in Westlake where she works for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, as a Senior Capacity Development Specialist.

Why did you select your major of agricultural education?
I wanted to combine my love of horticulture and my love for people; majoring in agricultural education was a natural choice. My original intent was to pursue a career in horticulture therapy; I completed my “student teaching” experience at Harding Hospital (a non-profit psychiatric facility in Worthington, Ohio) before returning to campus to fulfill course requirements for my teaching certificate.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Ohio State was far enough away, but not too far from my home town; the university was affordable and had an excellent School of Social Work which was my initial career interest. I had no previous contact with or knowledge of the University or Columbus before enrolling in fall quarter 1970.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your career path?
My bachelor’s and master’s degrees provided me with the foundation and credentials to pursue not only careers in teaching at the secondary and university levels, but also expanded opportunities to work internationally with non-profit organizations.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I loved all of my horticulture classes, even the dreaded Plant ID course with Dr. D.C. “Kip” Kiplinger. However, as the only female (and usually the only non-farm student) in my undergraduate agricultural education and ag science classes I did not always feel welcomed. What a wonderful change has occurred as more women have enrolled in the department and have joined the faculty.

Did a faculty member have a particular impact on your education and/or career?
Dr. Leon Boucher provided much needed reassurance and support during my first year of teaching. I was substituting for a teacher who had suffered a heart attack and those initial visits from Dr. Boucher kept me focused, encouraged, and determined not to give up; he was my biggest cheerleader. As I began teaching I was at somewhat of a disadvantage by not having taken vocational agriculture in high school and being unfamiliar with the FFA. John Davis and Odell Miller, from the State Department of Education, became my patient “teachers” spending many hours gladly answering my questions during our times together at FFA Camp.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
A favorite memory is participating in the Little International Livestock Show when I was a sophomore; for a “city girl” with no farm background handling my Charolais heifer was quite an experience!

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first job was teaching 11th grade horticulture at Penta County Joint Vocational School in Rossford, Ohio in March 1975.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career and what were your responsibilities in those positions?

Horticulture Instructor at Penta County Joint Vocational School, Tri-Rivers Joint Vocational School, and Upper Valley Joint Vocational School

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Agricultural and Extension Education, Mississippi State University

Visiting Assistant Professor, Agricultural Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Associate Professor, Agricultural Education, The Ohio State University

Planning, Evaluation, and Training Coordinator, Heifer International

Senior Capacity Development Specialist, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 During your career, what honors or awards have you been presented?

Outstanding Leadership Award, Association for International Agricultural and Extension  Education, 2000

Outstanding Advisor, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, 1998

Rodney Plimpton Outstanding Teacher Award, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 1995

Outstanding Young Scholar, University Council for Vocational Education, 1987

Outstanding Young Teacher, Ohio Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, District 6, 1978

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My favorite career highlights are the times I have spent with students: taking my high school students to FFA Camp and the National FFA Convention; listening to my undergraduate advisees consider their career options; visiting and encouraging our student teachers and first-year teachers; collecting data with my doctoral students in their home countries; and finding ways to make statistics more enjoyable and understandable for my graduate students.

What advice would you give to a current student?
I would encourage students to consider enrolling in a study abroad program. Studying in a foreign country exposes students to different ways of being and knowing, to a better understanding of themselves and other cultures, and to new interests, languages, and lifelong friendships.  I understand that not every student can afford to study abroad due to financial, work, or family constraints; therefore I would encourage all students to take advantage of any opportunity to encounter and engage with diverse settings and cultures in the U.S.; diversity is all around us if we open our eyes and hearts.

 What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL cultivated a commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service through the faculty and staff who nurtured and supported my education; who had a genuine interest in my well-being and future. I have strived to emulate these role models during my own career journey.

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. M. Susie Whittington ’82, ’88 MS, ’91 PhD

Dr. Susie Whittington is a three-time graduate of our department. She currently serves as the director for the University’s Second-Year Transformational Experience program and is a professor of agriscience education.

She graduated from Ohio State in 1982 with her bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and went on to receive her master’s and PhD in agricultural education in 1988 and 1991, respectively.

[ACEL]: Why did you choose to major in agricultural education?
[Whittington]: I came to Ohio State knowing I was planning to be a high school agricultural science teacher. At that time, all students entered Ohio State through UVC (University College), and were not to enroll in a major for several quarters. To enter a major, students had to meet with the undergraduate coordinator in the major; for agricultural education, that was Dr. L.H. Newcomb. I nervously met with him my first quarter, received the typical “drilling” about why I wanted to become an agricultural science teacher, was enrolled in the major that day, and was hired by him that day to be a work-study student for Dr. Jim Knight.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
For a rural Ohio kid at that time, there was no other place to consider! However, I never planned to go to college. As a high school agricultural science student, one of my agricultural science teachers brought me to campus. He told me I needed to be a high school agricultural science teacher and I needed to go to Ohio State. As a first-generation college student, my agricultural science teacher was a pseudo-parent in the college conversation. He showed me how to navigate the necessary college entry processes.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
My education at The Ohio State University prepared me to have the confidence I needed to be a 23 year old, accepting the opportunity to re-open a high school agricultural science program that had been closed.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
As an Ohio State student, I embraced everything the college and department had to offer! I worked for the department as a work-study student for three years and I worked for Extension my senior year both before and after student teaching. I was fortunate to serve as president of the Agricultural Education Society, secretary of the CFAES Student Council (CAHENR at the time!), Little I Queen in Saddle and Sirloin Club, and a Little Sis in Alpha Zeta Fraternity (now FarmHouse).

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I enjoyed the entire curriculum that was required to complete an agricultural education degree and to acquire an Ohio teaching license.  From my educational psychology classes to my animal nutrition class, I appreciated the knowledge the classes were providing in preparation for my career objective. I most loved, however, EVERY class in the Department of Agricultural Education and the professors who taught them: Dr. Newcomb, Dr. Knight, Dr. Hedges, Dr. Henderson, Dr. Starling, Dr. Boucher, Dr. Rossetti and Dr. Ray Miller were highly influential. In addition, during my MS and PhD courses in the department, I was influenced by Dr. Warmbrod, Dr. Barrick, Dr. Blannie Bowen, Dr. Budke, Dr. McCracken, Dr. Larry Miller, Dr. Paulson, Dr. VanTilburg-Norland, Dr. Agunga, Dr. Gliem and Dr. McCaslin. The graduate assistants, at that time, and forever in this department, play a significant role in the preparation of our students…that was very true for me.  Of course, given that my favorite class I teach today is Methods of Teaching, it is no surprise that my all-time favorite class was Methods of Teaching with Dr. Newcomb.

Did a faculty member have a specific impact on your time at Ohio State?
As stated in a previous question, I am professionally a genetic make-up of every professor, graduate assistant, and staff member in this department from 1978 to today. However, I believe that most of us who have earned a PhD might say that our major professor influenced our thinking for a life-time; my major professor was Dr. Newcomb.

What is your favorite Ohio State memory?
Outside of room 246 Ag Admin, Dr. Knight introduced me to Pat Whittington. The rest is history!

What was your first job following your undergraduate education?
I was the high school agricultural science teacher at Wellington High School in Loraine County.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career and what were your responsibilities in those positions?

Wellington High School
The University of Idaho
The Pennsylvania State University
The Ohio State University.

Share the honors and awards you have been presented during your career.

National Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences, from The United States Department of Agriculture, and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

Teaching Excellence Award, from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture

Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award, from The Ohio Union and The Office of Student Affairs, The Ohio State University

Josephine Sitterle Failer Award, for outstanding service to Ohio State students, from The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Academy of Fellows, from the American Association for Agricultural Education

Teacher Fellow, from the North American Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture

Distinguished Researcher Award, from the American Association for Agricultural Education

Author of the Year Award, from the Journal of Agricultural Education

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
It is hard to write into words the capstone of emotions that are felt each time I experience the incredible opportunity to hood a new PhD at The Ohio State University commencement ceremonies.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Embrace engagement in at least one opportunity in each of the following: your department, your college, your university, and the City of Columbus.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL cultivated in me a passion for assisting students in achieving their career objective.

Agricultural Education Society with John Mount and University President E. Gordon Gee during the 125th anniversary of the organization.

Dr. Whittington with Dr. LH Newcomb.

Dr. Whittington’s office in the former 208 suite of Agricultural Administration.

The Whittington Family and Archie Griffin.