Graduate Spotlight: Paige Andrews

Paige Andrews is a current master’s student in agricultural communication, education, and leadership where she is studying community and extension education and leadership. She is from Sherrodsville, Ohio and graduated with a B.S. in animal science from Ohio State.

When asked why she chose ACEL to pursue her master’s degree Andrews explains, “to broaden my expertise and get more of the human exposure that I thought would be beneficial.” She also added that “I chose Ohio State because the faculty are helpful and encouraging and I had a great experience during my undergrad at the university!”

Paige’s thesis is analyzing parent involvement in 4-H projects and she plans to work in community outreach or with animals in some capacity after completing her degree.

When asked what she loves about Ohio State and the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, she shared that “I love that you can go to any professor with questions and they’ll do their best to help you. I’m thankful for the amount of resources available to students, as well.”

Varney completes MS project defense

Please join us in congratulating Katie Varney on the successful defense of her master’s project, “Ohio SNAP-Ed Youth Facilitation Curriculum.”


Varney is pictured with her advisor Dr. Robert Agunga and committee member Dr. Scott Scheer.

Congratulations Katie!


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.

ACEL Students Graduate

The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership had 14 students participate in the Autumn Commencement on Sunday, December 18, 2016.

The event was held at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. In total, 2, 577 students received his/her bachelors degree, 470 masters degrees, 12 professionals and 214 doctoral degrees. Timothy Gerber, professor of music and secretary of the University Senate was the speaker.

Students from ACEL who received degrees include:

Bachelor of Science
Brandon Barlage, community leadership
Brian Crawford, agricultural communication
Dirk Dempsey, community leadership
Hannah Fergang, agricultural communication
Ashley Gerlach, community leadership
Haley Kocher, community leadership
Karli Lump, agricultural communication
Allison Mangun, agricultural communication
Faryal Sharif, community leadership
Sam Slovisky, community leadership
Demi Snider, agricultural communication
Nicole Wallace, agricultural communication

Master of Science
Rebecca Gunther
Tekle Tekle


Congratulations to our the newest alumni of the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership!



Meet the Faculty: Mary Kivel

Loving to travel and hike, one of the newest faces to the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) is Mary Kivel. The graduate and eLearning coordinator for ACEL, Mary works primarily with graduate students and helps with the eLearning within the department.

For the five years prior to becoming a member of  ACEL, Mary worked with graduate students in the College of Pharmacy. Prior to working at Ohio State, Mary worked at the high school level as an English teacher in Arizona, putting her English degree she earned as an undergraduate at Ohio State to good use. She has also previously worked on outreach programs with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

Day-to-day, Mary helps graduate students in a variety of facets, ranging from helping them apply to the program, to assisting them in orientation, to the minute nitty-gritty daily struggles graduate students might have. As for the eLearning, Mary helps with the online master’s program along with the eLearning that the department has for the face-to-face courses.

She advises students not to be afraid to ask questions. Mary says that within the department there is always someone to help. To contact Mary about any graduate questions within the department of ACEL, email


Meet Our Graduate Students: Karen Argabright

Janer and Vicki

Karen in her element…with horses.

Karen Argabright, a graduate research associate, got her start in agriculture in Shelby County, Ohio where she grew up on a crop and livestock farm. Having earned her associate’s degree from Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) in horse production and management with a specialty in reproduction, Karen worked in the equine industry for the next nine years. She spent time in North Carolina, Texas, and Ohio as she managed herds of both Clydesdales and performance quarter horses.

In 2007, Karen moved back to Ohio where she finished her bachelor’s degree in animal science at Ohio State while managing a small farm in Pataskala, Ohio. Three years later in 2010, Karen began her master’s degree in agricultural extension education with a focus in organizational leadership. During her studies she worked on the topic of developing emotional intelligence, and examined Onboarding in OSU extension. Her thesis topic was assessing organizational values within The Ohio State University Extension system.

Upon completion of her master’s degree, Karen stayed at Ohio State as she began her PhD research for her doctoral program in 2012. As a part of her doctoral program, Karen has either worked on or is currently working on the following projects: continuing focus on Onboarding in Ohio State extension, collaborating on a multi-state study that assesses the organizational culture within Extension’s North Central Region, and collaborating with a steering committee for a Strategic Foresight project looking at the future of extension.

Karen says that throughout her academic career she has had a lot of really valuable hands-on experience by working directly with the people that her projects would impact the most. She says that, “I was brought to the realm of organizational development research to fulfill a passion for helping people and organizations discover and achieve their optimal potential.”

Karen’s personal hobbies include helping on the farm, repurposing, tending to her many house plants, cooking, traveling, and exploring new places.


To learn more about graduate opportunities within ACEL, contact Mary Kivel by emailing

ACEL Students Present at Youth Summit

By: Kayla Oberstadt, AEE graduate student
Carla Jagger, AEE graduate student
Mikayla Bodey, agricultural communication minor


The National Youth Summit on Agri-Science was hosted from January 16-19, 2015. In partnership with Merck Animal Health, the National 4-H Council and National 4-H Youth Conference Center presented a dynamic extended weekend of educational activities for youth participants.

Oberstadt, Jagger, and Bodey show their Ohio pride with the Washington Monument!

Oberstadt, Jagger, and Bodey show their Ohio pride with the Washington Monument!

Three students from The Ohio State University were engaged in leadership and teaching roles during the four-day summit hosted at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Mikayla Bodey, a sophomore from St. Paris, Ohio who is pursuing a minor in Agricultural Communication and two graduate students in Agricultural and Extension Education, Carla Jagger of Mt. Gilead, Ohio, and Kayla Oberstadt of New London, Wisconsin assisted through presenting workshops and leading roundtable discussions at the summit.

Carla Jagger and Kayla Oberstadt facilitated roundtable discussions in the Ag Issues Panel. Jagger led students in discussion of Urban Agriculture and Oberstadt in Public Perceptions of Production Animal Welfare. Other Ag Issues presented included Country of Origin Labeling and The Farm Bill.

Kayla DC, photo 5

Oberstadt facilitates a discussion with youth about agricultural careers and college options.

Kayla DC, photo 4

Participants work on their models for Monsanto’s Fish Farming Challenge in a workshop led by Bodey.

Workshops presented to the students included Monsanto’s Fish Farm Challenge, led by Mikayla Bodey. Ohio State’s own Dr. Bob Horton, Extension Specialist for Educational Design and Science Education, created this experimental challenge that gives students the opportunity to design a simulated fish feeding structure. Jagger guided students in an interactive workshop investigating Hydroponics in the Home where students researched materials needed for hydroponic gardens and were able to build their own simple hydroponic platform. In the Agricultural Career Panel, Oberstadt led students in discussion about college choices and routes to Extension Education, Jagger discussed Agricultural Education, and Dr. Rick Sibbel, director of U.S. Cattle Technical Services of Merck Animal Health, engaged students about veterinary work.

Kayla DC, photo 2

Participants work on their models for Monsanto’s Fish Farming Challenge in a workshop led by Bodey.

Kayla DC, photo 3

Jagger teaches students about components used in building hydroponic structures

This summit brought together youth participants representing regions from across the country. Students in 9th-12th grade were actively involved in the hands-on learning experience led by various representatives in the agricultural industry, including students from The Ohio State University Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. With much to learn in their days together, participants and presenters were also able to visit the nation’s capital on a night tour of monuments as well as a trip to George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. This educational opportunity allowed for a unique educational opportunity for OSU students to share their passion for the agricultural industry and serve as a connection to high school students to explore agricultural education!

ACEL and the Linden Community

By: Lindsay Breuler
Cleveland, Ohio
M.S. Agricultural and Extension Education

Over the past two years, the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership has nurtured a partnership with the Linden community in Columbus. In an effort to promote community and youth development, several programs have been established. During the summer months a small, 4-H club was established to teach the Linden youth (ages 14-18) leadership, gardening, nutrition, and community service. The youth completed a variety of learning workshops including a nutrition scavenger hunt, HANDS CPR training, and hours of hands-on gardening. In addition, several community service events were held which the youth helped to organize and facilitate.

Lindsay Breuler, photo 3


Now that the summer is over, a new community-focused program is being developed and piloted. Within the community of Linden, access to fresh, wholesome food is limited making it difficult to obtain food for a healthy lifestyle. As such, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program has been developed and pilot tested in Linden. The CSA program and Farmer’s market provides fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables to the community. During the pilot test, outside produce was brought in from local producers to gage the interest of the community.

Lindsay Breuler, photo 2

The Linden Community Farmer’s Market was held for three weeks in October starting at the annual Cabbage and Greens Festival. Community members were very excited about the program and expressed significant interest in using the program. After evaluating the three markets in October, it was decided that the program will start back up in April 2015. Plans are in place to include acceptance of SNAP-ED benefits at the market and grow 50-80% of the produce sold at the Linden community garden, Ama Vera’s Garden.

Lindsay Breuler, photo 4

Until April, 2015 the CSA and Farmer’s market will continue to be organized and planned for the next season. Plans are also in place to host three workshops on college and career readiness in the community. Topics covered will include college applications, scholarships, FAFSA, resumes, and interviewing. These workshops will be held starting in January 2015 and will continue through February 2015.

If readers have any questions about the Linden community programs or would like to volunteer please contact myself ( or Dr. Gary Straquadine (