In early March, Rafael Landaverde, a PhD student in agricultural communication, education, and leadership, and Dr. Mary Rodriguez, assistant professor in community leadership, traveled to Uganda to collect data as part of the Governance Research on Water Systems (GROWS) project.
GROWS is a grant funded research project with Global Environment and Technology Foundation, US Water Partnership, The Ohio State University, Global Partners for Development and USAID that aims to design and disseminate water governance systems in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. You can learn more about the project here.
While their trip was cut short due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, they did get a photo in Masindi, Uganda to show that the work of CFAES spans worldwide.
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.”
Congratulations to Lauren Stohlmann, a recent graduate of our master’s degree program in agricultural and extension education, who has been hired as the Cass County, Nebraska 4-H and Youth Educator. Stohlmann is a native and former 4-H member of Cass County and will be responsible for teaching local youth about agriculture, science and nature.
Congratulations to Emily Isaacs, and agricultural and extension education master’s student, on the successful defense of her thesis “Toward Smart City Goals: Promoting Sustainable Commutes Among University Students.”
Isaacs advisor was Dr. Mary Rodriguez and Dr. Joy Rumble served as her committee member.
Congratulations to Lauren Stohlmann, an agricultural and extension education master’s student, on the successful defense of her thesis “Application of VFTs to Increase Agricultural Literacy of Youth.”
Dr. Emily Buck served as Stohlman’s advisor and Dr. Annie Spect was her committee member.
Following graduation this Sunday, Stohlmann has accepted a position as 4-H and Youth Educator in Cass County, Nebraska.
Congratulations to Dr. Fallys Masambuka, an agricultural and extension education doctoral student, on the successful defense of her dissertation “Agricultural communication: Whose voices, for who and for what? A case study of Malawian Agricultural communication programs.”
Masambuka completed her dissertation under the advisement of Dr. Mary Rodriguez and Dr. Emily Buck. Dr. Jera Niewoehner-Green and graduate faculty representative Dr. Rebecca Garabed served on her committee.
(Niewoehner-Green, Rodriguez and Buck are pictured below with Masambuka.)
Aaron Fowler is a student in our online Master’s program and is also a Program Assistant for OSU Extension Greene County. A native of Greene County, Aaron grew up in Fairborn, Ohio where he was first introduced to 4-H when he was 16. Aaron joined 4-H in high school and credits the program for helping to “break him out of his shell.” Although Aaron participated in other activities such as ROTC and Marching Band, he feels that the 4-H is unique in its ability to provide each person with an individual voice and find that person’s unique talents. Aaron found that 4-H helped him to see leadership as something that can be grown and nurtured instead of a characteristic that some people are born with. He says that 4-H gave him a sense of purpose and impact as well as an ability to see that what he had to offer was valuable and not just a repeat of what someone else had to offer. His positive experiences with 4-H have helped shaped his career decisions and are helping to direct Master’s project as well.
Aaron earned his undergraduate degree from Wright State University where he majored in Psychology. After college, he went to work for a local mental health organization where he worked with clients in group home settings. While he enjoyed this experience, he found that he was limited in the ways in that he could help clients and so the impact was not always as good as it could have been. One way Aaron saw that he made a difference was when clients came to Aaron to talk through their troubles. He could see that these mini- therapy sessions were beneficial and that many times his clients just needed someone to talk to. While this was rewarding, he was sometimes frustrated with a system that he wished was “a little bit different.” Aaron was still involved in 4-H as an advisor and found that he enjoyed this type of a role which led him to consider a career in Extension. Aaron’s first job made him an advocate for mental health, something he also hopes to incorporate in his Master’s project.
Aaron now works with SNAP-Ed where he enjoys the “immediate impact” he sees in his clients through education. While Aaron teaches SNAP-Ed to a wide range of ages from preschool to senior citizens, he primarily works with students in alternative high schools. He uses the Extension program, “My Plate” to teach low-income families how to eat healthy on a limited budget. Eating healthy does not have to be something that breaks your budget. Aaron is inspired by Roger Rennekamp’s description of the SNAP-Ed program: if SNAP benefits are the fish, then SNAP-Ed is like teaching people how to fish.
For his Master’s project, Aaron hopes to combine his passion for 4-H with his advocacy for those with mental illness. He would like to see 4-H become the activity that youth with disability and mental health disorders come to as their source for development outside of school. For this, he draws inspiration from Temple Grandin who credits 4-H and having the ability to work with animals from a young age in helping inspire her in her work. Aaron is just finishing his first semester in the program, so he is still not quite sure how he is going to combine these ideas in his project, but this is the direction he would like to take. In addition to his academics, Aaron serves as the online representative for the Graduate Student Association. This role is still developing, but Aaron as an online student himself, Aaron would like to find ways to keep the students in the online program involved with the Graduate Student Association. This may be through Zoom lunches or other distance opportunities. Watch for more information on this as the semester progresses. The one constant is that he is looking to make sure that everyone feels like they are part of the group. If you are an online student and have ideas for Aaron, please feel free to e-mail (fowler.440). When not busy with his graduate studies, Aaron enjoys spending time with his family. He is lucky that brother Ryan, sister Emma, and mom Karla are also located in Greene County and they are able to get together often.
Please join us in congratulating Suzanna Windon on the successful defense of her dissertation titled, “Examining Ohio State University Extension Program Assistants’ Turnover Intention through Job Satisfaction, Satisfaction with Supervisor, and Organizational Commitment.”
Dr. Windon is pictured with her advisor, Dr. Graham Cochran, and committee member Dr. Mary Rodriguez. Dr. Scott Scheer and graduate faculty representative Dr. Brent Laboiteaux Sohngen also served on her committee.