ACEL students at ATI named outstanding

Paige Schaffter, Outstanding ATI Student


Nicole Middaugh, Outstanding ATI Student


Jamie Water, Outstanding ATI Student

Three of our ATI students were named Outstanding Ohio State ATI Students at the ATI Student Awards Banquet last month.

Nicole Middaugh (agricultural communication, Jamie Walter (agriscience education and agricultural communication) and Paige Schaffter(agriscience education) were recognized with the honor by ATI Director Dr. Kris Boone Payne.

Congratulations to these students and their accomplishments as ATI students! We’re excited to have you join us on the Columbus campus this fall!

News Release: ACEL students selected to join CFAES ambassador team

Five students from the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership were recently selected to join the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Ambassador Team. The CFAES Ambassador Team members give prospective families tours of our college campus, serve as liaisons to the Ohio State student body to increase awareness around our college and attend CFAES events as representatives of the college.

ACEL students recently selected to join the team include:

  • Alexis Elliott, agricultural communication, Mount Victory, Ohio
  • Ethan Keller, agricultural communication, Sharon Springs, New York
  • Olivia Pflaumer, agriscience education, Chillicothe, Ohio
  • Paige Schaffter, agriscience education, Edon, Ohio
  • Brittany Weller, agriscience education, Bellevue, Ohio

“Their selection to serve as an CFAES ambassador not only signifies their abilities to represent our department, but to represent CFAES as a whole,” said Dr. Tracy Kitchel, professor and chair of ACEL. “Our students tend to be well-represented among the college ambassador ranks because of our department’s dedication to and study of connecting with people in and around our industries and communities.”

These five students join 12 ACEL students currently serving as a CFAES Ambassadors. They include: Emma Lynn Johnson (community leadership), Wyatt Jones (agriscience education), Taylor Lutz (agriscience education), Cody McClain (agriscience education), Micah Mensing (agriscience education) Abby Motter (agriscience education), Cody Myers (agriscience education), Meredith Oglesby (agricultural communication), Milan Pozderac (agriscience education), Sydney Snider (agricultural communication), Kayla Walls (agriscience education) and Meghann Winters (agricultural communication).

CFAES ambassadors are selected each Spring Semester through an application and interview process.

Pflaumer spends winter break with Buck-I-SERV

Olivia Pflaumer
agriscience education

Buck-I-SERV is The Ohio State University’s alternative break program, providing students across the campus opportunities to engage in weeklong community service and civic engagement programs around the United States and even abroad. I was selected to participate in a Buck-I-SERV program with nine other students, where we traveled to Pinellas County Florida to work with University of Florida’s IFAS Extension Sea Grant program. UF | IFAS’s mission is to provide research based knowledge and educational opportunities to enable people, and in particular we worked with this in the Pinellas County area.

Some of the main issues facing the Pinellas County area are related to marine debris, income inequality, and access to education. Libby Carnahan coordinated and provided educational information to participating students as we served at Weedon Island cleaning marine debris from Mangrove Islands and protecting wildlife. Mangroves are an essential piece of the ecosystem in this area and are threatened by pollution. On our second day we served at Fort Desoto, an area that has been losing resources and required a tremendous amount of assistance to revitalize the historical area. Moving away from the environmental efforts, we were also able to construct and execute lesson plans for the Lealman Asian and Family Neighbor Center. The students were able to engage and learn from us more about the ecosystem and habitats that surround them in the Pinellas County area. On our last full day in Florida, a downpour prevented us from completing our original plans of another environmental clean-up and therefore led us to serve time at a local food bank in the Lealman area and also provide labor for one of the Tampa Bay area’s Habitat for Humanity Restore Centers.

The opportunity to engage with students from different backgrounds and hear about their understanding of the environmental and social issues faced in Pinellas County was extremely valuable, along with the valuable accounts from the people we were working with in the area. While it was only a week long, the impacts we were working to make were extremely gratifying in a sense that we could see a direct change especially when cleaning areas from debris. I would encourage any student that is interested in community service to take this opportunity. The opportunities and experiences I have gained from Buck-I-SERV has empowered me and others to bring what we learned back to the Columbus community and have a meaningful impact through our organizations on and off campus.


Pflaumer (left) teaching students in Pinellas County.


Cleaning up marine debris.


Pflaumer (left) with other students.


ACEL Upperclassmen Q&A

Some of our first year students had a few questions. We asked two upperclassman – Sydney Snider, a senior studying agricultural communication, and Brittany Weller, a junior studying agriscience education – these questions and below are their responses!

What would be your best first year student advice?

Sydney Snider: Everyone says it, but get involved! Find some things that interest you and get engaged with them right away. Also, don’t be afraid to make friends inside of class. Having friends to study with and talk through class concepts with is really nice!

Brittany Weller: Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone and get involved! Find your fit and fuel your passions. You get the opportunity to meet great people and make great memories. It makes Columbus and Ohio State seem a lot less “scary”.

What is your favorite place to eat on or close to campus?

Snider: There are lots of places not far from campus that are great. If you like sushi, I’d suggest checking out Fusion. I’d also suggest checking our Bibibop. Both are on High Street. The Short North has some great places to eat and isn’t too far from campus. It’s a great place to take your parents when they visit or if you’re looking for something a little less casual. Columbus is a foodie city – take advantage of that and explore!

Weller: The options in Columbus are endless. High Street has a lot of great options that can never go wrong. If you go downtown you can find some unique places like Schmidt’s and The Thurman Cafe. I enjoy Piada, Roosters, and of course, Canes

What is the most popular organization in ACEL?

Snider: I don’t know if there is a “most popular” organization in ACEL, but both Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and Ag Ed Society are great organizations to get involved with. It doesn’t matter your major, if you care about agriculture and either communicating that message or educating others, than either organization is great to join! I would highly recommend attending the first few meetings of both to see if it would be a good fit for you.

Weller: Agricultural Education Society and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow are the two most “popular” organizations in the ACEL Department. These two organizations are awesome ones to get involved in! You don’t have to be an ACEL student, as long as you have an interest in educating and communicating about agriculture, these two organizations would love to have you! You may find your fit in one of these clubs.

What is a good way to stay on top of school work?

Snider: Prioritize and keep a calendar that lists due dates! Don’t procrastinate. If you want to turn in good, quality work then start on projects with plenty of time to review and ask professors or teaching assistants for help before it is due. Dedicate a couple hours each week to working on assignments and studying for exams. Again – don’t procrastinate!

Weller: Planning and organization are key! Buy yourself a nice planner, and organize your days and assignments. Plan ahead, because the days go by so quickly. Exams come a lot quicker than what you think. Try to stay up to date with assignments and don’t wait until the last minute, you’ll thank yourself later.

What is a good place to hang out between classes?

Snider: When it’s nice outside, I enjoy sitting in Chadwick Arboretum to work on assignments, eat lunch or just hang out for a bit before class. When Ohio winter’s hit, I usually hang out in Ag. Admin because I always see people I know and can find good spots to get work done!

Weller: I can always be found in Ag Admin. For me, Ag Admin is a comfy place where you can hang out, you can study, or get food. It’s also a place where everyone goes, so you can find someone to know. I also enjoy going over to Parker Food Science and Technology building- they have ice cream, which is great on warm days!

Do you have questions for our upperclassmen? Email your questions to All questions will be shared anonymously.

ACEL’s Dean’s List for 2018 Spring Semester

The following 74 undergraduate students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership were named to the 2018 Spring Semester Dean’s List for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. To be named to the Dean’s List, students must have a 3.5 GPA or higher. Additionally, 24 students earned a 4.0 GPA.


Agricultural Communication
Kirsten Ameling
Shelby Bradford
Skylar Buell
Courtney Fulton
Rachel Garrison
Paige Hamrick
Jane Hulse
Mary Jenkins *
Lea Kimley
Danielle Leeper
Alice Martin
Bailee Mazzaro
Kasey Miller
Adison Niese
Haley Plahuta
Emily Reed
Eva Scott*
Sydney Snider
Alison Sprang
Zachary Steiner
Marlee Stollar *
Kamala Sweeney
Kalyn Swihart
Rhiann Travis
Ryan Vonderhaar
Bailey Wagner
Cole Wallis
Meghann Winters

Agriscience Education
Christine Balint *
Katherine Bell *
Megan Bergman *
Kelse Brown *
Blake Campbell *
Kristen Eisenhauer
Haley Evans
Kaitlyn Evans
Katrina Harper
Logan Heiby *
Brittany Heigley
Caleb Hickman *
Alexis Howell
Wyatt Jones
Elizabeth Landis
Sarah Landis *
Cody McClain
Rachel McClellan *
Summer McLain
Micah Mensing *
Frances Nicol *
Samantha Norman *
Taylor Orr
Olivia Pflaumer
Cole Riddle *
Ellyse Shafer *
Haley Sherman
Robert Thiel
Sara Thwaits
Kayla Walls
Samantha Wander
Brittany Weller
Jessica White
Stephanie Wuebben *

Community Leadership
Emily Bauman *
Arthur Davis
Melanie Fuhrmann
Conner Hovest *
Sarah Longo *
Emily Paulsen *
Jenna Purvis
Mariah Stollar *
Rachel Stoneburner *
Katharine Stottlemyer
Porscha Valmont
Bridget Yutzy

Alumni and Student Service Project

All alumni and current students of our department are invited to come together to serve our community on April 14, 2018 from 10am-12pm. More details are available on the event page.

Limited space available – please sign-up here:

We can’t wait to see you and serve our community together.

A letter from Cole: Four weeks left to apply to Ohio State!

Future Buckeye,

As I approach my second semester at Ohio State and reflect upon my first, I realize how much I love my new school, new city and new friends. Being a student in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) has allotted me so many amazing opportunities.

Within my first semester, I have been able to study abroad in Nicaragua, attend a leadership conference in Kansas City and meet amazing faculty and students. The atmosphere of the Ohio State University is phenomenal; no matter what you find interesting, you can find it at Ohio State. My personal experience has consisted of Undergraduate Student Government, broomball, and the Mount Leadership Society.

I urge you to apply to Ohio State before the upcoming deadline (February 1, 2018 – 4 weeks from today)! Choosing to become a Buckeye has made a huge impact on my life already, and I am excited to see what’s next in my Ohio State story. CFAES works hard to advocate for its students and provides endless opportunities to each student it serves.

I hope that during the hustle and bustle of senior pictures, graduation plans and endless deadlines, you remember to apply to The Ohio State University. It was the best decision I ever made, and I hope you make it too!

Go Bucks!
Cole, ’22
agricultural communication student

PS – 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

Cole (far right) with fellow CFAES freshmen in Nicaragua in December.

Cole with friends at an Ohio State football game this past season.

Six ACEL Seniors named CFAES Outstanding Senior

Six students in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership were recognized at the annual CFAES Celebration of Students (formerly known as the CFAES Recognition Program) as Outstanding Seniors.

These seniors were selected through an application and interview process by CFAES faculty members.

The six students from ACEL selected include:

Megan Besancon, agricultural communication
Miranda Miser, agricultural communication
Leah Schwinn, agricultural communication
Jarred Shellhouse, agricultural communication
Mary Siekman, agricultural communication
Carley Snider, agriscience education

We wish you the best of luck as you leave Ohio State and continue your careers as communicators, educators and graduate students!

Dr. Tracy Kitchel, professor and department chair, poses with the six CFAES Outstanding Seniors from our department at a reception held prior to the program.