They are future leaders of agriculture. And these three scholars are already making an impact, thanks to the generosity of those who give to The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Scholarships have helped Maria Fredericks, Jazmine Mincy and Matthew D. Teegarden get involved, represent CFAES and Ohio State, achieve academic excellence, and see the world.
Maria Fredericks is majoring in environmental policy and decision making, and specializing in environmental and social justice.
She is currently conducting undergraduate research led by Assistant Professor Jeffrey Jacquet in the CFAES School of Environment and Natural Resources. The focus is on community perception and response to railway transport of fossil fuels.
The junior from Long Island is also the founder of “Renew OSU,” an activist group committed to persuading the university to divest from using fossil fuels.
Fredericks is surprised about how quickly she has observed climate change, noting that its impact will be disproportionate to those with the greatest financial need and lowest income, she said. “People have lost their homes completely due to climate change,” she said.
Columbus was the furthest west that she had ever traveled at the time of her college visit. She came to Ohio State seeking the big college experience. “As soon as I set foot on campus, I fell in love,” she said. “I knew this was the school for me.”
An award from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Education Abroad Scholarship Fund allowed Fredericks to visit Barcelona, Spain, for six weeks. “Thanks to the donors I was able to reduce my costs.”
Fredericks is also a recipient of The Barnebey Family Scholarship Fund (#600329), and she is a Morrill scholar, which is awarded by the university to students of diverse background. She is also a resident advisor in the university’s Fechko House.
Fredericks said she has “a large sense of gratitude for Ohio State to have one of the largest diversity programs in the nation. It is amazing with networking.” After she completes her undergraduate degree, Fredericks is considering obtaining a Juris Doctor and a master’s degree.
A graduating senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, Jazmine Mincy has made it her mission to work with youth and introduce agriculture to people with nontraditional agricultural backgrounds.
She has served as Region V national vice president for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences and is president of the Ohio State chapter of that academic and professional organization.
“To have that opportunity is rare, and I wouldn’t be able to have it without the support I received here,” she said.
Mincy graduates in December 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences. Meeting Temple Grandin after a lecture and taking study abroad trips to Spain and Costa Rica are her most memorable undergraduate experiences.
“I got to understand the culture and understand how people there perceive the agricultural industry,” she said of the trips, for which she had received The Mount Family Study Abroad Scholarship Fund (#645065) and the Pat and Bobby Moser Family Study Abroad Scholarship Fund (#645044).
Mincy plans to teach high school and get a master’s degree. She is also considering joining the Peace Corps.
“A lot of people have a stigma about who belongs in the industry of agriculture. The professors and staff help break that,” Mincy said. “The college itself has developed a culture that makes students welcome in the university.”
“When you can go into the office and the assistant dean recognizes you, or when the dean invites you to dinner, that makes you feel like you are home,” said Mincy.
MATTHEW D. TEEGARDEN, MS
Named Outstanding Graduate Student for 2017 at The Ohio State University, Matthew D. Teegarden is currently a doctoral candidate in the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology.
He is president of the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association, an international organization that has more than 3,000 members. He also recently visited South Africa.
As the Lisa and Dan Wampler Endowed Fellow for Food and Health Research, Teegarden is researching functional foods, specifically berries, and their potential positive impact on oral cancer outcomes.
“We have a long history of research in berries at Ohio State, specifically black raspberries. It is a good food to explore,” he said. “The fellowship allows me to be innovative and come up with new ideas.”
The Cincinnati, Ohio, native received additional scholarship assistance as both an undergraduate and graduate student.
“By having the scholarships, it has freed up time to explore other things,” he said. “It shows you are doing something right. They are incredibly valuable. Thank you.”
He also is a founding member of the student food-science-communication group “Citation Needed” and a member of a similar group called “Don’t Eat the Pseudoscience.”
After receiving his degree, Teegarden plans to pursue a career advocating for the science of and conducting research in the food industry.