Two faculty members honored for service

Caryn Filson

Two CFAES members were recently awarded for their outstanding contributions to Ohio State.

Dr. Caryn Filson, assistant professor of agriscience education in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL), received the 2021 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. 

Dr. Sathya Gopalakrishnan, an associate professor of environmental and resource economics in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE), received the 2021 President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service.

Gopalakrishnan’s efforts in AEDE stand at the frontier in exploring resource management problems in which biophysical and economic systems are linked by spatial-dynamic processes.

Her work reaches a broad audience across disciplines, and she is internationally recognized as an outstanding scholar with research that has both academic and public policy significance and impact. A founding member of the STEAM Factory, Gopalakrishnan has used her creative and interdisciplinary collaboration to make research dissemination accessible and approachable.

Sathya Gopalakrishnan

Besides being an outstanding research scholar, Gopalakrishnan has mentored numerous students while also teaching them how to value the environment and be good stewards of the natural resources around them. In 2017, Gopalakrishnan became a faculty member in AEDE where she teaches undergraduates and graduates.

She is one of three faculty members at Ohio State to receive the 2021 President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service.

Filson joined the ACEL faculty in 2014 as a three-time graduate of the ACEL program.

In her role, Filson teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on campus and at a distance; coordinates and assesses field experience placements for the agriscience education program; facilitates program efforts to meet university teacher licensure accreditation; and manages initial licensure requirements for the preservice agriscience education program. 

One of her student nominators commented that she is “more than an advisor, professor, and faculty member. . . . You are a counselor, friend, colleague, mentor, and coach to all of your students.” The student went on to say that “you not only assist students in earning their degrees, you prepare future agriscience educators, citizens, and people who will change the world for the better.”

Filson has taught a variety of classes within ACEL including graduate research methods; theories of learning and cognition; leading through historical perspectives; evaluation in agriscience education; methods of teaching agriscience education; contextual learning in agriscience education; and exploration in agricultural communication, education, and leadership.

Filson was nominated by multiple agriscience education students for her outstanding teaching. The Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching annually recognizes up to 10 faculty members across the university for their teaching excellence. Students, faculty, and alumni may nominate faculty; and a committee of students, previous recipients, and alumni choose the recipients.

For the award, Filson will receive a monetary gift from The Ohio State University Alumni Association, University Advancement, and the Office of Academic Affairs. She will also be inducted into Ohio State’s Academy of Teaching.

Filson and Gopalakrishnan will be formally recognized in a ceremony this fall.