CFAES associate dean, faculty member, and grad student earn national engineering honors


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ann D. Christy, associate dean and director for Academic Programs at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), has been named a Fellow with the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

ASABE has also awarded Patrick Sours, CFAES assistant professor of professional practice, the 2024 Robert E. Stewart Engineering Humanities Award, and Jaden Tatum, CFAES graduate research Fellow, the 2024 Pharos of Alexandria Global Learning Award. ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization that works to advance engineering applied to agricultural, food, and biological systems.

Christy, who is also a professor in the CFAES Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) as well as a professor of engineering education, is a registered professional engineer and a second-generation woman engineer. Before becoming a faculty member, Christy worked for an environmental engineering firm in New Jersey and continues to collaborate with an environmental consulting company in Westerville.

Her research in bioenergy, bioenvironmental engineering, and engineering education has generated over 160 scholarly publications, including more than 50 on topics related to teaching and learning.

“I am humbled by this honor,” Christy said, “and I extend my sincere thanks to all who have both supported and challenged me on this journey of professional development and personal growth.”

Christy was chosen as an ASABE Fellow for her “outstanding contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning, as well as leadership in positive academic change at local and institution-wide scales,” according to the organization’s written statement.

“As an instructor and advisor, she has been a source of encouragement, empowerment, and inspiration to over a thousand students,” ASABE writes. “Throughout her career, she has served as an academic change agent, achieving positive change on a large scale with semester conversion and department creation, as well as on an individual scale of one student at a time.”

Tracy Kitchel, CFAES senior associate dean and director of faculty and staff affairs, agrees.

“Being named a Fellow is a significant honor to a faculty member, as it denotes you as a top scholar and contributor to your discipline,” he said. “Dr. Christy’s contributions to teaching and learning, mentoring, and academic transformation are some of the best examples we have in the college and at Ohio State.”

Sours, who is an assistant professor of professional practice in engineering for sustainable development and the faculty lead of the Humanitarian Engineering program at Ohio State, was honored for his work combining languages, culture, history, and water access issues.

Sours’ work includes leading experiential learning programs, conducting research, and instructing courses related to engineering for sustainable development. His international work involves implementing three rainwater storage systems at a community medical clinic and two primary schools in Tanzania, providing students with water access, supporting meal preparation, and improving attendance and performance at the schools.

Tatum, a FABE graduate research Fellow studying agricultural engineering, was honored for her “dedication to engineering in a global context, which shines in her research, commitment to student learning, and international ASABE involvement,” according to ASABE.

Tatum’s research focuses on strengthening food system resilience and food security through enhancing the sustainability and profitability of small-scale agriculture. Specifically, she concentrates on small-scale grain drying and storage for developing countries, and strengthening season-extension infrastructure using shallow geothermal resources for heating and cooling.

“It is an honor to be recognized, and I am grateful for the support and opportunities I’ve had from CFAES,” Tatum said.

Tracy Turner
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Ann Christy

Patrick Sours

Jaden Tatum