CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress announces leadership appointments

Cathann A. Kress—vice president for agricultural administration and dean of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES)—recently announced the following leadership appointments:

  • Tim Haab as chair of the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) and as the college’s inaugural dean’s chair
  • Tracy Kitchel as CFAES associate dean for faculty and staff affairs 
  • Andrew (Dewey) Mann as director of CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory
  • Scott Shearer as chair of the CFAES Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE)
  • James (Jamie) Strange as chair of the CFAES Department of Entomology

“Please join me in congratulating all of them,” Kress said. “Their roles are crucial to the continuing success of our college.”

Tim Haab

Haab

Haab, reappointed to a four-year term through June 30, 2023, joined Ohio State in 2000 and has served as AEDE department chair since 2010. A first-generation college student, he received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 1991, and his PhD in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1995. From 1995–2000, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at East Carolina University.

Under Haab’s leadership, AEDE has been ranked the top research-doctorate program in the United States in agricultural and resource economics as well as in regional economics. Haab has successfully led AEDE programs that go beyond the classroom to integrate teaching, research, and outreach, and has transformed the AEDE staff to focus on customer service and innovative support programs. 

“I look forward to Tim’s continued leadership and success within AEDE,” Kress said.

Haab’s research and teaching focus on environmental economics and applied econometrics. His recent research has looked at the impacts of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, the impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the impacts of marine debris on southern California beaches. 

Haab has led research supported by more than $4 million in grants; authored more than 70 articles and reports and three books; and has given presentations and seminars at more than 100 universities and conferences worldwide. He is past president of the National Association of Agricultural Economics Administrators; and has served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board Environmental Economics Advisory Committee.

Also will be first dean’s chair

In addition to his reappointment as AEDE chair, Haab has been selected to be CFAES’ inaugural dean’s chair, a new program initiated in celebration of Ohio State’s sesquicentennial. Dean’s chair holders are individuals who, when given appropriate financial support and startup capability from the college and strategic partners, provide the college with the margin of excellence needed in an identified priority scholarly endeavor.

As the dean’s chair in transformative initiatives, Haab will focus on new and innovative programs that integrate all three missions of teaching, research, and extension and contribute to the economic well-being of the state of Ohio. This appointment will also be for four years and will run concurrent to his department chair appointment.

Initially, as dean’s chair, Haab will focus on the launch of the CFAES Knowledge Exchange, funded as part of the recent $7 million grant from the Nationwide Foundation. The Knowledge Exchange is a transformative, research-based, data-driven platform for collection, storage, translation, and exchange of CFAES data and research for diverse audiences. 

Tracy Kitchel

Kitchel

Kitchel’s four-year term as CFAES associate dean for faculty and staff affairs begins Aug. 1. In this new role, he will serve on the CFAES vice president’s cabinet and will have responsibilities including enhancing processes for faculty recruitment, onboarding, integration, retention, evaluation, and promotion, as well as developing faculty compensation policies and practices, and identifying inequities. He will also serve as the college diversity advocate to help nurture cultural competency and an inclusive environment, and ensure equitable consideration of candidates.

Kitchel earned his BS and MS at Ohio State and his PhD at the University of Missouri, all in agricultural education. His research focuses on the conditions of agriculture teachers’ entry into the profession, and more broadly, the career longevity of agriculture teachers. He has previously served on the faculties of the University of Kentucky and University of Missouri. Prior to returning to Ohio State in August 2016 as chair of the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL), Kitchel served as assistant vice provost of graduate and postdoctoral affairs at the University of Missouri.

In May, Kitchel was named a fellow of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). He has won research awards including numerous research conference paper awards and journal article awards. He has also won numerous teaching and mentoring awards such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Excellence in Teaching Award for early career faculty. He has served as AAAE treasurer, was a U.S. Department of Education appointee to the National FFA Organization board of directors, and served the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources as chair of the faculty advisory committee.

Dewey Mann

Mann

Mann’s appointment as director of CFAES’ Waterman Lab begins July 15. In this role, he will be responsible for leading progress toward the strategic objectives to ensure successful operations and programming in conjunction with college administration, departments, faculty, and staff who administer programs at Waterman. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and will lead implementation of the strategic plans for Waterman, including budget and personnel. He will also provide communication and overall strategy, providing data as necessary to support a growing enterprise. In addition, Mann will work closely with Ken Scaife, CFAES’ director of agricultural operations, and the college’s operations team to align programming with other operations on the Wooster and statewide campuses.

“I’m confident that Dr. Mann’s leadership, vision, and experience will position Waterman as a vital tool in helping our college achieve its mission,” Kress said.

Mann has been with CFAES since 2010, serving as lecturer and faculty advisor. He earned his PhD in food, agricultural and biological engineering at Ohio State and his MS in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University. He completed his undergraduate work in agricultural systems management at the University of Missouri. 

Mann has established a track record in CFAES for his passion for teaching, experiential learning, and engaging industry partners. As a member of the Future of Waterman Task Force, he helped develop a comprehensive vision for Waterman, a proposed governance structure, and groundwork for a physical master plan. As a result of that work, he is uniquely positioned to lead Waterman into the future. He is looking forward to the opportunities to impact students all across Ohio State; to modernize the systems and create a state-of-the-art showcase for teaching, research, and outreach; and to build community with internal and external stakeholders. 

Scott Shearer

Shearer

Shearer has been reappointed to a four-year term as FABE chair that runs through June 30, 2023. He brings strategic leadership and a clear focus to FABE and to the CFAES leadership team. He also has strong connections to numerous external partners who value his contributions and expertise. During the past year under Shearer’s leadership, FABE saw a significant jump among top programs in the nation, with its undergraduate programs ranking seventh in the nation, up from 11th in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. 

“I look forward to Scott’s continued leadership and success within FABE,” Kress said.

Shearer has previously served two, four-year terms as FABE chair. He joined Ohio State in 2011, and before that was chair of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Kentucky. His undergraduate and graduate degrees are in agricultural engineering from Ohio State. 

Shearer’s research areas are digital agriculture and automation of agricultural field machinery. He has led research supported by over $14 million in grants; has authored more than 200 technical publications; is a co-inventor on multiple patents and patent applications; and has made numerous invited presentations at international conferences, professional meetings, and farmer forums. He is a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Jamie Strange

Strange

Strange, currently a research entomologist with the USDA-ARS Pollinating Insect Research Unit in Logan, Utah, and an adjunct faculty member in Utah State University’s Biology Department, begins a four-year term as chair of CFAES’ Department of Entomology on Sept. 16. He is an accomplished researcher and leader, and has received multiple honors including awards for student mentoring and USDA certificates of merit and appreciation. 

“I’m excited about the vision Dr. Strange has for our Department of Entomology,” Kress said. “I’m confident that his leadership will be a great asset for the department and our college.”

Strange’s research areas include basic aspects of bumble bee biology and practical aspects of bumble bee culture for pollination. Currently, his lab is working cooperatively with researchers at several universities and government agencies to investigate the causes and extent of declines of several North American bee species. This work seeks to understand the drivers of population dynamics such as pathogens, habitat change, and genetics, and how those stressors interact to impact pollinators.

Strange’s previous positions include postdoctoral research associate in Cornell University’s Department of Entomology, research assistant in Washington State University’s Department of Entomology, entomology instructor at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, and agricultural science research technician with USDA-ARS in Washington state.

Strange received his master’s degree and PhD in entomology from Washington State University and completed his undergraduate work in agricultural science at Pennsylvania State University.