CFAES Monthly: December 2014

  1. OSU Extension launches new web presence

    OSU Extension launched its new web presence last week. The launching of 89 new sites represents approximately nine months of dedicated work by individuals across CFAES. This project would not have been possible without the dedicated work of county site builders and content owners, all working on an aggressive timeline.

    As you navigate one of the new sites, it is likely that you will have questions about content or functionality, or will encounter links that are not working. We would ask that you first check with the assigned site builder in your county to help answer questions or clarify functionality of the site. If questions or problems persist, please submit a ticket to the help desk at Your question or questions will get routed to the appropriate individual to address and/or we will share system-wide responses as appropriate if the issue affects all sites.

    Again, our thanks to everyone who worked on this project over the past several months. We look forward to continuing to support and enhance OSU Extension's web presence as it serves as a critical entry point and educational tool for visitors.—Ryan Schmiesing, CFAES Communications

  2. Thank you for making CFAES’s Stop Hunger Now event a big success

    Heartfelt thanks are in order to the nearly 350 volunteers and donors who hurried, hauled and helped during CFAES’s Stop Hunger Now meal-packaging event at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center Nov. 24.

    Volunteers — most of whom were students, faculty and staff — packed 75,000 meals in less than three hours. The meals will help feed the hungry across the globe. The event was co-hosted by CFAES and the student organization Buckeyes Against Hunger

    The biggest sponsor was the H.J. Heinz Company Foundation. The foundation underwrote the 75,000 meals as part of its Heinz Micronutrient Campaign (HMC).

    In 2013, the HMC launched a new partnership with Stop Hunger Now, a Raleigh, North Carolina-based nonprofit whose mission is to alleviate hunger in developing nations around the world.—CFAES Office of Development

    Read the full story (with photo gallery) …

  3. CFAES Staff Advisory Council honors outstanding staff members

    College staff members were honored at the CFAES Staff Advisory Council (SAC) Awards Luncheon Nov. 6. The annual luncheon is sponsored by the council as a way for SAC, unit leaders and college administrators to recognize four outstanding staff members who are nominated by their colleagues and peers.

    CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron welcomed attendees and presented the awards. Keynote speaker Mike Boehm, Ohio State’s vice provost for academic and strategic planning, spoke about Ohio State’s commitment to faculty, staff and student success and identified four sets of core goals that are key to promoting excellence in the college.

    The annual awards are presented in four areas. The Shirley Brooks-Jones Citizenship Award recognizes outstanding citizenship activities by a CFAES staff member. The award is named for Shirley Brooks-Jones, whose extraordinary work throughout the world and active involvement and remarkable service during her tenure at Ohio State make her an exemplary role model for service to faculty and staff members, students, and those beyond the Ohio State community. The 2014 recipient of the Shirley Brooks-Jones Citizenship Award is Nathan Douridas, farm manager for Farm Science Review.

    Three Above and Beyond Awards honor staff members who stand out in their efforts and contributions.

    • The Key Values Award recognizes a staff member for dedication, cooperation and a positive attitude in the workplace. The 2014 recipient is Kathy Yoder, head librarian for the ATI Library.
    • The Innovation Award is given to a staff member for developing and/or participating in project initiatives and/or process operations improvements that enhance CFAES, OSU Extension, ATI or OARDC and their missions. The 2014 recipient is Christopher Gecik, design engineer in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering.
    • The Special Recognition Award is presented to a staff member for special commitment to tasks, positive customer service and improved workplace communication. The 2014 recipient is Kathy Bulka, office administrative associate, OSU Extension, Medina County.

    Our congratulations to these deserving staff members.

    For details about CFAES Staff Advisory Council and for photos from the luncheon, click here.—CFAES Staff Advisory Council

  4. McPheron, van der Knaap, Herms named AAAS Fellows

    Three of the six Ohio State faculty elected this year as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are from CFAES.

    Election as Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society.

    The new Fellows from CFAES are Bruce McPheron, dean of the college and vice president for agricultural administration; Dan Herms, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology; and Esther van der Knaap, associate professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science.

    New Fellows will be welcomed in a ceremony at the AAAS annual meeting in San Jose, California, in February.

    “This worldwide recognition of our faculty by their peers underscores their many contributions to society in disciplines from chemistry and crop science to entomology and pathology,” Ohio State President Michael V. Drake said in a statement. “Our researchers continue to push the boundaries of their scholarship and teaching to improve lives and solve problems of global significance.”—Mauricio Espinoza, CFAES Communications

    Read more …

  5. Entomology students, faculty net ESA awards

    Several members of the Department of Entomology were honored with awards at the recent annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Portland, Oregon.

    President’s Prize for Student Presentations: Undergraduate Competition

    • Olimpia Ferguson, first prize, poster presentation (advised by Susan Jones).
    • MaLisa Spring, first prize, oral presentation (advised by Mary Gardiner).

    President’s Prize for Student Presentations: Graduate Competition

    • Liu Yang, first prize (advised by Pete Piermarini).
    • Courtney Darrington, second prize (advised by Susan Jones).
    • Doug Sponsler, second prize (advised by Reed Johnson).

    Faculty Awards

    The following faculty members received national awards:

    • Mary Gardiner received the International Organization for Biological Control Early Career Outstanding Scientist Award; and ESA’s Early Career Innovation Award.
    • Dan Herms received the ESA Award for Distinguished Achievement in Horticultural Entomology.

    Congratulations to all!

  6. What’s on your mind? Give CFAES Staff Advisory Council your feedback

    The CFAES Staff Advisory Council’s (SAC) purpose is to provide a formal vehicle for staff participation in shaping a college environment that promotes mutual respect, builds teams and increases efficiency of communication within the college.

    SAC supports activities including staff luncheon; ice cream social; pancake breakfast; professional development grants; and an annual CFAES Road Trip.

    SAC wants your feedback. Obtaining feedback is vital to determining future goals. Please take a brief five minutes to complete the survey at Responses are confidential and individuals are not identified.

    Contact Kimberly Roush, chair, SAC, with questions at

  7. Outreach and Engagement Office invites grant proposals, award applications

    Applications are now being accepted for two programs coordinated by Ohio State’s Office of University Outreach and Engagement.

    • Engagement Impact Grants support innovative engagement scholarship that connects academic excellence in teaching and research with compelling challenges, enhances partnerships between collaborative university teams and community partners, and creates sustainable programs that lead to transformational change. A total of $200,000, with a maximum individual grant award of $60,000, is available to support two-year programs. Proposals must be submitted to no later than 4 p.m., Feb. 16, 2015. 
    • The offices of Outreach and Engagement, International Affairs, Service-Learning, Student Life and Undergraduate Education have joined together to recognize faculty, staff, students and community partners with the University Outreach and Engagement Recognition Awards program. Awards will be given in the community engagement, international engagement, service-learning, staff, student, student group and community partner categories. A total of $21,000 will be awarded. Applications are due Feb. 16, 2015. Submit applications at
  8. Accelerator Awards created to kick-start commercialization of Ohio State inventions

    Every day, breakthrough innovations occur at Ohio State, and sometimes these inventions need just a small amount of capital for further development. Seeing this need for proof-of-concept funding, the Technology Commercialization Office, Office of Research and TechColumbus are implementing a new funding program called the Accelerator Awards.

    The Accelerator Awards will provide a small amount of fast and flexible capital to Ohio State researchers to further develop and validate their inventions, software and technologies. With the idea that small amounts of strategically focused capital can make a big difference toward the start of commercialization, the Accelerator Awards will provide faculty, postdoctoral and graduate student researchers a first step in concept development, prototyping and coding toward the proof of concept of an invention.

    “These awards are really focused on developing first- or second-generation prototypes for research studies that need proof-of-concept validation,” said Vice President of Technology Commercialization Tim Wright. “Together with Vice President of Research Caroline Whitacre and the leadership at TechColumbus, we saw a need to implement this program and give researchers and inventors a boost in providing the next step in the commercialization process.”—Technology Commercialization Office

    Read more …

  9. Ohio State climate series breaks big on iTunes U

    The “Global Change, Local Impact” webinar series hosted by Ohio State’s Climate Change Outreach Team is now available on iTunes U as a course called “Climate Impacts in the Great Lakes.” Within its first week, the collection of 40-plus presentations on climate research, adaptation and education was featured by Apple and hit No. 1 on the list of iTunes U Top Courses.

    “Climate Impacts in the Great Lakes” features researchers, government officials and private-sector representatives from across the U.S. The speakers cover topics ranging from the newest research on the impacts of climate change on wildlife and public health to new methods of mitigating and adapting to climate change for local communities. Ohio Sea Grant, which is leading the webinar series and iTunes U effort, will continue to update the course as new presentations are added to the series.

    The course can be accessed at or by searching for the course title in the iTunes U catalog. In the first two weeks after its launch, it was visited almost 23,000 times and garnered more than 2,500 subscribers.—Christina Dierkes, Ohio Sea Grant Communications

    Read more …

  10. An after Christmas story: Tips for reducing, reusing, recycling holiday trash

    Have you noticed that trash cans in your neighborhood are “packed to the gills” right after the holidays? It doesn’t have to be that way, and it’s not good for our economy. Consider that every year, around the holidays and otherwise, we discard packaging material valued at about $11 billion, and we bury enough aluminum in landfills to make 25,000 jetliners.

    At holiday time, an estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the U.S., enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. Electronic holiday greeting cards, offered through a variety of websites, are a convenient, no-cost, waste-free alternative.

    It’s estimated that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, more than 1 million tons of additional waste are generated each week nationwide. In fact, 38,000 miles of ribbon alone are thrown out each year — enough to tie a bow around Earth. Materials such as this, for example, are treasured by teachers for art projects.

    The web is a great treasure for ideas on reducing, reusing and recycling what is normally “holiday waste.” Two particularly good sites are:

    Other resources are and For Buckeyes in central Ohio, check the website of the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio at

    In addition, once the big day has passed and the ornaments are safely packed away for next year, there’s just one thing left to do with your Christmas tree — contact your city or county’s recycling coordinator directly, or ask your local Christmas tree grower about recycling programs near you. Also, the websites listed above offer many suggestions.—Neil Drobny; program director; Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability major