M. Susie Whittington, professor of agriscience education in the CFAES Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL), has been selected as president-elect of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agricultural (NACTA). NACTA, which was formed in 1955 as a professional society, focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning in agriculture and related disciplines at the postsecondary level. Members of NACTA are from two-year and four-year colleges, both public and private.
Whittington will serve as president-elect for 2020–2021. She will take over leadership of the organization at the 2021 annual conference, which is scheduled to be held at the CFAES Wooster campus in June 2021.
NACTA educator awards
Mary Rodriguez, assistant professor of community leadership in ACEL, and Brian Waters, lecturer in the Department of Food Science and Technology, have been named among the recipients of the North American Colleges of Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) 2020 Educator Award. The award recognizes educators who excel as teachers in the agricultural disciplines. They were recognized during the organization’s virtual conference in early June.
Rodriguez currently instructs a variety of courses for ACEL, including Teaching Methods in Non-Formal Learning Environments, Community Leadership, and Foundations of International Development. She has also taught Foundations of Personal and Professional Leadership, Research Methods, Teaching Methods in Non-Formal Learning Environments, and Extension Education in Developing Countries to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Waters has been a lecturer in the Department of Food Science and Technology since 2013. He teaches both online and face to face, including courses on Chocolate Science, Wine and Beer in Western Culture, Kitchen Science, Food Safety and Public Health, and Brewing Science. He created the online version of Chocolate Science and is currently developing a new class called Outdoor Cooking.
ACEL Distinguished Students
ACEL has named 11 students to its 2020 class of Distinguished Students. Ten seniors and one graduate student were selected by department faculty and staff for their excellence in and out of the classroom. The seniors chosen were Trenton Baldwin, community leadership, Salinas, California; Caleb Hickman, agriscience education, Mount Vernon, Ohio; Lea Kimley, agricultural communication, South Charleston, Ohio; Elizabeth Landis, agriscience education, Anna, Ohio; Taylor Lutz, agriscience education, Bucyrus, Ohio; Meredith Oglesby, agricultural communication, Hillsboro, Ohio; Taylor Orr, agriscience education, Frazeysburg, Ohio; Clinton A. “Gage” Smith, community leadership, Racine, Ohio; Marlee Stollar, agricultural communication, Marietta, Ohio; and Brittany Weller, agriscience education, Bellevue, Ohio. The graduate student honored was Aaron Giorgi, a PhD student in agricultural communication, education, and leadership with a specialization in agricultural education.
“ACEL is blessed with exceptional students and these 10 seniors represent the amazing accomplishments of our undergraduate students,” said Scott Scheer, professor and interim chair of ACEL.
AFA Academic Scholarships
Three CFAES students—Philip Eberly, food science and technology; Ryan Matthews, agricultural communication; and Cody Tegtmeier, agribusiness and applied economics—were among the more than 160 honorees in the national Agriculture Future of America 2020 Leader and Academic Scholarships program. The program provides students with access to premier personal and professional development and financial assistance for their college educations. Scholarships are awarded at the national and community levels. The students selected are pursuing four-year degrees and careers in agriculture.