CFAES Monthly : May 2017

  1. New dean greets college in Columbus and Wooster

    CFAES Dean Cathann Kress and South Centers Director Tom Worley

    Faculty, staff and students crowded the Agricultural Administration auditorium and the North Exhibit Area in Fisher Auditorium in Wooster to greet the new vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES on May 3 and 4.

    Cathann A. Kress started her new position at Ohio State on May 1 and handed out diplomas on both campuses during her first week on the job. In the photo, she speaks with Tom Worley, director of Ohio State South Centers.

    Kress came to Ohio from Iowa, where she served as vice president for extension and outreach and director of cooperative extension at Iowa State University.

    "I’m thrilled to be joining the great community of people and scholars at Ohio State," Kress said in an interview. "The college has a tremendous opportunity to lead in the grand challenges facing the world: Food security and the entire supply chain; future leadership in agriculture; and communicating and working with consumers about what we do."

  2. Laquore Meadows named ACE Fellow

    Photo of LaQuore Meadows

    The American Council on Education (ACE) has chosen an Ohio State University Extension county director for its prestigious ACE Fellows Program.

    Laquore Meadows, director of the Franklin County Extension office will join 45 other college and university leaders for the fall kickoff of this intensive, yearlong leadership program.

    Launched in 1965, the program condenses years of on-the-job experience and skill development into a single year. According to the council, 80 percent of its fellows go on to serve as chief executive officers, chief academic officers, deans and in other cabinet-level positions.

    “Laquore is an innovative administrator committed to enhancing the effectiveness of OSU Extension,” said Roger Rennekamp, director of OSU Extension.

    “Her unbridled optimism allows her to see possibilities that others may miss,” Rennekamp said. “She understands how internal and external partnerships can add value to Extension’s work with individuals, families and communities.”

    As a first-generation college graduate, Meadows said being named an ACE fellow “is much more significant than an honor.”

    “This is a pivotal axis point in my career,” she said. “I am immensely grateful to have the opportunity to learn in the midst of some of the brightest minds in academia.”

    Fellows observe and work with the ACE president and other senior officers at their host institutions, attend decision-making meetings, and focus on issues of interest, according to an ACE news release. Fellows also conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institutions.

    Meadows plans to focus on promoting collaboration between Ohio State and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, which is a historically black university and was designated a land-grant institution in 2014.

    “It will be my responsibility to see how we might best build an interinstitutional infrastructure that enables our partnership to realize sustained collective impact and most importantly enhance the lives of Ohioans through our combined efforts,” Meadows said.

    The ACE Fellows Program plays a key role in cultivating leadership for higher education, ACE President Molly Corbett Broad said in a news release.

    “The diverse and talented 2017-18 Fellows Class demonstrates why the program has made such a vital contribution for more than a half century to expanding the leadership pipeline for our colleges and universities,” Corbett Broad said.

    At the conclusion of the fellowship year, fellows return to their home institutions with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad, the news release said.

    Meadows has served on more than a dozen nonprofit, state, regional and international boards. In addition to her board service, she has won several awards for her leadership in higher education, is a published author, and has delivered over 30 professional conference presentations, symposia and workshops.

    Meadows is a graduate of Tennessee State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She later acquired a master’s degree in college student personnel from Miami University and a PhD in higher education administration from Ohio University.

  3. Chadwick, university, celebrate arbor day

    Mary Maloney

    Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens celebrated trees on Arbor Day, April 21, with honors, awards and dedications.

    In the photo, Mary Maloney, Chadwick director, discusses Ohio State's Tree Campus USA Certification before presenting the honor to Steve Volkmann, university landscape architect and Lynn Readey, associate vice president, FOD.

    Among the other awards and recognitions:

    • Chadwick Arboretum Collaborator’s Award went to Norm Booth and Gail Zink  for their tireless efforts in preparing designs for the Learning Gardens, Maloney said. The two worked closely with Janet Oberliesen, Maloney's predecessor, from 1994 until 2000. 
    • International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist recognition went to Kelin Wilkins.
    • The Lorax Awards (for those who speak for the trees) went to Bill Johnson, Chadwick volunteer; Kathy Burkholder, Chadwick horticulturist; Wendy Bowman, Chadwick horticulturist; and Jim Vent, greenhouse coordinator. 
    • Recognition to Eagle Scouts Ryan Jenkins for contruction and installation of 20 bluebird nesting boxes at Chadwick Arboretum North and to Joseph Jenkins for construction and installation of two purple martin rigs at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.
    • Chadwick Arboretum Aesculus Lifetime Achievement Award to retiring Extension horticulture educator Jim Chatfield for his work with Why Trees Matter. 
    • Dedication: Newly planted trees during ArboBlitz 2016.
  4. Linda Saif elected to National Academy of Inventors

    Linda J. Saif was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) on April 6. On the left in the photo is Andrew Hirshfeld, the commisioner for patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and on the right is Paul Sandberg, president of NAI.

    Saif is a Distinguished University Professor at Ohio State and heads the Reference Lab for Animal Coronaviruses for the World Health Organization and OIE-World Organization for Animal Health.

    The awards program described Saif as a virologist and immunologist who discovered new viruses of critical importance to farm animals, food safety and human health, and defined their zoonotic potential. She pioneered novel cultivation methods, gnotobiotic animal models and diagnostic assays, and her innovative research on maternal and neonatal immunity and immunoenhancers has led to viral vaccines to protect neonates.


  5. Project to improve resiliency of Ohio farms

    The Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation is teaming up with Solutions from the Land on a multiyear project to help Ohio farmers lead the way to an agriculture that preserves the land and adapts to a changing climate, and a food system that takes care of all Ohioans.

    The project launched in April with the inaugural meeting of the 34-member steering committee. 

    One of the first steps will be to address the challenge of food security in Ohio. One in six households struggle with keeping nutritious food on the table, and nearly one in four children face days without adequate, nutritious food.

    InFACT co-leads Casey Hoy and Brian Snyder will be joined on the steering committee by Ohio State colleagues Bobby Moser, David Hanselmann and Jill Clark. Solutions from the Land is a national collaboration led by a group of active farm, forestry and conservation leaders. It is coordinating the three-year first phase of a longer term project with the support of a $500,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

  6. Cornish joins panel charged with steering course of biofuels R&D

    Katrina Cornish

    Katrina Cornish, an internationally recognized authority on alternative natural rubber biosynthesis and production, has been appointed to an independent panel responsible for advising the federal Biomass Research and Development Initiative.

    The initiative is a collaboration between the U.S. departments of energy and agriculture to advance bioenergy technologies, specifically to find new ways to refine various types of feedstocks and crops into next-generation biofuels or bio-based chemicals and products.

    Cornish’s appointment to the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee is for an initial three-year term. Made up of approximately 30 volunteers from industry, academia, nonprofits and local government, the committee holds quarterly, public meetings to develop recommendations advising the secretaries of energy and agriculture on the technical focus and direction of federal research and development.

    In her new role, Cornish, shown on the left in the photo, hopes to bring more attention—and more funding—to promising alternative crops, and less on the more common sources of biofuels, such as corn.

    “Some of the smaller technologies and crops can make a much larger impact on the economy and bio-economy than what is currently seeing most of the money,” she said.

    Cornish joined Ohio State’s Horticulture and Crop Science and Food Agricultural and Biological Engineering departments at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster in 2010 as an Ohio Research Scholar. She holds the Endowed Chair in Bio-based Emergent Materials in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and is director of research for the Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives.

    Before coming to Ohio State, and before her six-year stint in industry, she led the USDA’s development of domestic natural rubber and rubber latex sources, and her inventions form the foundation of the U.S. domestic rubber industry. Her startup company, EnergyEne, is producing a high-performance natural rubber alternative that allows medical professionals to have the natural latex gloves they prefer while avoiding the risk of allergic reactions.

    A fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and American Association for the Advancement of Science, Cornish has 225 publications and about 20 patents. She holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham, England.

  7. OARDC hosts STEM Boy Scout Camporee

    Photo of boyscouts at OARDC

    The Killbuck District Boy Scouts of America held its spring Camporee at the Wooster campus recently.

    Some 85 scouts and 40 leaders attended the three-day event. Scouts camped in the Secrest Arboretum and toured STEM stations on Electron microscopy where they viewed insects and viruses; pollinators; wheat research; and geocaching. They also toured the quasar energy group facility to learn about the conversion of waste materials into energy and they learned about native plants and horticulture in the Secrest Arboretum. 

    The scouts also did a service project in the Arboretum where they straightened signs, pulled weeds and provided other assistance.

  8. Extension's financial counseling featured in federal newsletter

    photo of stop foreclosure sign

    Ohio State University Extension was featured in the March 2017 issue of The Bridge, a newsletter distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    The article features efforts that Extension has made in financial education related to foreclosure prevention. To read the article, go to

  9. Marissa Engle honored for resident hall accomplishments at ATI

    Marissa Engle photo

    ATI Resident Advisor (RA) Marissa Engle was selected out of nearly 400 RAs to receive the "Outstanding Paraprofessional Commitment to Academic Initiatives" Award on Thursday, April 13, in Columbus at the Residence Life Faculty and Staff Programming Celebration.

    The celebration honors those who have made significant contributions toward academics and positive learning environments in Ohio State’s residence halls and villages.

    This particular award recognizes a student staff member who has gone above and beyond to support faculty engagement and learning outside of the classroom.

    Marissa has hosted 8 faculty dinner programs in the village over the past two years -- often preparing full meals from scratch. These programs have been some of the most well-attended and most popular among residents. During January move-in, she provided residents with soup and academic support resources to have a “Souper Semester.”

    Additionally, Marissa’s "Mom's Fridge" wall in her apartment allows her residents to boast about their academic accomplishments throughout the year.


  10. Malak Esseili Receives Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award

    Image of diversity honorees

    Malak Esseili, research scientist in the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, was recognized on April 18 for her efforts regarding diversity. 

    Faculty, staff, students and alumni who enhance diversity with cutting-edge curriculum, mentorship, programs or policies can be nominated for the Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award. The award recognizes diversity efforts in areas such as religion, race, sexual orientation and economic status. Recipients are awarded for demonstrating the university’s values and making diversity and inclusiveness part of the university’s best practices.

    President Drake presented the 2017 recipients a plaque and $1,200 cash award in recognition of their important work. This year’s winners will also be honored on the field at Ohio Stadium during the September 23 Ohio State football game.

    Recognized as a diversity advocate throughout the Wooster community,  Esseili has had a profound affect on the diversity efforts on the Ohio State Wooster Campus. She was a founder and organizer of multiple programs and events that promote understanding among people of different cultural, religious and racial backgrounds, including the Celebration of Nations, Cultural Connections and Minorities: Identities and Misconceptions. These programs, which were supported by two CFAES Office of Equity and Inclusion mini-grants and are currently supported by the Wooster diversity committee, have been recognized as opportunities that bring together students, faculty and staff in ways that create more supportive environments.

    Others recognized included Tamara Davis, social work, Mariame Diabate, undergraduate student in biology, DaVonti' Haynes, graduate student in social work, LeRoy Ricksy, Jr., undergraduate student in criminology and criminal justice and the University Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

    Esseili, in the purple scarf, is in the middle of the back row in the photo.

  11. CFAES predoctoral student receives USDA fellowship

    Stephanie Langel, a CFAES PhD candidate, was recently awarded the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Predoctoral Fellowship from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    The NIFA fellowship is part of the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative, which is the nation’s leading competitive grant program for agricultural sciences. This program awards grants to leaders in research, education and extension to combat childhood obesity, improve rural economies, increase food production, create new sources of energy, mitigate the impacts of climate variability, address water availability issues, ensure food safety and security, and train the next generation of agricultural workforce.

    The NIFA fellowship is a fully funded two year grant, which will allow Langel to complete her research at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

    Langel is studying the maternal immune response, lactogenic (milk) immunity and neonatal health for her PhD research.

    “Through my research, I will strive to optimize vaccine efficacy for gestating and lactating swine to enhance the health and wellbeing of neonatal piglets,” said Langel. “This award will allow me to make scientific advancements and progress in the fields of veterinary virology and immunology. In return, these efforts will aid swine farmers in their ability to control infectious diseases on their farm, promote animal health and secure producer profits.”

    Not only will this research fulfill Langel’s PhD requirements, but it will contribute to securing Ohio State’s position as a leader in food and agrosecurity, assist Ohio pork producers at the state level, and increase understanding of the spread of infectious diseases in livestock populations at both the national and international level, said Langel.

    Langel is completing her PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Linda Saif, a Distinguished University professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program at OARDC in Wooster, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Langel completed her Ohio State undergraduate degree in Animal Sciences with a minor in Life Sciences in 2011. She then attended Virginia Tech for her master’s degree in the Dairy Science Department studying the adoptive transfer of maternal colostral cells and their impact on immune status and development in dairy calves. Following the completion of her master’s degree, Langel returned to Ohio State to work on her PhD. She spent one year in Columbus before moving to Wooster in 2014 to complete the research portion of her PhD.

    While working on her PhD in Columbus, Langel developed a program called Animal Sciences After-School (ASASci), which consists of 15 twenty-minute modules covering a vast array of topics within animal and biological sciences. She also worked with the non-profit after school program called After School All-Stars (ASAStars) to integrate ASASci into their educational programming in Columbus City middle schools. Through her extensive work with ASASci and ASAStars, Langel won Ohio State’s Diversity Engagement Award in 2015. She is currently the President of the OARDC Scholars Association located at the OARDC campus in Wooster.

    Langel’s current research is only a stepping stone in the direction she plans to go after receiving her PhD.

    “My goal is to become a research scientist studying maternal and neonatal immunity in both animals and humans, and to run a laboratory that explores the mother-infant relationship,” said Langel.

    Langel hopes to develop a nationally recognized research program that would allow for interdisciplinary collaborations in both human and veterinary sciences to further the understanding of lactogenic immunity and maternal-infant programming. Additionally, she would work to identify viruses and bacteria, and would collaborate with researchers to study the impact of the milk microbiome and virome on the development of a healthy gut in the infant. — By Katerina Sharp, CFAES Marketing and Communications intern

Upcoming Events

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 09:00 - Communication and Conflict Management
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