CFAES Monthly : September 2016

  1. Gurd assumes leadership role for CFAES Advancement

    The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is pleased to welcome Andy Gurd as its new chief advancement officer.

    Gurd succeeds Chris Delisio, who has become assistant vice president for development for University Development.

    “I am excited to begin my new role and lead the FAES advancement team,” Gurd said. “Autumn has magnificent events such as Farm Science Review, Homecoming and the celebration of the But For Ohio State Campaign’s completion. I look forward to these opportunities to meet more of our college alumni and friends.”

    Alumni may be familiar with Gurd, who most recently served as associate vice president and chief operating officer of The Ohio State University Alumni Association. He had been with the association for nine years. Before that, he was vice president of sales and marketing for a regional IT consulting firm.

    Furthermore, Gurd is no stranger to the college. He worked closely with Provost Bruce McPheron, Dean Lonnie King and Professor Casey Hoy on the Buckeye Summit, which focused on the issue of food insecurity. He also traveled to Morogoro, Tanzania, on the college’s behalf to consult and teach on alumni relations and philanthropy at Sokoine University of Agriculture. In addition, he has met with CFAES students and leadership at a variety of college and university events.

    A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, he grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Bainbridge, Ohio.

    Gurd earned his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and was Academic-All-Big-Ten while starting at linebacker for the Buckeyes in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During those years he was presented with the John Nagy Award for The Outstanding Freshman Defensive Player and the Woody Hayes Award for the Outstanding Student Athlete, both from the Cleveland Alumni Club.

    He has an MBA from Kent State University and a Masters of Business Operational Excellence with a Black Belt in Six Sigma from the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State.

    Andy and his wife, whom he met at Ohio State, have three children and live in the Columbus suburb of New Albany.

  2. 12 CFAES faculty earn promotion, tenure

    Interim CFAES Dean Lonnie King recently hosted a celebratory reception for college faculty who received promotion or tenure, as approved by Ohio State’s Board of Trustees June 2 and effective as of that date. “It is important to recognize and celebrate our successes,” he said in an email to faculty and staff about the honorees, the start of the academic year and other recent college milestones.

    Promotion to professor

    • Graham Cochran, OSU Extension
    • Imed Dami, Horticulture and Crop Science
    • Stanley Gehrt, School of Environment and Natural Resources
    • M. Monica Giusti, Food Science and Technology
    • Jyan-Chyun Jang, Horticulture and Crop Science
    • Zhongtang Yu, Animal Sciences

    Promotion to associate professor with tenure

    • Pamela Bennett, OSU Extension
    • Christopher Bruynis, OSU Extension
    • William Clevenger, OSU Extension
    • Joseph Lucente, OSU Extension
    • Peter Piermarini, Entomology
    • Harold Watters, OSU Extension

    Our congratulations to these faculty members on their achievements.

  3. Two Ohio State startups named among best in nation

    U.S. Capitol Building

    Two high-tech companies based on research done at The Ohio State University have been named among the “Best University Startups” of 2016. One of them was launched within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

    Neurxstem Inc. and 3Bar Biologics Inc. are two of the 36 startup companies from across the country to be honored by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, an association of university startup officers.
    Representatives of the two companies will participate in University Startups Demo Day in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 20. There they will meet with members of Congress and potential investors to showcase their innovative technologies.
    The 36 companies participating were selected from more than 200 companies that applied for the recognition.
    “We’re proud that two startups developed through research done at Ohio State have received this national honor,” said Matt McNair, vice president of economic and corporate engagement at Ohio State.
    “Companies like Neurxstem and 3Bar Biologics demonstrate the promise of cutting-edge technology that will be instrumental for the future of our state and nation.”
    Both of the companies were able to get off the ground partly through state funding received from the Ohio Third Frontier’s Technology Validation and Start-up Fund.
    “Ohio is investing in the problem-solvers and businesses that are building a new Ohio,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency and chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission.
    “These technology companies will change the way we work and live.”
    3Bar Biologics has developed a unique delivery system for beneficial microbes that provides farmers a natural, biological way to increase their crop yields while potentially lowering costs and improving sustainability of the land.
    The company was co-founded by CEO Bruce Caldwell and Brian Gardener, a former professor of plant pathology at Ohio State who helped lead development of the technology.
    Neurxstem has developed a proprietary process to grow synthetic neural organoids, engineered from adult human skin cells of patients. The organoid is essentially a model of the human central nervous system that researchers can use to study debilitating brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism and brain cancer, as well as to discover and study the safety and efficacy of potential drugs.
    The founder and CEO of the company is Rene Anand, professor of biological chemistry and pharmacology at Ohio State.

  4. Rector of Brazilian university meets with President Drake, CFAES leadership

    Maria Lucia Cavalli Neder, rector of the Federal University of Mato Grosso in Cuiaba, Brazil, earlier this month met with Michael V. Drake, president of The Ohio State University. Rector is a position similar to president.

    She also met with Lonnie King, interim vice president and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, as a guest of Rattan Lal, director of Ohio State’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center and Distinguished University Professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

    Neder was here to strengthen teaching and research collaborations between her university and Ohio State, particularly in the areas of soils and natural resources, education, and medicine.

    Neder has led Mato Grosso since 2008 and also serves as president of Brazil’s National Association of Directors of Federal Institutions of Higher Education. More than 34,000 students attend her university, which includes campuses in five cities.

    Her visit followed a series of lectures on carbon sequestration given by Lal at Mato Grosso over a two-week period in June.

    “They’ve expressed interest in student and faculty exchanges and strengthening research on soil carbon, soil health, climate change mitigation, and adaptation and conservation agriculture,” Lal said.

  5. CFAES study abroad program is going places

    Study abroad students and O-H-I-O

    The annual report of the college’s study abroad program shows that the program is going places. A few of the highlights:

    • CFAES students participate in study abroad in numbers in great proportion to any other College. Our current annual participation average is around 40%.
    • In 2015-2016, CFAES awarded more than $60,000 to students in study abroad scholarships. Several new endowments have also been established from generous donors.
    • CFAES is the only college on campus with two full time education abroad specialists who both also serve on the OIA team of Education Abroad Coordinators.
    • Study Abroad participation is growing steadily with 261 abroad in 2015-16 compared to 96 in 2005-06.
    • During the 2015-16 academic year 22 different faculty and staff members lead a study abroad experience.
    • CFAES students traveled to all seven continents this year.
    • The School of Environment and Natural Resources provided leadership for the first Ohio State-sponsored program in Antarctica and now offers it in a multidisciplinary way with the School of Earth Sciences. 
  6. College provides institutional membership to National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

    An illustration of lots of people from diverse backgrounds

    The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Engineering are pleased to be co-sponsors of an institutional membership to the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity.

    The NCFDD is an online organization that provides accessible professional development for faculty, staff and graduate students. Anyone affiliated with our college can access the numerous free resources. These resources are part of our membership but you must register. You can register here or by following the directions below.

    Resources include:

    • The Monday Motivator weekly message to encourage your writing and research, whether you are working on a dissertation, an article or a grant
    • Access to the Core Curriculum: How to Thrive in the Academy webinars
    • Free webinars featuring guest experts; topics include Building a Publishing Pipeline: Concrete Strategies for Increasing Your Writing Productivity
    • Free multi-week courses (archived), including How to Navigate the Academic Job Market, Teaching in No Time: How to Prepare for a Stress-Free Semester and How to Win an NIH Grant
    • The discussion forum, a place where you can network virtually with others
    • Members-only library of webinars with downloads. Topical areas include Academic Publishing, Diversity, External Funding, Job Search Advice, Teaching, Writing and Research Productivity, Work-life Balance, Incivility on Campus, How To  Be a Public Intellectual

    Other opportunities include:

    To activate your membership:

    1. Go to the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity website
    2. Select the “Become a Member” tab and choose “Individual Membership”
    3. On the Individual Membership page, select “Click Here”
    4. On the “Select Your Member Type” page, select “Institutional Sub-Account”
    5. On the “Select a Username” page, use your institution issued email address in the Username box
    6. Complete the registration process

    You will receive a welcome email at that email address within 24 business hours confirming that your account is now active and you can begin fully using your new NCFDD membership.

  7. OSU Extension names new impact areas

    Light bulb with wordle about impact

    Ohio State University Extension has named six new impact areas. “The new impact areas will provide our organization with a consistent framework for planning and reporting the impacts of our work,” said Roger Rennekamp, OSU Extension director.

    Health and Wellness

    Our lifespan is determined by our genetic makeup, our behaviors and the environment in which we live. While our genetic code is fixed, we can change our behaviors and our immediate surroundings. OSU Extension has nationally recognized programs that help people make healthy choices and catalyze the creation of healthy homes, schools, workplaces and communities.

    Job Skills and Careers

    A commitment to lifelong learning is critical to remaining relevant in one’s chosen field of work. The programs of OSU Extension not only help individuals acquire the skills they need in their current jobs, but those they will need in the future positions to which they aspire.

    Thriving Across the Life Span

    From infancy to later life, OSU Extension is committed to helping individuals flourish within families and the various social structures in which they live. Perhaps most notably, Ohio 4-H uses a youth development approach to help young people develop characteristics that build a foundation for a positive adulthood.

    Sustainable Food Systems

    A sustainable food system benefits producers, protects the environment and feeds a growing world population. Meanwhile, changing consumer preferences continually influence the type of products that producers are expected to bring to market. OSU Extension brings science-based information to the process of making decisions about food and the way it is produced, processed, distributed, stored, prepared and consumed.

    Engaged Ohioans, Vibrant Communities

    Human capital can be described as the knowledge, skills and experience possessed by a group of individuals. Mobilizing people in ways that produce shared benefits is a key to creating vibrant communities. OSU Extension helps community residents gain the knowledge and skills they need to engage in meaningful dialogue focused on positive change and collective impact that meets local needs.

    Environmental Quality

    OSU Extension programs help people make informed choices and lead local efforts aimed at maintaining or improving environmental quality for future generations. Through their involvement in these programs, participants gain a greater understanding of their role in a global community and become stewards of the planet.

  8. Labao recognized as Distinguished Rural Sociologist

    Photo of Linda Lobao

    Linda M. Lobao, professor of rural sociology and chair of the rural sociology program at The Ohio State University received the Distinguished Rural Sociologist Award at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society held in Toronto, Canada, this summer.

    The Distinguished Rural Sociologist award honors individuals who have made superior career contributions to the field of rural sociology through research, teaching, extension, public service and/or public policy.

    Lobao has had a notable and prolific academic career specializing in the field of spatial inequality or the intersection between community/regional inequality, poverty and economic development. Her work has contributed to several subfields in rural sociology, including poverty, the sociology of agriculture and gender studies. She is regarded as an expert on the relationship between industrialized farming and community well-being. In 2008, she was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Lobao has received numerous grants to support her work, including support from major funding sources like the National Science Foundation, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA’s National Research Initiative, and the Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science. 

    She has authored and co-authored sixty refereed journal articles; has published three books, including Locality and Inequality: Farm and Industry Structure and Socioeconomic Conditions (SUNY Press); and was editor of the CHOICE Outstanding Title Award-winning book, The Sociology of Spatial Inequality (SUNY Press) with Gregory Hooks, Washington State University, and Ann R. Tickamyer, Ohio University. She has been invited to present her research at numerous universities and federal agencies.

    Lobao has served in a number of leadership roles in her field and at Ohio State. She has served as president (2002-2003) and vice president (1997-1998) of the Rural Sociological Society and was elected a faculty senator in the Ohio State University Senate (2011-2014).

    Four former presidents of the Rural Sociological Society were among those that nominated Lobao for this award. Her nominators summarized their support by writing, “Linda Lobao has dedicated her career to advancing the fortunes and visibility of Rural Sociology as a discipline and as a professional society. Her tireless efforts to promote and extend relevant scholarship and to open new areas to new ideas and approaches have had a major beneficial impact on this field, nationally and internationally and across different disciplines and influential organizations.”

  9. New manager named for Farm Science Review

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Farm Science Review got its new manager in the Nick of time.

    Nick Zachrich began his new position Sept. 12, just days shy of when the 2016 show will open its gates.

    One of the nation’s premier agricultural trade and education shows, the Farm Science Review is an annual three-day event sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

    Zachrich is a six-year employee of the Review, having served as site manager since 2010.

    “Nick possesses a unique combination of education and experience that has prepared him well for this important role within the college,” said Roger Rennekamp, director of Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of the college. “Our goal is to continually improve the visitor experience while showcasing cutting-edge innovations and best practices of modern agriculture. Nick has the ability to take what he learns on a day-to-day basis and use that information to craft innovations that will help us achieve these goals.”

    As manager, Zachrich will oversee the Review and other events that take place at the college’s Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.

    “I look forward to serving our agricultural industry in the region,” Zachrich said. “Technological advancements in agriculture are more exciting now than ever. I plan to continue to build on the reputation that Farm Science Review has to demonstrate and display the latest in agriculture.”

    Zachrich joins Matt Sullivan, who began his role as superintendent of the Molly Caren center this summer. Sullivan was previously assistant manager of the Review.

    Now in its 54th year, the Review is set to welcome more than 110,000 visitors Sept. 20-22. There will be demonstrations, more than 100 educational presentations and more than 600 exhibitors. Tickets are $10 at the gate and $7 in advance from agribusinesses and county offices of OSU Extension. See for more information.