You are here
CFAES Monthly : September 2019
New CFAES leadership appointments announced
Cathann A. Kress—vice president for agricultural administration and dean of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES)—has recently announced the following new 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
- Scott Shearer as chair of the CFAES Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE)
- Andrew (Dewey) Mann as director of CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory
- Greg Davis as department chair and associate director of Ohio State University Extension
- Tracy Kitchel as CFAES associate dean for faculty and staff affairs
- Jacqueline (Jackie) Wilkins as interim director of OSU Extension
- Brandi Gilbert-Hammett as interim director of CFAES Human Resources
- Heather Raymond as director of the CFAES Water Quality Initiative
- Scott Scheer as interim chair of the CFAES Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership
- James (Jamie) Strange as chair of the CFAES Department of Entomology
- Clinton Woods as CFAES director of strategic partnerships
- Seth Walker as CFAES director of safety and compliance
- Kirk Bloir as assistant director, 4-H youth development, OSU Extension
“Please join me in congratulating all of them,” Kress said. “Their roles are crucial to the continuing success of our college.”
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.
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.
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.
Davis began serving a four-year term as department chair and associate director of OSU Extension on Aug. 1. In this role, he leads the tenure-initiating unit for OSU Extension, managing the promotion and tenure process of OSU Extension tenure-track faculty.
Davis earned his PhD in Extension education from Ohio State, his MPA in political science from Bowling Green State University, and a BA in comprehensive social sciences from the University of Findlay. His specialization is economic development, with emphasis on business retention and expansion, input-output modeling, and retail market analysis.
Davis has served a statewide assignment as assistant director, OSU Extension, Community Development, since September 2010. In this capacity, he has led field-based Extension specialists and educators engaged in the development of community, organizational, and individual capacity to improve civic, environmental, and economic conditions throughout Ohio. Prior to this position, he served as leader, Community Economics and Business, a collaboration between the departments of Extension and AEDE. In this community outreach and engagement role, he worked with communities, residents, and OSU Extension field staff to develop and implement programs and tools to foster better-informed community economic development strategies. He has also served in a program leadership role at a regional level with OSU Extension and worked as an Extension educator in the Crawford County office, working with community volunteers, organizations, and local governments to develop local capacity for community development.
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.
Wilkins will serve as interim director of OSU Extension effective Aug. 1, 2019, through July 31, 2020, or until a new associate dean and director for OSU Extension is appointed. A search committee for the position will be formed during autumn semester.
Wilkins is currently director of OSU Extension Operations. She is primarily responsible for providing leadership to the statewide Extension operations, composed of 88 counties, including all matters affecting personnel, finance, and business operations. As interim director of OSU Extension, she will continue her leadership for the Operations team, including supervision of staff; will assume supervision of the OSU Extension administrative staff; and will serve on the CFAES VP Cabinet and assist Dean Kress and college leadership with college strategic planning and implementation of strategic priorities.
Wilkins received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio Dominican University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in human development and family science from Ohio State. An associate professor, Wilkins began her career at Ohio State in 1994 as an Extension associate in the Department of Human Development and Family Science. She became Extension’s parenting state specialist in 2000. She has also served as the Northeast Region Extension director, where she provided leadership to 21 counties regarding personnel, finances, public relations, and business operations. Her research interests include prevention education, family policy, and organizational capacity building. She has received more than $6 million in local, state, and federal funding to conduct research and provide prevention programming for Ohio’s children and families.
Wilkins also has experience in the public sector as the owner of a business management consulting firm, where she designed and implemented strategic planning initiatives and organizational analyses of efficiency, compensation, work flow, attrition, communications, and IT. Her clients included city and county governments, nonprofits, court systems, United Way agencies, philanthropic entities, and for-profit businesses.
Gilbert-Hammett was appointed interim director, CFAES Human Resources, effective Aug. 21. She will also retain some of her current responsibilities as human resources manager for the college. She will report to Kitchel, associate dean for faculty and staff affairs.
Prior to starting her career with CFAES, Gilbert-Hammett was a human resources partner for Ohio State’s Graduate School, Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Internal Affairs, Office of Human Resources, and Wexner Center for the Arts.
Raymond will begin serving as the first director of CFAES’ Water Quality Initiative effective Sept. 3. She is a lead scientist with more than 20 years of experience championing innovative data-driven water quality programs, policies, and guidance. She is recognized as a national leader on harmful algal bloom (HAB) response and policy development and was recently elected to serve on the U.S. National HAB Committee. She is adept at building critical partnerships with researchers, stakeholders, and local, state, and federal agencies and has extensive experience communicating water-related science and policy to a range of audiences.
Since 2011, Raymond has been the HAB coordinator for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, where she designed and led research projects to inform policy decisions, rule-making, analytical method development, and guidance. She has served on multiple grant and program review panels to help ensure support for applied projects and critical programs that address state and federal water quality priorities. Previously, she was lead hydrogeologist with Ohio EPA. Her degrees include an executive MPA, an MS in hydrogeology, and a BS in geology, all from Ohio University.
As Water Quality Initiative director, Raymond will lead efforts to build support, generate resources, and implement programs that expand the impact of CFAES faculty to address critical water quality issues in Ohio. Guided by recommendations from a recent CFAES Water Quality Task Force report, she will support the work of CFAES faculty and staff, coordinate with other college and Ohio State water quality programs, and build stronger ties among CFAES and other important water quality programs and efforts across the state of Ohio. She will serve as a central point of contact to identify and expand linkages between CFAES faculty and external stakeholders and policy makers, will oversee the work of a team of translational staff, and will work closely with OSU Extension specialists and educators to increase the impacts and relevance of CFAES research. She will take a lead role to convene key actors and facilitate dialogue on important Ohio water quality topics, including creating and supporting formal forums that bring together researchers, students, stakeholders, and decision-makers.
Scheer will begin serving as interim chair of ACEL effective Sept. 1, 2019, through Aug. 31, 2020, or until a new chair is appointed. Details about the search process for a permanent chair for ACEL will be announced soon.
Scheer is a professor in ACEL and has been with Ohio State since 1996. He currently serves as coordinating advisor for the Community and Extension Education specialization in the Community Leadership major and Ohio State’s undergraduate minors of Community Outreach Education and Youth Development. He has also provided research and support for OSU Extension (4-H Youth Development) in the areas of Preadolescent Education and the 4-H Cloverbud Program.
Scheer’s research focus is in the areas of outreach education and youth development. He has secured externally funded grants from sources that include USDA-NIFA, Ohio Department of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services. He publishes regularly in peer-reviewed journals and has been recognized with awards including a National Communicator Award, Distinguished Service Award, and Extension Outstanding Teaching Award. He has degrees from the University of Delaware (PhD, family studies, youth focus); Teachers College, Columbia University (MA. developmental psychology); and Louisiana Tech University (BS).
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.
Woods is joining CFAES as director of strategic partnerships, a position made possible by generous funding through the Nationwide-Ohio State collaborative. He starts a two-year term on Oct. 14.
In this role, Woods will lead efforts to fully engage community members, stakeholders, and other partners and will coordinate these efforts. He will work extensively with researchers and external partners, facilitating connections between external partners and scholarship to action through a breadth of complex collaborations and partnerships. He will support and deepen the college’s current partnerships, helping to extend and transform them into longer-term, ever more impactful engagements. In addition, he will generate opportunities to integrate needs from external partners and match them with researchers or developers to address discovery or programmatic solutions.
Woods has a unique combination of long-range planning, community outreach, environmental and agricultural policy, and grant and nonprofit management experience, including work to translate complex technical and scientific information into policy-relevant material for officials at all levels of government. This progressive experience has included direct interaction with key federal agencies; members of Ohio’s congressional delegation; and senior officials in city, county, and state government in Ohio.
Woods comes to CFAES from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., where he has served as deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. Previously, he was the executive director of AAPCA, a national association of state and local environmental agencies, including Ohio EPA and several city and county agencies in Ohio. He holds an MA in international commerce and policy from George Mason University, focusing on environmental, agricultural, and climate change policy, and a BA from the University of Mary Washington.
“Please join me in welcoming Clint to this crucial leadership position, which will play a catalytic role to create and steward innovative new consortia and partnerships for CFAES,” Dean Kress said.
Seth C. Walker, JD, will begin serving as director of safety and compliance for CFAES effective Oct. 1.
Walker is a public safety professional with extensive experience in both higher education and municipal operations. He combines policing experience with expertise in strategic planning, emergency management operations, facility security assessments and upgrades, grants administration, and community policing strategies.
In his new position, Walker provides CFAES with management, administration, and oversight of all safety-related services and regulatory compliance/risk management and serves as a member of the CFAES Operations Team. In addition, he oversees the safe use and security of high-risk biohazards, including select agents used in laboratories and animal facilities, as well as daily monitoring of biosafety and biosecurity maintenance of the Plant and Animal Agrosecurity Research (PAAR) BSL-3 Ag facility.
Walker has been with Ohio State since 2011, first as biosecurity director/EHS manager-Wooster campus, then as public safety manager/biosecurity director. He also served as a lieutenant with The Ohio State University Police Division. Before coming to Ohio State, he was assistant director of public safety for the city of Columbus.
Walker earned his law degree from Capital University, in addition to his law enforcement credentials. He has a BS in microbiology from Ohio State and is a certified hazmat technician.
Bloir has been appointed to serve as assistant director, 4-H youth development, for OSU Extension.
As OSU Extension assistant director and state 4-H leader, Bloir will provide organizational, cross-disciplinary, and creative leadership for Ohio 4-H youth development programming. This role includes providing financial and operational oversight of the state 4-H office and the Ohio 4-H Foundation, addressing budgetary and human resources administration, operations, program development, evaluation and implementation, internal and external partnerships, 4-H policies and procedures, and professional development of 4-H program professionals.
Bloir has served as interim assistant director for the past year. Prior to that, he served four years as associate state 4-H leader, providing leadership in the areas of risk and program management, coaching professionals through volunteer and member behavior management issues, crisis communications, conflict resolution, and corrective action.
“Ohio State University Extension is blessed to have a talented and dedicated group of 4-H professionals, volunteers, and community supporters across the state,” Bloir said. “I am excited to continue our collective efforts to build on our strong 4-H foundation and work to expand the reach of 4-H in Ohio to create even more opportunities for us to grow future generations of true leaders.”
Bloir received his bachelor’s degree in adolescent development, master’s degree in human development and family science, and PhD in Extension education from Ohio State. He began his career with Ohio State in 1996 as an Extension agent in Madison County and has since served in several other roles within Extension, including program director in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and in family and consumer sciences administration. His experiences in the organization and integral involvement with providing leadership for the Ohio 4-H program will serve him well in his new role.
Dean’s Charity Steer Show’s final tally hits $152,000
The inaugural Dean’s Charity Steer Show, hosted July 30 by Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and CFAES dean, brought in a final tally of $152,000 in donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio.
“It was a privilege to work with so many esteemed businesses and organizations toward a common cause—raising money to help families be close to their injured or ill children,” said RMHC board member Leslie Bumgarner, president and chief executive officer of Telhio Credit Union. “This event brought agribusiness and non-ag-related businesses together to accomplish outstanding results—underscoring the impact we can have when we have a worthy intent and take action.”
Farm Science Review wrapup: A challenging year for farmers, but still ‘optimism’
Even during a challenging year for farmers, CFAES’ 57th annual Farm Science Review topped recent years’ visitor totals with its first-ever career fair, more than a hundred educational talks, and new technology.
This year’s late harvest helped boost attendance at the show, which attracted 114,590 people during its three days, Sept. 17–19. Often at this time of year, farmers are driving their combines to harvest their crops. Instead, some were eyeing the brand-new combines and tractors displayed at the show, taking pictures of their children and grandchildren behind the wheel.
‘Being here has provided me a sense of belonging’
Eighteen central Ohio military veterans spent this past summer farming at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus. As participants in a pilot project called the Veteran Farming Program—organized by the Central Ohio VA Healthcare System and CFAES’ OSU Extension outreach arm—the veterans gained farming and gardening skills while benefiting from the activities’ therapeutic aspects. They graduated from the program earlier this month.
“I used to farm when I was younger,” said Vietnam veteran Bob Udeck, 74. “It feels really good to get your hands dirty again—planting something, nurturing it, and watching it produce.”
Center for Foodborne Illness comes to CFAES
The Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI) has brought its 13-year record of protecting public health to CFAES, becoming part of the college in August. Founded as a nonprofit organization in 2006, the center’s mission is to advance a more scientific, risk-based food safety system that prevents foodborne illnesses and protects public health by translating science into policy and practice, said Barbara Kowalcyk, a CFAES assistant professor of food science and technology and an internationally recognized food safety expert.
“Access to affordable, safe, and nutritious food is increasingly critical in order to sustain the world’s growing population,” said Kowalcyk, who co-founded the center and serves as its director. “The establishment of CFI at Ohio State will build on the university’s extensive, existing efforts to address this critical challenge.”
Recent awards and achievements
Service to higher ed
Jeffory Hattey, professor with CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), recently received the 2019 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Distinguished Educator Award. The award recognizes individuals for their meritorious service to NACTA and to higher education through teaching, educational research, and/or administration. Hattey joins a select group of NACTA members recognized for their long-standing commitment, leadership, and excellence in college teaching. Read more.
Highly cited researchers
Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science with SENR, and Linda Saif, Distinguished University Professor of Veterinary Preventive Medicine with CFAES’ Food Animal Health Research Program and the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, have been named to Clarivate Analytics’ 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes researchers for producing multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year—for Lal, the field of agricultural science; for Saif, microbiology. A total of 10 researchers from Ohio State made the list.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment,” Clarivate said in announcing the honors, “as very few researchers earn this distinction.”
FABE makes U.S. News Top 10
The undergraduate program of CFAES’ Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering placed seventh in the category of Best Undergraduate Biological/Agricultural Engineering Programs in U.S. News & World Report’s recently released 2020 Best Colleges rankings. Read more.
Also in those rankings, Ohio State overall placed 23rd in the Best Undergraduate Teaching category, 27th among Best Colleges for Veterans, and 54th among National Universities.