• 04 Feb 2016 11:59 AM | Emily Buck

    Hendrick recommended as new College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean at MSU

    posted on January 25, 2016 3:54pm

    Ronald L. Hendrick (view larger image)
    Ronald L. Hendrick

    Ronald L. Hendrick will be recommended as dean of Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. If approved by the MSU Board of Trustees, Hendrick’s appointment will be effective July 1, 2016.

    Hendrick, a Spartan alumnus, currently serves as interim vice president for agricultural administration and interim dean for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science at The Ohio State University.

    “I’m excited to welcome Dr. Hendrick back to MSU as the next dean of our College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,” said MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt. “His strong leadership experience and ambitions for the future of CANR will benefit not only the college, but the entire university.”

    Hendrick has served OSU since 2013 in a variety of roles, including as senior associate dean and director of the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Prior to that, he was associate dean for academic affairs in the D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. He was also graduate program coordinator for UGA’s School of Forestry.

    “I’m honored to serve the college and university that provided the foundation for so much of my personal and professional success,” said Hendrick. “The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is an outstanding organization, and I’m thrilled to be coming back to MSU in a leadership role.” 

    Hendrick earned his bachelor and doctoral degrees from MSU in forestry and forest ecology, in 1986 and 1992, respectively. He was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks from 1992-1993.

    His research program has focused on forest ecosystem productivity and element cycling, especially below ground, and various aspects of ecosystem restoration and reclamation. His teaching experience includes leading a number of study abroad programs in the South Pacific, including New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Antarctica. 

    At OSU, Hendrick led the creation of a comprehensive master plan for college facilities that totaled $350 million and encompassed more than 300 physical structures, two campuses and nearly a dozen outlying research and outreach stations. Additionally, he led successful fundraising efforts to raise $14 million in capital funds to improve facilities, and an $80 million multi-stake holder effort to re-envision the college’s animal populations is underway.

    Hendrick succeeds Fred L. Poston, who retired in December. Currently, Doug Buhler is serving as interim dean for the CANR.

  • 27 Jan 2016 1:05 PM | Emily Buck

    Melissa Geiger

    Melissa Geiger recently joined the YDAE team as the Undergraduate Coordinator and Schedule Deputy. She specifically supports Drs. Brady, Orvis, Peters and Talbert as well as Skye Brown, Elizabeth Byers, Amy Conrad, Kimber Nicoletti and Beth Theobald. Her position was created to better serve the undergraduate students and faculty. Melissa stated, “I’m just getting started in the department, but I believe my purpose is to compliment the communication between faculty and students, provide another resource for students and faculty for needs within the university, and help students in any way as they navigate through their undergraduate coursework”. Melissa will enhance the undergraduate student’s experience. She will serve as a major resource for them and hopes she can help them be successful at Purdue and beyond. 

    After being in the department for a month, her biggest goal is focusing on centralizing the student and alumni data in order to stay in better contact with new students coming into the program, current students and our alumni. She plans on developing a consistent and predictable contact plan for communication with our stakeholders in order for them to better understand what they need for success. 

    Melissa helps students with scheduling appointments, course/registration questions. " I’m also glad to help answer any questions that student may have, but aren’t sure where to go first – to serve as their go-to person". She plans to get to know each of our students individually and will enhance their experience and success during their time at Purdue. Melissa is a great addition to our department and looks forward to the future. "I’m really honored to be a part of YDAE, and hope to help us grow and develop through our next strategic plan vision. I really appreciate everyone’s kindness and welcoming spirit". Please join YDAE in welcoming Melissa to our department. You can find her in Agricultural Administration, room 226.

  • 26 Jan 2016 10:25 AM | Emily Buck

    The faculty at Kansas State University are excited to welcome Dr. Jon Ulmer and Dr. Gaea Hock as colleagues in our agricultural education program. Dr. Ulmer will join us in late May, while Dr. Hock will be here a bit later in the summer.  Speaking for our faculty, staff, and students, we are so pleased to work with Dr. Ulmer and Dr. Hock

  • 26 Jan 2016 10:20 AM | Emily Buck

    Three men and one woman stand on a stage with awards.The The Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results program was one of four education programs to receive the 2015 National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award. Megan Seibel, right, director of the program, is pictured with the other winners (from left), Brydon Kaster, Craig Grisham, and Bert Bodiford.

    BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 23, 2015 – The Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results(VALOR) program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech received the 2015 National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award.

    The award was presented at the National Association of Agricultural Educators annual convention in New Orleans on Nov. 18. Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results is one of only four programs nationwide that received the 2015 award.

    The program is a two-year fellowship for adults working in agriculture who want to develop their communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills, in addition to broadening their knowledge of global and local agriculture. The mission of Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results is to develop leaders who can effectively engage all segments of the Virginia agriculture community to create collaborative solutions and promote agriculture.  

    The program is housed in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education and receives funding from participant fees, the college, and Virginia Cooperative Extension, as well as from philanthropy from individual donors, industry organizations and, agribusinesses. Its success stems from raising participants’ awareness of the diversity and profitability of agriculture in Virginia. 

    The program also focuses on helping participants develop new partnerships and fosters deeper collaboration across the state between agriculture stakeholders. Through Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results, participants also increase their civic engagement and learn more about public affairs related to Virginia’s agriculture community. Social, political, and economic issues relevant to agriculture and the community are addressed in each of its 12 seminars. In these seminars, students interact with hosts in a sector of Virginia agriculture to learn about that person’s role as a leader in Virginia agriculture. These seminars push past the boundaries between student and professional and allow both to ask questions and participate in active learning.

    Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results "strives to reduce the individual silos that are so prevalent in the industry today and serves as a bridge to connect each entity by developing adult agriculture leaders who can effectively create a positive change,”  said participant Teresa Lindberg, an agriscience teacher.

    Each of the four regional Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Program Award winners was recognized at the NAAE convention in New Orleans. The Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program award is sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators. Its mission is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy, and service.” The NAAE office is located in Lexington, Kentucky.

    Nationally ranked among the top research institutions of its kind, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focuses on the science and business of living systems through learning, discovery, and engagement. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives more than 3,100 students in a dozen academic departments a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. Students learn from the world’s leading agricultural scientists, who bring the latest science and technology into the classroom.

    Written by Amy Loeffler
  • 26 Jan 2016 10:19 AM | Emily Buck

    The Agricultural Education Program welcomed two new staff members this fall. Lee Thompson is teaching the program’s ag technology & mechanics courses, and Juleah Tolosky is the new Minnesota FFA Executive Secretary.

    Lee Thompson

    Lee ThompsonLee received his B.S. in Agricultural Education from the University of Minnesota before beginning his teaching career in Goodhue, Minnesota. He taught agricultural education at Goodhue High School from 1979 until 2014. During this time, he also taught CIS Animal Science through the University of Minnesota, and served as the advisor of the Goodhue FFA chapter and student council.

    Besides teaching AFEE 2051: Current Technical Competencies and AFEE 3112: Building Construction Technology at the U of M, Lee is keeping busy with various other jobs he enjoys: “I’m subbing during the school year (I’ve subbed for every grade level except kindergarten), consulting for the Cannon River Watershed Partnership, mowing fairways at Mount Frontenac Golf Course, and working at Sargent’s Nursery in Red Wing. Now I can add ‘teaching Ag Mechanics at the University of Minnesota’ to the list,” he says.

    Lee and his wife Julie have three adult children, and he enjoys spending time with family and friends, golfing, and gardening. Welcome, Lee!

    Juleah Tolosky

    Juleah ToloskyJuleah joined the Minnesota FFA leadership team in late October, and will be working closely with Jim Ertl to learn the ropes of the Executive Secretary position until his retirement in January. Her office is housed in the Ag Ed suite in 146 Ruttan, and we couldn’t be happier!

    Juleah previously served the New York FFA Association as the Executive Director. She has experience in organizing, developing, and implementing new and existing trainings for student growth. In her new position, she will be responsible for the operation, delivery, communication, and marketing of all Minnesota FFA programs.

    “As we transition toward FFA in January and beyond, I am looking forward to learning from each of you about the traditions, successes, and hopes for Minnesota Ag Ed in the near and distant future,” she said. “I'm so impressed by the team you have here and the strong systems and values that make students and programs so successful.”

    Juleah has a B.S. in Communications with a concentration in Organization and Planning from Cornell University. Welcome, Juleah!

  • 21 Jan 2016 11:57 AM | Emily Buck

    Mallarie Stookey

    We are very excited to welome Dr. Linda Pfeiffer to our YDAE team as an Assistant Professor in Agricultural and Life Sciences Communication. Please stop by AGAD 203 to welcome a talented interpersonal communicator, writer and experienced teacher to our ranks. .

    Dr. Pfeiffer holds a joint PhD in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and in Environment and Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her area of specialization is in science communication, specifically in systematic factors that contribute to the breakdown of the effective communication of controversial science. Dr. Pfeiffer also holds a Masters degree in Community Counseling and has extensive experience with interpersonal communication. Her bachelors’ degree was in Psychology. She has taught courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison including the senior service-learning capstone course - Building a Sustainable Wisconsin Garden, as well as Mass Media and Multicultural America, and the Introduction to Journalism course.

    Dr. Pfeiffer’s research interests include the systematic factors that impact the effective construction of science narratives and subsequently the understanding of science by the public and policy-makers. A second research focus includes how information-processing variables impact public understanding and engagement with science issues. She is an active participant at the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR), the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA).

    Linda will be developing and teaching undergraduate and graduate courses to advance science communication capacity across the College of Agriculture. She will provide scholarly leadership for the College of Agriculture’s Issues 360 program and advise and mentor undergraduate and graduate students. We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Pfeiffer and continue to strengthen our Agricultural Communication program.

  • 16 Dec 2015 6:02 PM | Emily Buck

    In May 2013, the AAAE adopted a philosophy statement regarding the teaching of SAE competencies as part of a teacher preparation program. The AAAE Teacher Education Special Interest Group developed a listing of the competencies that should be taught and the learning objectives for each of the seven major competencies. Those documents were vetted with the larger agricultural education community through the National Council for Agricultural Education, which approved/adopted the SAE teacher preparation philosophy and competencies/objectives.

    A writing team consisting of seven agricultural teacher educators has developed unit plans for SAE teacher preparation. The materials are designed to be used in whatever fashion best fits the needs of each teacher education program, from lessons within an existing course or courses to developing an entire course on SAE for teacher preparation students. I am pleased to share with you the results of the writing team’s work.

    The materials are located at http://aec.ifas.ufl.edu/ag-stem-lab/SAEplans.shtml for your use.

    Submitted by Kirby Barrick

  • 14 Dec 2015 1:07 PM | Emily Buck

    BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 9, 2015 – Hannah Scherer has been named assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education and specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

    She is one of eight new faculty members recently hired in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. New positions in the college are being identified to bring new talent to its focus areas, including food and health, infectious disease, biodesign and processing, and agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.

    Scherer received her Ph.D. in geological and environmental sciences from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in geology with a physics core concentration from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    Her research interests are centered on improving the teaching and learning of science in the context of agriculture through the development of high-quality, inquiry-based STEM curricula as well as educator professional development programs to support these curricula. She has experience teaching science at K-12 and post-secondary levels in both formal and non-formal settings.

    Scherer seeks to quantify the success of these efforts by looking at changes in such measures as student understanding of the nature of science.

    Her Extension efforts are focused on improving the capacity of 4-H youth development agents and secondary agricultural educators to implement STEM education in agriculture. She also seeks to improve and expand opportunities for youth to engage in authentic research in the agricultural sciences through her involvement with the FFA Agriscience Fair at the state and national levels and the 4-H and FFA Agriscience Research Poster Contest at the State Fair of Virginia. She serves on the National FFA Agriscience Committee representing the Eastern Region.

    Nationally ranked among the top research institutions of its kind, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focuses on the science and business of living systems through learning, discovery, and engagement. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives more than 3,100 students in a dozen academic departments a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. Students learn from the world’s leading agricultural scientists, who bring the latest science and technology into the classroom.


    Written by Amy Loeffler

  • 14 Dec 2015 1:04 PM | Emily Buck

    From left to right: Dr. Jay Abridge, APLU chairman of the budget and advocacy committee; Dr. Jennifer Strong, assistant professor; Dr. Alan Sams, executive associate dean; and Dr. Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences.

    Two faculty members from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

    Dr. Jennifer R. Strong, an assistant professor of agricultural leadership, education, and communication, received the best new teacher award and Dr. Patricia K. Smith, the Cintron University Professor for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence in biological and agricultural engineering, received the best teacher award for the southern region.


    Dr. Patricia Smith, Cintron University Professor for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence

    The awards were presented at the 128th APLU Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    “Educating students and inspiring young minds is at the very heart of public universities’ mission,” said Ian Maw, Vice President of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources at APLU. “The impact that educators have on their students can last a lifetime and these awardees have helped their students realize their aspirations and serve as an inspirations to fellow educators.”

    Drs. Strong and Smith are known across Texas A&M University for their dedication to teaching. Both are recipients of the The Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Achievement Award for College-Level Teaching. Dr. Strong has also received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Early Career Teaching and was named a Montague-Center For Teaching Excellence Scholar. Dr. Smith has received the Teaching Excellence Award from the Dwight Look College of Engineering and has been honored with a University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence.

  • 24 Nov 2015 2:37 PM | Emily Buck

    David Doerfert has been selected by the Texas Tech University Graduate School to serve as the Associate Dean beginning in January.  David will retain a partial assignment in the department but the majority of his focus will be his administrative appointment in the Grad School.  Please join me in congratulating Dean Doerfert in his new appointment.

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