Dean's Spring Dinner 2014

May 15, 2014 (All day)

The port of call was The Ohio State University when the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences welcomed a record 220 guests to the 2014 Dean’s Spring Dinner.

From a waterfront-themed stage on a replica dock with palm trees and steel drum band, Dr. Bruce A. McPheron hosted college donors, students, faculty and staff for a gourmet dinner and live program at the Nationwide and Ohio 4-H Center.

Dean McPheron joined with students, faculty, and staff to recognize donors of non-scholarship gifts that support academic programs, research, endowed professorships, named chairs and operations.

The dinner program focused on The School of Environment and Natural Resources. Youth Beat Radio gave a live performance of its radio show, with interviews and clips from SENR students and faculty.

“Thank you for your continued support of the vital work we are doing at the college,” said Zach Stephan, a junior from Lancaster, Ohio majoring in culinary science, as he welcomed guests and introduced the program.

“Tonight on the show we are pleased to feature The School of Environment and Natural Resources. The School offers five undergraduate majors and six specializations at the graduate level,” said Dr. Kristi Lekies, assistant professor of agricultural communication, education and leadership, and executive director of Youth Beat Radio.

Nishant Makhija, a Youth Beat Radio student product assistant, interviewed two assistant professors of environmental science:

·         Dr. Brian Lower, whose research focuses in environmental microbiology, teaches an introductory environmental sciences course that is available to tens of thousands of students through iTunes U.

·         Dr. Mazeika Sullivan, who specializes in aquatic and riparian ecology, recently received the 2014 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching for his work involving the Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy Wetland Research Park.

Rebecca Beard, a Youth Beat Radio student production assistant (far right in photo), interviewed two Study Abroad participants:

·         Paige Hagley, a junior environmental science major from Chillicothe, Ohio, who traveled to Iceland (second from left)

·         Rachel Metzler, a junior majoring in environment, economy, development and sustainability from Columbus, who visited Australia (second from right)

Beard later interviewed Lyndsi Hersch (left), a junior natural resources management major from Twinsburg, Ohio who joined Hagley and Metzler to share their undergraduate SENR experiences.

"If you go to ag campus at any time of the year, you're going to see flowers planted, you're going to see people doing studies, you're going to see people out with insect nets catching insects and taking collections," Lyndsi said. "And I think it's amazing that you're able to take what you learn in the classroom, walk maybe 25 feet outside, and immediately be able to apply it and that it shows so well on our campus."

Guests also watched a short video on urban coyotes featuring Dr. Stanley Gehrt, an assistant professor and wildlife extension specialist.

In the final interview of the evening, Dr. Lekies welcomed Dr. McPheron to the dock,

“Now that you are in your sophomore year as dean with about 18 months under your belt, has your vision or goals for the college changed?” Dr. Lekies asked.

“First of all, I'd like to consider myself a super-sophomore. I've done this before,” Dr. McPheron replied. "That aside, there are two things that really have not changed one bit since I started here. The first is that I expect this college to be the place that our peers look to for best practices. I want the rest of the world to say, `We better find out what Ohio State is doing before we move ahead.' The second thing that is essential is that our graduates need to be the preferred product for their employers." 

In addition to sharing his vision for the college, Dr. McPheron also described how well the college is preparing students for future success in careers related to food, agriculture and the environment. He further described the impact of gifts on the college’s work and thanked guests for attending and for their generous support. "It's a humbling experience because this is a group of people who said, `we are going to change the future.' And you say it at all levels."

Lastly, our CFAES student ambassadors joined the presenters on stage as everyone sang along to a steel-drum rendition of Carmen Ohio performed by Steel Away.

The entire evening was a beachfront blowout, except no one had to worry about getting sand in their shoes.

To see more, click on our Photo Gallery.

Click here to give to The Ohio State Fund for the School of Environment and Natural Resources. For details about giving in support of CFAES, contact 614-292-0473 or click on our Giving Page.