CFAES Connect: August 2020

  1. Fifty years of transformative power

    ODI celebrates 50 years!

    In May 2020, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion celebrated 50 years as part of The Ohio State University. The road we have traveled over this half century is a story we are just beginning to tell.

    America was going through a dark time in late April 1968. Martin Luther King Jr. had just been assassinated. Within six weeks, Robert Kennedy would also be murdered.

    When two Black students were unjustly ordered off an Ohio State shuttle bus by the white driver, the student-activists of the Black Student Union decided to act. By the end of that tumultuous day—April 26, 1968—43 students would be arrested for a daylong occupation of Bricker Hall, Ohio State's main administrative building. Eight students eventually would be expelled for their actions, but out of their struggle a seed would be planted and begin to take root—a notion that inclusion has merit and diversity brings us strength.

    In reaction to the student protest, the university would establish a Black Studies Department in 1969 and, in 1970, would create an Office of Minority Affairs to recruit Black students to come to Ohio State. Other victories sought by those students would follow over the years—the establishment of a Black Cultural Center at Hale Hall, the hiring of more Black faculty and administrators, more student employment opportunities for Black students, to name just a few—and the office built from the bricks of their dissent would become the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).

    Now, with the calendar having flipped to 2020, ODI is celebrating its Golden Anniversary, a salute to a half century of advocating for all historically underrepresented students, faculty, and staff throughout the university.

    We keep the spirit of 1968 alive in our work today, not through active rebellion, but through the peaceful actions of our flagship programs dedicated to championing underrepresented students as they successfully navigate our campus.

    Actions like the Young Scholars Program, a scholarship pipeline from Ohio’s largest urban school districts to Ohio State that began 30 years ago and has brought the lifetime opportunities of a college education to thousands of first-generation college graduates. Or the Morrill Scholars Program, formerly the Minority Scholarship Program, Ohio State’s chief diversity/merit scholarship, which has gained acclaim in recent years for undergraduate academic stars thanks to a pair of Rhodes Scholars pulled from its ranks.

    To read more, click here.

  2. Showing the passion of Lucas Regula

    Regula family posing together with Lucas holding the daughter.

    By Matt Marx

    Hard-working, talented, and passionate for the cattle industry, Lucas Regula was a devoted husband and father whose tenacious battle with brain cancer ended at age 33.

    August 30, 2020 marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Regula (BS 2009, animal, dairy & poultry sciences), who is remembered by his wife, Allison, daughter, Autumn Rose, and many other relatives and friends.

    To honor his memory, Allison’s grandparents Betty and John Baird (BS 1958, dairy science) have established an endowment in Regula’s name to support financially-challenged students in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

    Lucas RegulaThe Lucas J. Regula Memorial Scholarship Fund (#645993) provides scholarships to CFAES undergraduates in need who are active members of Ohio State’s livestock judging team or are majoring in animal sciences while attending the Columbus campus. 

    It is the fifth endowment fund established by the Bairds and the fourth in the college. The longtime donors place tremendous value in CFAES’ academic programs and in education in general.

    “Establishing a foundation for Luke Regula was an easy decision for Betty and myself,” said John Baird, of Springfield, Ohio. “Our hope for this foundation is to help students who are pursuing a degree in the animal sciences.  We cannot bring Luke back; however, the memories of Luke can live on as scholarship recipients pursue a degree in the field that Luke enjoyed.

    “Luke was a very hard worker with a bright future. Luke loved his family, his work, and had a passion for the cattle industry like no other,” Baird said. “He had a special talent for breeding and showing cattle and loved being competitive on the show circuit.”

    The 2007 Livestock Judging Team posing together.

    Regula especially enjoyed being around show cattle. In college, he competed on the livestock judging team and was an active member of Alpha Gamma Rho.

    He and Allison (BS 2009, food business management) met in college and they married in 2010.

    “He was one in a million,” Allison Regula said. “He had a zest for life and was relentless in the pursuit of making things—whether it be his work, himself or his co-workers/friends—better. He never tired. He never once complained about hardships or his illness.”

    At Elanco Animal Health, where he worked, earned a strong reputation as a leader among colleagues and customers. 

    Regula spent a decade with Elanco, first as an ambitious and spirited college intern, and later as a full-time employee, holding positions of increasing responsibility serving cattle customers in the U.S., said Grady Bishop, Elanco’s executive director of global beef marketing.

    “Lucas’s intelligence, candor and straightforward, customer-focus made an immediate impact on our company, and anyone who had the pleasure to work around him,” Bishop said. “Nearly a year after his passing, Lucas’s legacy still lives on as someone who lived out our brand with a fervor and passion we all strive to achieve. His passing was an unimaginable loss for the Elanco family, but we still celebrate what he brought into our lives.”

    Her husband always desired to make an impact on the world around him, Allison Regula said, and those who knew him would say he was successful. 

    “The world is quieter and dimmer without him,” she said. “He would want us all to think about what kind of impact we can each make and to use that to drive us to keep moving forward.”

    Those wishing to honor Lucas Regula and help CFAES students can do so here.

  3. CFAES Alumni Webinar Series continues

    Time and Change Webinar Series

    Join us for the third installment of the CFAES Time and Change Alumni Webinar, a monthly series for our alumni and friends on a variety of intriguing issues led by prominent CFAES alumni and industry experts. Please mark your calendar for the third Thursday of each month.

    The third webinar in the series will be Thursday, Aug. 20, from 2–3 p.m. The topic will be “Cultivating inclusion in food, agricultural, and environmental industries.” In this latest installment, our alumni panel will address the current challenges of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the food, agricultural, and environmental industries.  

    The panel of speakers will include: 

    • Lewis R. Jones, ’65 BS Agricultural Economics, deputy director (retired), Ohio Department of Agriculture, Grove City, Ohio 
    • Yolanda Owens, ’07 BS Agricultural Communication, director of marketing, DNO Produce Inc., Columbus, Ohio 
    • Juan Moreno, ’88 BS Dairy Science, founder and CEO, Sexing Technologies and STgenetics, Navasota, Texas 

    Register for the webinar here

  4. Farm Science Review will be a virtual show in 2020

    Farm Science Review will have a different look from past years

    By: Sherrie Whaley

    For the first time in its nearly 60-year history, The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review, scheduled for Sept. 22–24, will not be held in person. Instead, a virtual show will be implemented for 2020.

    The farm show, sponsored by Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), annually attracts over 100,000 visitors from all over the United States and Canada to the show site in London, Ohio.

    “We are committed to delivering a robust and innovative virtual show in support of agriculture during this pandemic,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES.

    “Throughout its history, the Farm Science Review has been at the forefront of showcasing the future of agriculture,” she said. “While it may look different in 2020, we will continue to meet the needs of our growers and partners through access to exhibitors, virtual demonstrations, and education about the most recent advancements in agricultural production.”

    The three-day event normally allows agricultural producers to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, view field demonstrations, and learn the latest in agricultural production. Popular educational programs feature specialists from Ohio State, Central State University, and other land-grant institutions.

    To read on, click here.

  5. Where are they now? Alumni Awards edition

    Distinguished Alumni Award

    The CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award gives public recognition to those who have brought distinction to themselves and the college at large through their participation, commitment, and leadership. We have been honoring individuals with this award since 1971, and in that time we have honored 358 individuals. Of those honored over the years, 86% are male, and 14% are female. This compares to the current alumni population that includes 44,554 individuals, with 67% male and 33% female. Honorees of this award represent each of the college's academic units, with 32% coming from the Department of Animal Sciences, 17% from the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, and 16% from the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. We checked in with them to see what they have accomplished since earning their award and what it meant to them. Hear from a few of our honorees below. 

    Dennis Swartz, ’61 BS Agricultural Education, ’69 MS Agricultural Education

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 2005 

    Dennis SwartzQ: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you.  

    A: Since I had completed over 43 years in agriculture and administrative education, it was a great culmination to the many students and staff I had worked with and the success they have had in life. I was nominated and supported for the award by these students and staff.

    Q: Do you have other thoughts or comments about your experience with CFAES Alumni Awards and your alumni experience? 

    A: It is a thrill to be considered for the award and to share the honor with so many of my peers and those who have mentored me. I have several former students as OSU graduates, and one currently teaching in the OSU agronomy department. I remain an active member of the OSU Marion alumni association.

    Gary Bennett, ’75 MS Animal Science, ’77 PhD Animal Science 

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 2011

    Gary BennettQ: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you.  

    A: It was an honor to be selected for recognition from among many deserving alumni of a great college and university. It was an affirmation of the education I received from some great professors and their influence on my life and career.

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: Research Fellow Award, American Society of Animal Science, 2020; Pioneer Award, Beef Improvement Federation; acting director, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, 2017–2018.

    Ronald Overmyer, ’66 BS Agricultural Education, ’72 MS Agricultural Education 

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 2017

    Ronald OvermyerQ: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you. 

    A: It is very humbling to be recognized by the college that was the base for my success. The education that I received and the contacts that I made as part of my experience as a CFAES student provided me the tools for a successful life of learning and contribution. The impact of the college continued in my career as an OSU Extension agent for 37 years. It expanded my horizons locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. 

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: I continue to utilize my skills and talents in numerous community and business organizations, providing leadership in helping the organizations grow and move forward.

    Q: Do you have other thoughts or comments about your experience with CFAES Alumni Awards and your alumni experience? 

    A: It made me think about other alumni who should be considered for the award. I hope to nominate people in the future for consideration for the award.

    W. Alan Wentz, ’69 BS Natural Resources 

    CFAES Alumni Award, 1999

    W. Alan WentzQ: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you.  

    A: Recognition by The Ohio State Univerdity and the college was one of the most significant moments in my career. It was later followed by a similar recognition from Oregon State University, and lifelong accomplishment awards, such as the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award for Wildlife Conservation—the highest award in my profession—in 2019.

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: The Aldo Leopold Memorial Award for Wildlife Conservation in 2019. Also my retirement in 2010 from the position of chief conservation officer of Ducks Unlimited after 20 years there.

    David Hawkins, ’63 BS Animal Science, ’65 MS Animal Science 

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 2011

    David HawkinsQ: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you.

    A: It was a high honor to be nominated by the OSU Animal Sciences Department. It validated the excellent mentoring that I received while I was a student at OSU, which enabled me to develop my professional career at Michigan State University so that I might be eligible to be considered for this award.

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: In 2013, I was inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky. This gallery, which was established in 1903, is considered to be the Livestock Industry Hall of Fame and is one of the highest honors awarded in the U.S. livestock industry. There have been 374 inductees in the 117-year history, Additional information can be found at or

    Alan Brugler, ’76 BS Agricultural Education, ’76 MS Agricultural Education 

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 2011

    Alan BruglerQ: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you.

    A: It was a welcome recognition of some of the innovations I had initiated or fostered over the first 30 years of my career. Felt like I was in some pretty distinguished company!

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: I've been invited to be a speaker at several major conventions and ag events.

    Q: Do you have other thoughts or comments about your experience with CFAES Alumni Awards and your alumni experience? 

    A: It is a great way to remind us all that college can prepare you for a successful career, and also reminds us that career paths can vary greatly from what we thought they would be in college! It also reminds folks in agriculture that some of those high achievers they know are Buckeyes!

    Phillip Minerich, ’76 BS Food Technology Agriculture 

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 2019

    Phillip MinerichQ: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you.

    A: This was quite the surprise, and honor, to be recognized by the university as a distinguished alumni. My wife and I have cheered for the Buckeyes for nearly 50 years and are both thankful for how our degrees prepared us for a life of service.

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: We love to travel the world (have canceled several trips due to COVID-19) and proudly support the Buckeyes everywhere we go. What better way to show our gratitude than to speak highly of the university and support all Buckeyes, academically, musically, and athletically.

    Carroll Vance, ’71 PhD Plant Pathology 

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 1993

    Carroll VanceQ: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you.

    A: Receiving the award was an acknowledgement that my education at OSU not only gave me the foundation for critical thinking but extended the tools gained at OSU through mentoring individuals across the world.

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: My greatest achievement(s) has been mentoring a great number of graduate students and postdoctoral associates at the University of Minnesota. The achievements made by those individuals led to me being elected to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hall of Fame in 2019.

    Robert Benson, ’56 BS Agricultural Education

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 2002

    Robert BensonQ: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you. 

    A: I was honored to have been selected. Never dreamed of even being considered! My aspirations were always to do the best you can at everything you do. The education I received at OSU helped me do my best! The recognition by CFAES was very gratifying. 

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: Lions Clubs International Life Membership, 2014; McClure Silver Ram Award by the American Sheep Industry Association for dedicated volunteer commitment and service to the sheep industry, 2017.

    David Pullins, ’72 BS Agricultural Education 

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 2008

    Q: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you.

    A: The award was acknowledgement by my peers that my efforts to assist and support farmers and others in agriculture were successful and worthwhile.

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: Following a 33-year career with the Ohio Farm Bureau serving farmers, I have continued to build a successful diversified farm operation with my wife, Cathy, and two sons.

    Floyd Poruban, ’61 BS Horticulture, ’64 MS Plant Pathology 

    CFAES Distinguished Alumni Award, 2019

    Q: Describe what receiving a CFAES Alumni Award meant to you. 

    A: It certainly wasn’t expected, especially for a blind person. I never expected that type of award. But I was appreciative anyways. I didn’t think I that I would be considered worthy for such an award. I was told that in 150 years of Ohio State, I am the only one that ever received a science degree as a blind person.

    Q: What has been your greatest achievement and/or milestone since winning your alumni award? 

    A: Keeping my business running. The pandemic slowed down business quite a bit, people would call but were scared to come and see the plants. But after things started to slow down, things are starting to pick up. People are calling from all over.

    Nominations for the 2021 Alumni Awards have closed, but you can nominate for the 2022 awards here.

  6. Who in the world is the CFAES Alumni Society Board?

    Brutus Sandiego

    The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Alumni Society Board represents the voice of all alumni of the college. The board serves as a resource for all relations between college alumni and The Ohio State University Alumni Association and has representatives from every academic department, every region of Ohio, from out of state, and from the last three graduating classes. The group meets quarterly in addition to holding events throughout the year.

    Get to know a few of our board members each month.

    Yolanda Owens, President 

    07 BS Agricultural Communications 

    Director of Marketing, DNO Produce 

    Yolanda Owens

    Q: Tell us a bit about what you like to do when you are not at work.

    A: When I am not at work I am still very busy. I have two little boss ladies (their initials are CEO) that I like to hang out with. As a family, along with my husband and my mother, we like to go on hiking adventures in the local metro parks and road trips to his hometown of Pittsburgh (I'm a homegrown Buckeye!). I also manage a local breastfeeding support group for Black mothers, as there are many barriers to support for this/our community, as well as do systems change and participatory leadership consulting work with a group called The Outside. While this is a hectic life, throw in a random dance party to the latest Disney/Pixar soundtrack with the kiddos, and I'm alright.

    Q: What is your favorite thing about being on the CFAES Board? 

    A: My favorite thing about being on the board is being able to bring a unique perspective. I love being able to use the board as a platform to bring more awareness to young people of color of the variety of career choices that STEM (pun intended) from an ag background. The current makeup of the board, including representatives from each department of the college and in and out of state, allows for folks that would probably not interact to come together, learn from each other, and help to move the college in the direction that we wish to see. While this journey has not always been easy for those that look like me, I love being on the board to represent my ancestors' wildest dreams.

    Celena Ritchey, Class of 2018 Representative 

    ’18 BSENR Environmental Policy and Decision Making 

    Associate Regional Director, BBYO

    Celena RitcheyQ: Tell us a bit about what you like to do when you are not at work.

    A: Volunteering, gardening, painting, and working out, especially yoga and barre.

    Q: What is your favorite thing about being on the CFAES Board? 

    A: I really enjoy being able to support the recognition of outstanding alums.  

    Q: What is your favorite memory of CFAES? 

    A: My favorite memory with CFAES was having the opportunity to study abroad in Tanzania, as a part of the Sustainable and Resilient Tanzania community development project. The program provided the ability to seamlessly connect my interests in international water security, women’s rights, community engagement, and intergenerational learning with peers, community members, and faulty. I am deeply grateful to have had those experiences through Ohio State and know that those memories will continue to last as the years roll.

  7. Alumni in the News

    Yolanda Owens and her mom Sheila








    Our partner, CFAES Career Development Office, is looking to feature alums on their social media pages.  They are looking for alums of every age and degree to feature.  This is a great way to connect with the College, current students, and fellow alums. The process is simple, all you have to do is fill out this brief survey and a representative from the Career Development Office will be in contact with you.  No matter if you graduated 3 months ago or 30 years ago, you have a CFAES story to tell and the Career Development Office wants to help you tell it.   

    Our alumni are out in the world making great things happen. 

    Here are some recent CFAES newsmakers:

    Mindi Brookhart BS Agricultural Communications 2017 - Looking Back at the Ohio State Fair

    Harry Cogswell BS Dairy Science 1950 - Obiturary: Harry Max Cogswell

    Jordan Fledderjohann BS Agribusiness & Applied Economics 2016 - Looking Back at the Ohio State Fair

    Michelle Funk AAPPSCI Agribusiness and Applied Economics 2011 - Looking Back at the Ohio State Fair

    Charles Hawley BS Agricultural Education 1956 - Charles Eugene Hawley

    Scott Higgins BS Agricultural Economics 1984 - Looking Back at the Ohio State Fair

    Patty House MS Agricultural Education 1997 - Clark County Fair organizers happy with shortened event, looking forward to next year

    Sandy Kuhn BS Agricultural Education 1988, MS Agricultural Education 1995 - Decisions made on fair

    Melvin Krill BS Agricultural Education 1953, MS Agricultural Economics 1962 - Melvin Krill


    Margo Long BS Agricultural Communications 2011 - Marion County Junior Fair livestock shows start Saturday

    Beth Miller BS Dairy Science 1983, MS Agricultural Education 1988 - Pared down Auglaize Co. Fair opens

    Yolanda Owens BS Agricultural Communications 2007 - A Food Justice Advocate and Mom of 2 Talks Breastfeeding and Basement Herb Gardens

    Lloyd Smith BS Agriculture 1940, MS Agricultural Education 1958 - Ag Hall of Fame accepts Smith, Blythe

    Dr. Pat Whittington BS Agricultural Economics 1982 - Whittington Named President of the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association (NAADA)

    Emily Wickham BS Agricultural Communications 2007 - Wickham Elected to Board of Directors for National Agricultural Organization

    Stephen Wilhelm BS Agricultural Education 2000 - Urbana FFA attends FFA Camp Muskingum

    Meghann Winters AS Agricultural Communications 2019, BSAGR Agricultural Communications 2019 - Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 163 | Matt on a lawnmower with a porkchop

    Mallory Zachrich BS Agricultural Education 2007 - Urbana FFA attends FFA Camp Muskingum

    Nick Zachrich BS Agricultural Education 2007, MS Agricultural and Extension Education 2017 - OSU Farm Science Review to happen virtually this year