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.