CFAES Connect: December 2019

  1. 2020 CFAES Alumni Award honorees announced

    Clifford Greer

    After receiving many nominations and deliberating for weeks, the CFAES Alumni Society Board has announced the 2020 CFAES Alumni Award honorees.  Here they are:

    Meritorious Service Award

    Dr. Jerry Bigham, Hilliard, Ohio 
    Dr. William Hildebolt, BS (1966), MS (1967), PhD (1969) Winston Salem, North Carolina 

    International Alumni Award

    Dr. Luiz Lucchesi, PhD (1997), Curitiba, Brazil
    Dr. Mauricio Bittencourt, PhD (2004), Curitiba, Brazil

    Young Professional Award

    Sarah Herringshaw, BS (2007), Bowling Green, Ohio
    Clifford Greer, BS (2007), Naples, Florida 

    Distinguished Alumni Award

    Dr. Robert Joseph, BS (1968), MS (1970), PhD (1975), Columbus, Ohio
    Lou Kozma Jr., BS (1992), Perrysburg, Ohio
    Bruce Kettler, BS (1987), Westfield, Indiana
    Elizabeth Guertal, BS (1984), MS (1988), Auburn, Alabama
    Dave Richards, ASC (1981) Ashtabula, Ohio
    Dr. Jeffrey Dickinson, BS (1981), MS (1982), PhD (1995) Delaware, Ohio

    Please join us in congratulating the honorees and thanking them for all they do for the college and the community. 

    These twelve wonderful alumni and friends will be honored at the 2020 CFAES Alumni Awards Luncheon on March 7th at the Fawcett Event Center in Columbus.  Registration will open in January and we'll be sure to share details in a future newsletter.  

    If you know someone who should be considered for a future Alumni Award, nominations for 2021 will open in the spring of 2020.  

    Alumni Awards trophy

  2. Meet the Young Alumni Academy's CFAES members

    Erica Lewis, Brandon Reese, Chloe Welch

    Three CFAES grads are enrolled this year in the Young Alumni Academy, a professional and personal development program for young Ohio State University alumni in the central Ohio area. 

    The academy is designed to empower young Buckeyes and provide them with the skills they need to be successful, in the workplace and in life. Throughout the 10–month program, participants have the opportunity to hear from experts and community leaders about a variety of topics, including things like salary negotiation, work–life balance and personal branding. It is a cohort–based program and fosters relationships between young professionals within the Ohio State community. In addition, participants will be matched with an alumnus mentor based on similar experiences or goals. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be invited to join an emeriti group to stay connected with The Ohio State University Alumni Association.

    This year's class has 42 young Ohio State Alumni. Meet the three alumni from CFAES:

    Erica LewisErica Lewis graduated in 2015 with a BS in Agriculture in Animal Science with a concentration in Equine Studies and a minor in Disability Studies. She is an Assistant Director at PBJ Connections. 

    What do you hope to get out of being a member of the Young Alumni Academy? 

    EL: I am excited to be a part of the Young Alumni Academy to connect with professionals my age outside of my job at a small nonprofit. Through the mentorship program and monthly presentations, I hope to further develop skills like public speaking and professional communication. I am also hoping to learn more about creative solutions to improving my work / life balance by networking with peers. 

    What is your favorite winter tradition/activity? 

    EL: My favorite winter activity is baking christmas cookies to share with my friends and family. 

    Brandon ReeseBrandon Reese graduated in 2016 with a BS in Construction Systems Management.  He is a Project Manager at Danis Building Construction Company.

    What do you hope to get out of being a member of the Young Alumni Academy? 

     BR: The Ohio State University has a wonderful network of very active alumni and my goal is to create relationships with those individuals who are looking to build that same type of network. I have a passion for community service and philanthropy, which I developed while an undergrad at Ohio State. The YAA looks to be a great resource to get re-connected with both the University, faculty, and staff on a whole different level and I'm excited about the opportunities through community building and the educational seminars the YAA hosts. 

    What is your favorite winter tradition/activity? 

    BR: One of my favorite activities is running outdoors. Whether a quick 1-mile run or full marathon, I've enjoyed this ever since graduating from high school. Although I didn't participate this year and it's at the tail end of fall, an awesome run I've done the past couple of years was the Hot Chocolate 15k through downtown Columbus. I just signed up for the race on 11/22/2020. For those not interested in a 15k, they also have a 5k portion so if you like hot chocolate and chocolate fondue make sure to sign up! 

    Chloe WelchChloe Welch graduated in 2014 with a BS in Environmental Science with a minor in Spanish.  She is an Environmental Specialist in the Division of Surface Water for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and a part-time graduate student in the Masters in Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State.  

    What do you hope to get out of being a member of the Young Alumni Academy? 

    CW: I hope to foster positive relationships with like-minded young OSU alumni, as well as learn from my paired mentor and the great speakers that come to our monthly meetings. I look forward to striving toward both personal and professional growth while in YAA.

    What is your favorite winter tradition/activity? 

    I absolutely love taking a stroll in a nearby metropark with my dog, Bean, just after a blanket of fresh snow has fallen.

  3. Her family's loss propels mission to fight foodborne illness

    Barbara and Kevin Kowalcyk

    On December 10th, Kevin Kowalcyk should have been celebrating his 21st birthday but he didn't. In 2001, at age 2 1/2, Kevin became one of the estimated 3,000 people to die each year in the United States from foodborne illness. Fueled by his passing, his mother, Barbara Kowalcyk, and grandmother, Patricia Buck, devoted their careers to preventing others from getting sick or dying from contaminated food and promoting stronger food safety policies and practices that protect public health. Eighteen years later, they are still fighting to prevent illnesses like Kevin's

    The Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention was founded as a non-profit organization by Kowalcyk and Buck in 2006 to facilitate, encourage, and promote research on food safety; translate and communicate science and its implications for food safety to stakeholders; and work on behalf of consumers to implement a stronger, more science-based food system that prevents foodborne diseases. Over the years, the center has earned a reputation as a leader in improving food safety policies and practices through science-based approaches. Among its many contributions, the center collaborated with other groups to develop, pass, and implement the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 (FSMA), which was the first major overhaul of food safety oversight at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in more than 70 years. The center also joined multiple efforts to strengthen government resources for national and state food safety programs, and it led an effort to require mandatory labeling of mechanically tenderized beef products, which have been associated with foodborne illnesses. In 2017, Kowalcyk joined the faculty at Ohio State and brought the center to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. 

    Foodborne illness is a serious public health issue that causes an estimated 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths - mostly in children - globally each year. The center’s mission is to advance a more scientific, risk-based food safety system that prevents these illnesses and protects public health by translating science into policy and practice. For example, its faculty, staff and students are currently working to develop and implement a risk-based framework for food safety management and resource allocation in Ethiopia as a model for other low- and middle-income countries to reduce foodborne illnesses and deaths and increase equitable consumption of a safe, affordable and nutritious diet. Closer to home, the center recently held its inaugural event at Ohio State, which featured leaders from the three primary federal food safety agencies and was attended by over 100 food safety professionals from around the state and the country. To learn more about the center's work, please visit

    The goal of this campaign is to celebrate Kevin Kowalcyk's 21st birthday by supporting efforts to prevent foodborne disease. Funds will be used to support student experiential learning opportunities, additional on-campus events, research supplies, statistical software subscriptions, travel to domestic and international food safety meetings, and much more. For example, the center is currently conducting a project in Guatemala that examines the association between prenatal exposure to a fungus commonly found in maize and the risk of low birthweight. As part of the project, the center is taking students to Guatemala over spring break to study the maize supply chain and field test the survey. Reaching our goal of $5,000 would support travel for three students. Every little bit helps, so please consider giving today. 

    To Support CFI Click Here

  4. Buy a CFAES t-shirt to support students


    CFAES Student Council is holding a t-shirt fundraiser with proceeds benefiting students of the college through scholarships and activities. To order a shirt, please fill out this form to indicate your preferences.  Shirts are $15 while supplies last.  Please allow time for shipping and processing. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Sarah Williams at  

  5. End-of-year giving

    Give to CFAES!

    As 2019 comes to an end, please consider including The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in your giving plans.

    Gifts to CFAES and all of Ohio State will qualify for a tax deduction in this calendar year, meaning any donation before December 31 is deductible for 2019. 

    As long as their gifts are made or postmarked by that date, donors who itemize their income tax returns are eligible to receive charitable tax deductions.

    But where can your gift go? 

    Time and Change: The Ohio State Campaign is the perfect option for your giving.  The campaign has three new CFAES funds: The Waterman Vision, Student Success, and Discovery & Translating Research.  

    Your gift makes a difference to the future of our college.  

    Donate Today! 

    Give to CFAES!

  6. Calendar of events

    Oak-dominated forests of the Appalachian Ohio Region
    CFAES State of the College - January 10, 2020 10:45-11:45am -  Columbus, Ohio (with livestream and recording available) 

    Either in person or streaming online, this is a great chance to hear an update from Dean Cathann A. Kress about changes and advances within the college.  

    EPN Breakfast - The Bourbon Barrel Connection - January 14. 2020 7:15-9:30am - Columbus, Ohio 

    Looking at the oak-dominated forests of the Appalachian Ohio Region.  

    Buckeye Smart: Stone Laboratory: a research and education destination like no other! - January 14, 2020 11:30-1:00pm - Columbus, Ohio 

    A lunch and learn opportunity to learn about Ohio State's (and CFAES's) island campus.  

    Environmental Film Series - A Life in the Wild - January 21, 2020 7:00-9:00pm - Columbus, Ohio 

    Renowned wildlife photographer, passionate conservationist and grizzly bear champion Thomas Mangelsen in person. 


  7. Alumni in the news

    John Mossbarger

    Gary Bauer BS Animal Science 1966, MS Agricultural Education 1973 - Piney Paradise: A Family Activity

    Cody Beacom BS Agriculture Mechanization & Systems 2009 - 2019 Ohio No-Till Conference Highlights

    Melissa Bell MS Human & Community Resources Development 2000 - Ohio Pork Council Names Melissa Bell Interim Executive Vice-President

    Frank Burkett III BS Agricultural Mechanization & Systems 1997 - Burkett Re-Elected Ohio Farm Bureau President   

    Adam Campbell BS Agribusiness & Applied Economics 2009 - New Young Ag Professional Committee Members Named

    Jessica Campbell BS Animal, Dairy & Poultry 2009 - New Young Ag Professional Committee Members NamedBauer Family

    Dr.Graham Cochran PhD Agricultural Education 2009 - OSU Ready to build $35M 'High-Tech Greenhouse' 

    Dr. Graham Cochran PhD Agricultural Education 2009 - Graduation: Fellows Honored at APLU Meeting

    Thomas Dimond BS Animal Science 1950 - Thomas Dimond

    David Glass AS Agricultural Business Technology 2016, BSAGR Agribusiness & Applied Economics 2017 - OFBF Discussion Meet Finalist Announced

    Glenn Harsh BS Agricultural Economics 1987 - 2019 Ohio No-Till Conference Highlights

    Jason Hartschuh BS Animal Science 2011, MPHM Plant Health Management 2014 - Late Planting Leads to Wetter Harvested Grain

    Aaron Heilers BS Landscape Horticulture 2006 - 2019 Ohio No-Till Conference Highlights

    Dr. Rudolph Hirzel PhD Horticulture 1964 - Rudolph William HirzelMelinda Lee

    Hannah Jarvis BSAGR Animal Science 2018 - New Young Ag Professional Committee Members Named

    Dr. Ani Katchova PhD Agricultural Economics 2001 - Ohio Farm Incomes Forecast to Rise

    Melinda Lee BSAGR Animal Science 2013 - Lee Takes New Organization Director Role at Ohio Farm Bureau     

    Dr. Laura Lindsey BS Environmental Science 2009, MS Soil Science 2009 - Soybean Research Addresses Some of the Challenges of 2019

    Jane Marshall BS Agricultural Engineering 1985 - American Agri-Women Elects New National Officers

    Micah Mensing AS Agriscience Education 2017, BSAGR Agriscience Education 2019 - OFBF Discussion Meet Finalist Announced

    Dr. John Mossbarger BS Animal Science 1972 - Mossbarger Re-Elected to Ohio Farm Bureau Board

    Bill Patterson BS Agricultural Economics 1993 - Patterson Re-Elected Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President 

    Cy Prettyman BS Animal Science 1990 - Prettyman Re-Elected Treasurer of Ohio Farm Bureau

    Eric Richer BS Agricultural Education 1999 - Late Planting Leads to Wetter Harvested Grain

    Kyle Smith BS Agricultural Mechanization & Systems 2008 - Smith Re-Elected Ohio Farm Bureau Regional Trustee

    Jeffrey Stimmell BSAGR Agriscience Education 2014 - Ohio's Agriculture Industry is Much More than Just Farming Kyle Smith

    Kelsie Schwyn BSAGR Agribusiness & Applied Economics 2016 - Ohio Farm Bureau Adds Schwyn to Staff

    Mark Watkins BS Animal Science 1985 - 2019 Ag Hall of Fame to be Inducted at December 3 Banquet    

    Dr. Suzanna Windon MS Agricultural Education 2014, PhD Agricultural Education 2017 - New Penn State Leadership for AgrAbility PA named

    Josh Yoder BS Agribusiness & Applied Economics 2008 - OCWGA Members Pushing for USMCA and Ethanol