CFAES Connect: December 2020

  1. 2021 CFAES Alumni Award honorees announced

    After receiving many nominations and deliberating for weeks, the CFAES Alumni Society Board has announced the 2021 CFAES Alumni Award honorees. Here they are:

    Meritorious Service Award

    Susan Crowell, Lisbon, Ohio
    Bobby Moser, Dublin, Ohio

    International Alumni Award

    Claudio Ribeiro, PhD ’05 Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Science, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
    Yuri Zinn, PhD ’05 Soil Science, Lavras, Brazil

    Young Professional Award

    Cindy Barrera, PhD ’16 Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Dearborn, Michigan 
    Ken Davis, BS ’08 Agribusiness and Applied Economics, Bourbonnais, Illinois

    Distinguished Alumni Award

    David Adamkin, BS ’70 Animal Sciences, Louisville, Kentucky
    Robert Downey, BS ’77 Animal Sciences, Sellersville, Pennsylvania 
    Marsha Martin, MS ’78 Plant Pathology, PhD ’81 Plant Pathology, Columbus, Ohio
    John Newton, MS ’10 Agribusiness and Applied Economics, PhD ’13 Agribusiness and Applied Economics, Washington, D.C.
    The Hon. Bob Peterson, BS ’83 BS Animal Sciences, Sabina, Ohio
    Sally Rockey, MS ’82 Entomology, PhD ’85 Entomology, Columbia, Maryland

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

    These 12 wonderful alumni and friends will be honored at the first-ever virtual CFAES Alumni Awards Luncheon March 2021.  

    If you know someone who should be considered for a future Alumni Award, nominations for 2022 are now open. Click here to nominate a deserving alum.  

  2. Support CFAES before the year ends

    Please give to CFAES

    Planning your year-end giving? Don’t forget to include the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES)! Your gift makes lifelong learning opportunities, community engagement, and the development of future Ohio leaders possible.

    You can give online, by mail, or by phone.

    Give online

    Please consider giving to the following funds through the online portal: 

    Give by mail

    You can also give by mail! Please mail a completed giving form and check with the fund number written on it to:

    The Ohio State University Foundation

    P.O. Box 710811

    Columbus, OH 43271-0811

    Give by phone

    Please call us at 614-292-2141 and have your credit card, debit card, or electronic funds transfer information ready.

    Support CFAES!


  3. Dreading winter? Try to lighten up

    (Photo: Getty Images)

    As we inch closer to winter’s official start, the hours of daylight shrink further and further.

    Extra darkness or slate-gray skies can easily drag down a mood already challenged by the pandemic. We’re socializing less often, hunkering down, and shelving vacation plans to warmer and brighter tropical spots.

    Meanwhile, we have to tackle what seems like an endless string of Zoom meetings while trying to edge our kids into get-it-done mode, and at the end of the day, confront the same hurdle: What’s for dinner?

    So how do we keep pandemic exhaustion from descending into depression?

    David Wirt, a counselor with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), has some advice on how to lighten your mood in the coldest months of the year.

    Click here to read his advice.  

  4. Celebration of Youth: A Night to Remember

    Growing 4-H Across Ohio

    Ohio 4-H members were the stars of the 23rd annual Celebration of Youth held earlier this month, with more than 140 guests joining the virtual event. Their heartfelt stories of perseverance and resilience this year resonated with viewers. The result – more than $107,000 was contributed through donations and an online auction that will benefit Ohio 4-H programming and operations.

    The evening also featured guest speakers who expressed their appreciation for 4-H. Ohio Governor Mike and Mrs. Fran DeWine; Jennifer Sirangelo, National 4-H Council CEO; Dr. Cathann A. Kress, vice president and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; and Dr. Kirk Bloir, state 4-H leader shared their thoughts about the importance of youth development programming. 

    Growing 4-H Across Ohio

    A special appeal during the hour-long program to grow 4-H across Ohio raised more than $2,500 that will provide starter kits for new clubs, increase volunteer recruitment, and provide county programs with marketing resources.

    The success of this year’s event was possible thanks to the generous support of many sponsors and individuals.

    Visit the Ohio 4-H Foundation Celebration of Youth page for a list of contributors and to view the program video.


  5. Co-op gift funds food-based cancer research

    Dec. 14, 2020 

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—A $190,000 gift to the Cooperatives for the Cure Cancer Fund boosts food-based cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), and Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The fund was created with the hope of finding a common goal for agricultural cooperatives to work together on bettering their communities through the support of cancer research. 

    This year’s donation brings the total donated since 2009, when the effort began, to $1.5 million. 

    Supporting the fund are two campaigns, Growing the Cure and Fueling the Cure, toward which the cooperatives donate money from soybean and corn seed sales and from propane deliveries. The organizations involved in the effort are Centerra Co-op, Heritage Cooperative, Premier Energy, and Sunrise Cooperative. 

    “Our farmer-owners are committed to the community and want to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Ray Etgen, director of propane operations at Heritage Cooperative. “The co-ops recognize there is a need and want to participate to make a difference. They’re very excited to work with CFAES and the James and are excited to see where it will take us in the future.”  

    The funds are earmarked for food-related cancer research and are split between OSUCCC – James and Ohio State’s Center for Advanced Functional Foods Research and Entrepreneurship (CAFFRE), which is a part of CFAES. 

    Projects supported by the fund include studying how nutrient-rich lean beef can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern for overweight cancer survivors to improve their body weight; the impact of vitamin D on colon cancer; and the impact of diet on oral cancer. 

    Having the partnership with the farmer co-ops is key, said Yael Vodovotz, CFAES professor and CAFFRE director. 

    “A focus of the center is, ‘from crops to the clinic to the consumer,’ so having farmers involved is an important part of the equation,” she said. “This work involves many different people and disciplines who all play an important role in understanding functional food research and in developing a prevention or cure for some of these diseases.” 

    For more information on CAFFRE, see


    Tracy Turner 

  6. Online Program Application Fee Waived for Ohio State Alumni

    Earn your next OSU degree as an Alum!

    Buckeye alumni can apply to any Ohio State online degree or certificate program for free, thanks to a partnership between The Ohio State University Alumni Association, the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions and the Office of Distance Education and eLearning.  

    Ohio State will waive the $60 application fee to any Ohio State Online program for alumni who are ready to advance their career or enter a new field. Eligible students should check the "Alumni online program applicants" fee waiver box on their admission application. Please note: This fee waiver applies only to the university's application fee and does not include program-specific fees.

    “I am excited to continue providing meaningful and affordable access to Ohio State and eliminate a potential barrier that will support our Buckeye alumni in achieving their personal and professional goals," said Rob Griffiths, Associate Vice President of Distance Education. "This benefit showcases the power of partnerships to advance Buckeye Nation.” 

    For more about applying to OSU as an alum, click here.  

  7. 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.

    Kelsie SchwynKelsie Schwyn, Ohio-at-Large Representative 

    ’16 BSAGR Agribusiness and Applied Economics

    Director of Strategic Partnerships and Nationwide Services, Ohio Farm Bureau 

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

    A: As a new board member, I have enjoyed meeting other board members virtually and learning about their backgrounds and careers. It’s a diverse group, and I’m really looking forward to working with them for the next three years!

    Q: What is your favorite memory from CFAES? 

    A: My favorite memory from CFAES is an ambassador trip to Arizona. We had a great group of ambassadors, and we got to learn about agriculture in a drier climate. It was a fun trip, and I have a lot of great memories from it.

    Nicky GallagherNicky Gallagher, Department of Entomology Representative 

    03 MS Entomology, ’10 PhD Entomology

    Technical Manager, Syngenta, Professional Solutions

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

    A: Entomology is a fairly new member of CFAES, and it has been a great privilege to represent the department. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to build new connections with all the board members, as well as faculty and staff within CFAES. I believe entomology is a natural fit for this college, and the opportunities for collaborations across CFAES seem immense. The leadership within the board is dedicated, engaging, and focused on providing the best resources and connections to the university. I feel lucky to be a small part of their team. I’m looking forward to seeing the CFAES entomology alumni family grow. Go Bugs!

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

    A: My husband and I are a bit obsessed with gardening. We are always adding new plants (or rearranging) and trying to find new areas to plant in. At some point we will run out of room, but we are not quite there yet. We have everything from orchids, bananas, carnivorous plants, and more. I’m thinking of naming the garden “Cultivated Chaos.” We love it, though. It brings us great joy and peace. My family also likes to camp. As a family of biologists, we have a great fondness for the outdoors. Our adventures include a lot of fishing, birding, bug hunting, and also herping.

    For more about the CFAES Alumni Society Board, click here.

  8. Alumni in the news

    Timothy Corcoran, BS ’80 Agricultural Economics

    CFAES Alumni are doing amazing things in their communities and their industries.  Here are a few great examples!

    Brooke Beam, BSAGR ’12 Agricultural Communications, MS ’14 Agricultural Education, PhD ’17 Agricultural Education, Agricultural risk coverage, price loss coverage for 2021

    Charles Cline, BS ’93 Agricultural Education, Quick Take

    Timothy Corcoran, BS ’80 Agricultural Economics, Ohio Farm Bureau recognizes excellence with 2020 honorees and award winners

    Rebecca Cropper, BS ’77 Rural Sociology, MS ’78 Agricultural Education, Ohio Farm Bureau recognizes excellence with 2020 honorees and award winners

    Jim Hoorman, BS ’84 Animal Science, MS ’87 Agricultural Economics, Healthy soils suppress pests

    Shoshanah Inwood, MS ’04 Environmental Science, PhD ’08 Rural Sociology, Childcare a unique challenge for parents involved with agriculture

    Rattan Lal, PhD ’68 Agronomy, Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast, Ep. 183, Glaciers and Voles

    Alexander Lindsey, PhD ’15 Horticulture and Crop Science, Weather may have been the most normal part of 2020

    Micah Mensing, AS ’17 Agriscience Education, BSAGR ’19 Agriscience Education, Ohio Farm Bureau recognizes excellence with 2020 honorees and award winners

    Michael Miller, BS ’66 Animal Science, MS ’78 Agricultural Education, Michael Edward ‘Mike’ Miller

    Chris Penrose, BS ’88 Animal Science, MS ’91 Agricultural Education, Winter grazing go-time!

    Merryl Runyan, BS ’58 Agricultural Education, Merryl E. ‘Bud’ Runyan 

    Jennifer Wilson-Oeschsle, BS ’05 Agricultural Education, 2020 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium recap

    Mike Zeedyk, ASC ’96 Crop Production Management, Weather may have been the most normal part of 2020