CFAES Connect: January 2020

  1. CFAES names its inaugural Distinguished Professors

    Distinguished Faculty Honorees

    The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) has announced four inaugural Distinguished Professors of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

    The title was bestowed on a competitive basis to four full professors who have excelled in teaching, research, or outreach/engagement. In addition, their work has significantly impacted their fields, students, college, university, and/or the public. 

    The honorees include environmental economist Elena Irwin, plant pathologist Sally Miller, food scientist Devin Peterson, and chemical engineer Judit Puskas.

    To read more about these Distinguished Faculty, click here!

  2. CFAES Buckeyes celebrate worldwide

    CFAES 150th anniversary pennant held on a beach.

    We’re celebrating 150 years of The Ohio State University, formerly the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

    We invite CFAES Buckeyes worldwide to participate in our sesquicentennial by sharing a photo of you with this pennant during your daily activities or global travels. Doing this takes three easy steps:

    1. Download, print and cut out the pennant from this PDF.
    2. Take a photo with your pennant. 
    3. Submit it to Include your name, your connection to CFAES or your CFAES major(s), your graduation year (if you’ve already graduated), and a short story about your time at CFAES and/or where you are now.

    Find us on social media and join in on the fun @CFAES_OSU, #CFAES150. Help us reach a goal of 150 pictures around the world during 2020!

    Sesquicentennial Pennant

  3. Sesquicentennial Scholars making waves

    Of the 150 Ohio State University students chosen for the Sesquicentennial Student Scholar Leadership Program, thirteen are currently enrolled in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  To learn more about the Sesquicentennial and the events surrounding the celebration click here

    Meet the Sesquicentennial Scholars from CFAES below: 

    Chris Baird - Agricultural Systems Management

    Chris Baird I’m part of the fourth generation in my family to attend Ohio State and to pursue a degree in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. I knew the university could provide me with unparalleled knowledge, a plethora of opportunities and a network that would help me grow and succeed in this ever-changing world.

    My love for Ohio State began with athletics and evolved into a passion for learning, service and tradition—some of the core values at this university. My work ethic is a result of the many years I’ve spent on my family’s farm. I’m involved in multiple organizations, including the Crops and Soils Club and the Agricultural Systems Management Club, and I’m the service co-chair of the sophomore class honorary, Romophos, which raises money for Community Refugee and Immigration Services. I’ve also participated in Buck-I-SERV and studied human impacts on the natural environment in Australia.



    Karaline Boso - Animal Sciences 

    Karaline BosoI want be involved in something great, like being an ambassador for Ohio State, because I hope to be a mentor to my classmates and to lead by example by helping those in need.

    Getting a quality education is the beginning of a quality life, and that’s why I chose to become a Buckeye. The education I’m receiving at Ohio State will allow me to pursue my dream of becoming a veterinarian. I look forward to becoming involved in organizations geared toward animal sciences. Currently, I volunteer at a shelter, and I plan to find other animal programs to work with, not only to make a difference but to expand my experience and help my future career.

    I’m not just growing academically; I’m also learning lessons that will stick with me for life. My determination keeps me going. No matter what life may throw at me, I am willing to take it on.




    Mary Buehler - Agribusiness and Applied Economics 

    Mary BuehlerMy initial apprehension as a first-generation college student from rural Ohio was quickly eased when I arrived on campus and was welcomed into the Buckeye community. Ohio State has a way of uniting people from all over the world.

    As an agricultural major, I am proud of Ohio State’s land-grant roots and excited about how the university continues to cultivate growth and diversity. The sesquicentennial marks a milestone of increased access and inclusion, of a culture that is welcoming to all and working for the betterment of everyone.

    My interest in connecting individuals to resources within the agricultural industry drives my focus academically. I would be thrilled to tie my passion for agriculture with efforts to promote the Buckeye community by discussing work being done at Ohio State to fight food insecurity and to create a more sustainable tomorrow. My investment of time and talent shows my commitment to growing this university.


    Melena Dillingham - M.S. Agricultural and Extension Education 

    Melena DillinghamMy first-grade teacher wrote on my report card that I was “the mother earth social secretary” of the class. To me, interacting with others has always been what gives experiences their vibrancy.

    Having worked as an elementary music teacher, I know how to encourage engagement. I’m enthusiastic and enjoy getting people excited about the things I care about.

    When I am not working or attending classes at Ohio State, I usually can be found with my husband playing music or volunteering with Columbus Humane, including as foster parents to homeless animals.

    Ohio State’s sesquicentennial reassures me that my institution is respected and established. The university prides itself on always being at the forefront of academic progress and innovation. Growth can put stress on an infrastructure that isn’t properly governed, so to carry that reputation for 150 years is evidence of a firm foundation and solid moral compass.


    Sarah Doner - Animal Sciences 

    Sarah DonerI learned from my cousins who attended Ohio State about the variety of opportunities at the university. I’m now the fifth person in my family to become a Buckeye, and I won’t be the last.

    Ohio State’s sesquicentennial means 150 years of continuing such family traditions. I’ve met many alumni who treated me as if I were a member of their own family, and I want to help pass on this wonderful sentiment to as many future generations as I can.

    Among the organizations I’m involved with on the Wooster campus is Miss Agriculture USA, which promotes the inclusion of women in the field. I’m an alum of Future Farmers of America and 4-H. I’ve also created a livestock show for those with disabilities so they can work with animals, and I make cat and dog toys to donate to shelters and collect pet food to donate to Meals-on-Wheels.




    Derek Goodman - Food Agricultural and Biological Engineering 

    Derek GoodmanGrowing up in a small town, I had limited contact with people from diverse cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles. Ohio State has opened doors for me to explore all of those facets.

    I was raised in a family that appreciates agriculture and makes it a part of daily life. The university’s sesquicentennial gives me the opportunity to continue my education as an agricultural engineering major with resources like no other and a temporary home during some of the most crucial years of my life.  

    I’m involved in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, where I’ve served as a council representative and vice president, and Cru, a Christian organization on campus in which I serve as Bible study leader. I am a member of the Quarter Scale Tractor Team, where I experience direct application of engineering principles. I also volunteer at My Family Pantry on the west side of Columbus.



    Mackenzie Hannum - Food Science and Technology 

    Mackenzie HannumI represent Ohio State in three ways, each of which embodies an aspect of my experience that will allow me to be a great ambassador and give back to a university that has given so much to me and my family.

    As a Buckeye I apply the life lessons I learned in my undergraduate years, whether it was how to give a compelling speech or how to execute a successful event. As an alumna, I make an effort to wear something Ohio State–related when traveling so I can find fellow Buckeyes (100 percent success rate!).

    Recently, I have embraced my role as a doctoral student in one of the most elite food science programs in the nation. I was skeptical if I was suited for research, but the mentorship within our department established an environment that fostered my creativity. I study why people like the food they do—something everyone can relate to.



    Alexis Homik - Environment, Economy, Development & Sustainability 

    Alexis HomikOhio State’s sesquicentennial means knowing that there’s common ground where everyone wants to represent what being a Buckeye is. It’s like joining a club or a team. People want to bring their goals and personalities to the table, and with that comes opportunity and trust. The university wants to inspire our and future generations. It wants to see what we have to say.

    Throughout my life, I’ve strived to produce art in multiple forms. From gymnastics to visual arts, being creative brings out the best in me. I do whatever I can to raise awareness about issues that I care about and engage others. With that comes intuition. My perspectives have shifted and strengthened based on the connections I’ve made and the knowledge I’ve gained during my time at Ohio State. The spirit and opportunities here make me believe I can make the world a better place.




    Emily Kanney - Food Science and Technology 

    Emily KanneyI grew up in a town that wasn’t diverse. However, through books and social media I gained exposure to diversity, and when I came to Ohio State I was blown away. The university is a place where different perspectives can come together to create solutions to problems.

    My motto is “If you’re not going to be excited by something, why bother?” I’m delighted to tell everyone that I go to Ohio State and what majoring in food science means. (No, Aunt Marge, I’m not going to be a chef.)

    I’m also proud of being a resource for my high school agriculture teacher. For a lot of students where I come from, it seems like the only path to a successful career is working the third shift at a factory seven days a week. I’m excited to be able to tell them about the opportunities and the affordability of Ohio State.



    Courtney Krieger - Agribusiness 

    Courtney KriegerI am proud to be attending one of the top agricultural schools in the nation. I knew that I would be welcomed and treated with respect by professors and students, allowing me to make a smooth transition from high school and life on the farm to the Agricultural Technical Institute and eventually main campus. My decision to become a Buckeye will benefit me well into the future.

    I have had years of experience working with people through employment and while serving as the Fulton County Dairy Ambassador. I’m able to work while attending classes, and I love my job at an elementary school. The kids’ excitement and joy when I walk into the classroom makes it worth every second of my time. I’m also proud of my experiences as a business owner. I’m an independent consultant for a skin care company and also a partner in our family dog-breeding business.




    Xamarie Ruiz - Animal Sciences 

    Xamarie RuizAs a sesquicentennial ambassador I hope to represent the Buckeyes and benefit others with my openness to diverse ideas and individuals, my care for my peers and all those in my community, and my confidence in myself and the community. By “confidence” I mean embracing my talents, achievements and capabilities to avoid doubt in myself, which is key if I wish to best serve others.

    So far in my time at Ohio State I have been involved in the Pre-veterinary Medical Association; Shades of Animal Science, of which I am the community science chair; the Animal Welfare and Behavior Club and Partnering Up with Pets. I also participated in the 2018 Buckeye Royal showmanship contest, where I spent two weeks breaking a young Jersey heifer. I release my creativity by painting, and outside of campus I volunteer at the Franklin County Dog Shelter, where I walk dogs and assist in their behavioral training.




    Hunter Sandwisch - Agribusiness 

    Hunter SandwischI knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in agriculture for my career, so Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute was the place for me to continue my education.

    I take pride in my leadership role as a student ambassador at the ATI. I try to learn from my peers as well as administrators because I know the lessons I learn will help me later in life.

    I’m also involved in clubs that allow me to broaden my knowledge about agriculture. They include Collegiate FFA, Community Council and Agronomy Club. I’m vice president of the Poultry Club, and I enjoy volunteering to help make my county fair enjoyable for all.

    In all my activities I am team-oriented because I believe that everyone has strengths to share with others. I try to lead by example, accommodating others’ opinions while voicing my own, and I’m open-minded to ideas that may be better than mine.



    Aaron Smith - Agronomy 

    Aaron SmithAs a child with a rural heart in an urban school system, I joined 4-H and met countless friends who became like family and had experiences that led to leadership and educational opportunities. When I decided to pursue a degree in agricultural sciences, Ohio State was the only option I considered because of the university’s role as a land-grant institution and its ties to 4-H.

    I attend the Agricultural Technical Institute, where I am vice president of the Agronomy Club and social media chair of the Poultry Club. As a member of the Dairy Club, I frequently attend Community Council and Collegiate FFA meetings. I also plan to become involved in our LGBTQ+ support group. On top of all this, I am a resident advisor and often host programs or attend events.

    When I am not on campus, I enjoy going home to work on my family farm and volunteer at 4-H events.




  4. One base at a time

    David Mellor

    Every time David Mellor smelled car exhaust, heard an engine rev, or heard tires squeal, he returned to a summer evening in 1981.

    Mellor was 18 then. He was walking across a McDonald’s parking lot in Troy, Ohio, when a driver who had just pulled into the parking lot signaled to him to walk in front of her car. Then, she accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake. Catapulted into the air, Mellor landed against a brick wall, crushing his right leg. A surgeon told him he’d never walk normally again.

    At the time, Mellor had just graduated from high school in Piqua, Ohio, north of Dayton, and was awaiting word from colleges for scholarships to play baseball. He was a pitcher and had a pipe dream to make it to Major Leagues. The accident put his plans for college on hold for a few years and tabled forever his plans of playing baseball.

    For 2 ½ years, he walked on crutches and had a series of knee surgeries. Even harder to recover from were the flashbacks when he was awake, and the more frequent nightmares.

    “I was scared to go to sleep,” he said.

    Mellor, a 1987 graduate of CFAES, is the groundskeeper for the Boston Red Sox. (Photo: Billie Weiss)

    Often, he yelled out in the middle of the night, waking in sweat-soaked sheets. Four years after the accident, when he entered college, he was so concerned his roommates would find out about his nightmares that he slept with the TV on. If he screamed during the night, he had an excuse: Someone on TV had yelled.  

    Even during the day, if he smelled car exhaust or the scent of McDonald’s French fries, or if he heard a motor rev, he’d get sweaty, his face would turn red, his heart would race.  

    “I didn’t know what was wrong, what was happening,” he said. “I thought it was a sign of weakness.”

    Despite his injuries, both emotional and physical, he graduated from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in turf management. It was a natural pick. He had always loved baseball and had grown up taking care of neighbors’ lawns. Not long after he graduated, the Milwaukee Brewers hired him as a groundskeeper.

    On a fall afternoon in 1995, 14 years after the car accident in Troy, Mellor was raking in left field of the Brewers’ stadium when a car drove onto the field and directly toward him.

    To read more, click here!

  5. Support future students by remembering CFAES in your will

    Students canoeing on the Scioto River near Downtown Columbus

    An up-to-date estate plan is your most effective tool for protecting the security of your loved ones. But did you know you can also use your estate plan to support CFAES?

    When you include a gift to The Ohio State University Foundation in your will or trust, you join a group of instrumental supporters. Read more.

  6. Alumni in the news

    Jodi Mescher with Alison Robertson

    Our alumni are out in the world making great things happen.  If you see an alum in the news, let us know!

    Here are some recent newsmakers from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences:

    Ronald Beckham BS Horticulture 1955 - Ronald C. Beckham 

    Brad Bergefurd BS Horticulture 1990, MS Agricultural Education 2011 - Attendees to go from bines to steins at Ohio Hop Conference

    Dr. Kris Boone MS Agricultural Education 1991, PhD Agricultural Education 1994 - Cincinnati Public Schools looks at agricultural education as a pathway to wide-open job market

    Frank Burkett BS Agricultural Mechanization & Systems 1997 - USMCA Gets House Approval 

    James Chambers BS Agricultural Economics 1989 - Jim Chamber joins Trimble as General Manager - Agriculture

    Dr. Donald Davidson BS Dairy Science 1982 - Ohio's Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Ohio Ag Net Podcast| Ep. 133| Christmas Lights & YAPScott Elwer

    Scott Elwer BS Animal, Dairy & Poultry Science 1996 - Elwer nominated for statewide award 

    Michelle Fehr BS Agricultural Education 2005, MS Human & Community Resourse Development 2006 - Local students get real world education

    Dr. Tony Forshey BS Animal Science 1977 - Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 134 | New Year, Queen & Intern

    Eric Gilbey ASC Landscape Construction & Contract Technology 1990 - Vectorworks' Eric Gilbey Elected President of Association of Professional Landscape Designers

    Dr. Brian Hartschuh BS Animal, Dairy & Poultry Science 2007 - Veterinarian comes home to Crawford County to launch new practice

    Joseph Hauryski BS Dairy Science 1969 - Steuben County Legislative Chair Steps Down

    Kelly Henderson BS Landscape Horticulture 2011 - Public service? Officials consider adding farmers to loan forgiveness program

    Roger High BS Animal Science 1985, MS Agricultural Education 1993 - Genetic Excellence a Family Tradition at Bunker Hill Farm

    Sarah Humphrey BS Animal, Dairy & Poultry Science 1999 - Sarah Goodwill Humphrey named health commissioner at Richland Public HealthCarolyn Orr

    Mike Kocher ASC Livestock Production & Management - Beef & Sheep - It Happened in Crawford County: Kochers are big 4-H supporters

    Dr. Douglas Leaman BS Animal Science 1987, MS Animal Science 1989 - WSU names science and mathematics dean as interim provost 

    Jodi Mescher BSENR Environment, Economy, Development & Sustainability 2015 - Mescher to Battle Blight and Preserve Lincoln City with Urban Renewal Agency

    Stephanie Nestor* Boot Hill Distillery Adds Staff to Roster

    Dr. Carolyn Orr BS Agriculture 1977 - Lobbying agency advancing pet care policy adds ag industry scientist to team   

    Dr. Scott Shearer BS Agricultural Engineering 1981, MS Agricultural Engineering 1983, PhD Agricultural Engineering 1986 - The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative and Ohio Agriculture Conservation Council

    William Shultz BS Animal Science 1972 - Genetic Excellence a Family Tradition at Bunker Hill Farm Bill and Susan Shultz

    Gordon Smith Jr. Agricultural Economics 1967 - Smith Couple Named Parade Marshals

    Lois Smith BS Dairy Science 1958 - Smith Couple Named Parade Marshals

    Dr. Ellie Walsh MS Plant Pathology 2013, PhD Plant Pathology 2016 - Growing Pains

    Gary Wilson BS Agricultural Education 1978, MS Agricultural Education 1978 - Wilsons join 4-H Hall of Fame 

    Mary Wilson BS Animal Science 1973, MS Agricultural Education 1980 - Wilsons join 4-H Hall of Fame 

  7. Calendar of events

    Ice on Fire

    Mark your calendar for some great events happening soon! 


    Environmental Film Series-A Life in the Wild - Columbus, Ohio - Tuesday, January 21st

    Renowned wildlife photographer, passionate conservationist, grizzly bear champion Thomas Mangelsen, will be there in person. 

    Eat, drink and be merry in January - Ashland, Ohio - Thursday, January 23rd

    Join the Alumni Club of Ashland County for a friendly networking event with fellow alumni, friends, and family. 

    Community Service: My Very Own Blanket Assembly - Galena, Ohio - Sunday, January 26th

    Help the Alumni Club of Delaware County make 150 blankets for My Very Own Blanket!

    Environmental Film Series - Ice on Fire - Columbus, Ohio - Tuesday, January 28th 

    Leonardo DiCaprio's newest documentary highlights firsthand accounts of people at the forefront of the climate crisis, with insights from scientists, farmers, innovators, and others.  Traditional renewable energy sources and new ones featured.  It's compelling, yet hopeful.  

    Game Watch: Ohio State vs. The Team Up North - Wooster, Ohio - Tuesday, February 4th 

    Join the CFAES Alumni Society and your fellow alumni for a Game Watch of the Men's Basketball game against Michigan.  

    Olentangy's ONE COMMUNITY Equity and Inclusion Conference - Lewis Center, Ohio - Saturday, February 8th

    Olentangy Local School District is hosting the eighth annual free ONE COMMUNITY Equity and Inclusion Conference.  This year’s theme is “Inspiring a Community Change Makers”.

    NMAAHC with OSUDC - Washington, DC - Saturday, February 15th 

    Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture with OSUDC

    SAVE THE DATE - CFAES Sesquicentennial Open House - Columbus, Ohio - Saturday, March 21st

    SAVE THE DATE - CFAES Spring Game Tailgate - Columbus, Ohio - Saturday, April 11th

    For more events hosted by the OSU Alumni Association, CFAES Alumni Society, OSU Extension Offices, OSU Alumni Clubs across the US and our partners, Click Here!