CFAES Connect: June 2020

  1. Create your legacy at CFAES

    Virgil Strickler with his family, three generations of Buckeye supporters

    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? Our personal estate planning kit can help you get started.

    Download your kit.

  2. Kristina M. Johnson named 16th president of The Ohio State University

    The Ohio State University Board of Trustees has appointed Kristina M. Johnson, PhD, as the 16th president in university history. Johnson, who has served as chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY) since 2017, brings more than 30 years of experience as an academic, business, and policy leader.

    “We are pleased beyond measure to welcome Dr. Johnson to Ohio State,” said board chair Gary R. Heminger. “Her range of knowledge, service, and accomplishments across sectors and throughout her career is nothing short of remarkable.

    “She is uniquely positioned to make an immediate impact—building on Ohio State’s momentum and advancing our mission to uplift lives through academic excellence.”

    As SUNY’s chancellor, Johnson led a system of 64 public colleges and universities—including five academic health centers and three hospital systems—with 1.3 million students, 30,000 faculty, and 90,000 employees overall. Prior to that, she founded and served as CEO of several successful science and technology companies, served as under secretary of energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and held academic leadership positions at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    Johnson has close family ties to Ohio State and Ohio. Her grandfather graduated from Ohio State in 1896, played right guard on one of the early football teams, and was a member of the Tesla Club. Family lore has it that Johnson’s grandfather met her grandmother on the Columbus campus. Johnson has deep family roots in Ohio.

    “Ohio State has always been a special place to me—well beyond its standing as one of the most respected teaching, research, and patient-care institutions in the world,” Johnson said. “I am humbled to be selected to lead this great land-grant university, and I look forward to meeting with students, faculty, and staff to begin our work together.”

    At SUNY, Johnson launched a system-wide student success initiative that increased two-year community college graduation rates by 22%, cut in half the number of students requiring remediation before starting college credit-bearing coursework, saved students $47 million in textbook costs over three years, and established a goal to hire 1,000 underrepresented minorities and women in STEM by 2030. She worked with New York’s Empire State Development to form industry partnerships with IBM, Applied Materials, and Cree totaling $4.6 billion, with associated programs that helped advance SUNY research expenditures by $100 million year over year. Johnson also partnered with the New York Power Authority to procure 100% renewable electricity at SUNY by 2023.

    In her role as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins, she led a university-wide strategic planning process, stood up the Carey Business School, and launched the MOSAIC Initiative to recruit underrepresented faculty. As dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke, she led a strategic planning process that increased undergraduate enrollment by 20%, doubled the number of graduate students, tripled research expenditures, increased the school’s endowment tenfold, and led to the construction of the Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences. Also at Duke, Johnson worked to increase the percentage of women faculty from 6% to 19%. She hired 55 faculty members, including 19 early-career award winners and three members of the National Academy of Engineering.

    Johnson will begin her tenure as Ohio State president on Sept. 1, 2020. She succeeds Michael V. Drake, who has served as president since June 2014.

    To read more, click here.

  3. CFAES appoints Patrice Dickerson as director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Patrice Dickerson

    CFAES welcomes Patrice Dickerson as assistant dean and director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

    Prior to her official start date of July 1, 2020, Dickerson is working part-time to onboard to the college, and is holding conversations about recent national events with students, faculty, and staff members of color. 

    In her new role, Dickerson will lead change as she oversees and manages DEI efforts that support CFAES’ strategic goals. She will be responsible for evaluating the college’s climate for faculty, staff, and students and for developing strategies to ensure that all CFAES faculty, staff, and students feel valued for their individual talents and unique cultural perspectives. She will also connect with CFAES faculty, staff, and students who do work in DEI to create synergies and garner guidance regarding CFAES’ DEI efforts and direction as a college.

    “Dr. Dickerson brings a rich background of work and accomplishments in DEI,” said Tracy Kitchel, CFAES associate dean for faculty and staff affairs and Dickerson’s supervisor. “More immediately, her leadership will be important in keeping in mind the needs of our faculty, staff, and students during the COVID-19 pandemic as such situations can exacerbate issues of inclusion and access.’’

    Following the tragic, unjust death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the expressions of sadness, confusion, pain, and rage—not only here in Ohio but across the nation—as well as the civic unrest that has sadly accompanied the protests, the college will turn to Dickerson to help our community move forward, together, to elevate current standards and practices to be more equitable and inclusive, college leadership has said.

    Dickerson joins CFAES from Virginia Tech University, where she is currently the inaugural director of faculty diversity in the Office for Inclusion and Diversity.

    For more on CFAES's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, click here

  4. Time is running out. Alumni Awards deadline approaches

    CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress, recipient Bob Joseph, Nick Rettig

    The 2021 CFAES Alumni Awards nominations are due June 30, 2020. Awards are given annually in four categories:  

    Meritorious Service Award: The purpose of the Meritorious Service Award is to give public recognition to non-alumni and/or alumni of the college who have been singularly significant in the college’s quest for excellence.

    Distinguished Alumni Award: The 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.

    International Alumni Award: The International Alumni Award is presented to outstanding international agriculture alumni representing, supporting, and promoting the college and The Ohio State University around the globe.

    Young Professional Achievement Award: The Young Professional Achievement Award recognizes alumni for their early professional accomplishments. This award provides recognition for these individuals and serves as a stimulus toward further efforts by younger alumni. Honorees are to be no more than 35 years of age at the time of the award ceremony.  

    Here are some important dates to remember:

    • Tuesday, June 30, 2020: Nomination applications due. 
    • Saturday, March 6, 2021: Alumni Awards luncheon.

    Completed nominations should be submitted here. Please note that once you enter the webform you will not be able to save your progress, so we advise compiling nominations in a separate document and copying them into the webform.  

    To nominate an individual, find the formal application and other resources here.

  5. New CFAES Alumni Webinar Series debuts June 18

    CFAES Time and Change Alumni Webinar Series

    Join us for the first 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 first webinar in the series will be Thursday, June 18, from 2–3 p.m. The topic will be "Sustaining Our Food Supply Chain.” In our inaugural session, we will examine the current condition and future state of our nation’s food supply chain in a discussion led by four prominent CFAES alumni. 

    The panel of speakers will include:

    • Kurt Loudenback ’83 BS Agricultural Economics, CEO and owner, Grand Prairie Foods, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
    • Sally Rockey ’82 MS, ’85 PhD Entomology, executive director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. 
    • Mike Townsley ’81 BS Animal Science, chairman, Bob Evans Farms/Post Refrigerated Retail. 
    • Moderator: Annie Specht ’08 BS Agricultural Communication, ’10 MS Agricultural Education, assistant professor of agricultural communication, Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, CFAES. 

    Register for what should be an exciting look into the food supply chain during these unknown times.  

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

    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.  

    Cyndi Brill, Past President 

    ’93 BS Agriculture Education 

    Associate Superintendent, Switzerland of Ohio Local School District 

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

    A: I enjoy sports, traveling, fishing, beaches, and cooking with my family.  

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

    A: It has been a humbling experience to serve CFAES as an Alumni Board member. My favorite part of my role on this team has been my ability to give back to the college and the association through participating in different types of endeavors that financially support future students. Developing connections by rubbing shoulders with one another at games, social events, and community service functions. Staying informed and in the loop about news, research, and sports. Expanding my skills by participating in webinars, workshops, databases, and career coaching opportunities. And most of all, getting the chance to show my pride by supporting my Buckeyes!

    Q: Tell us anything else that you want your fellow alumni to know about you (family, kids, pets, etc.). 

    A: In high school, I had the honor of serving the Ohio FFA Association as a state officer, which grew my passion for the organization and the opportunities it provided to all students. I decided to apply to The Ohio State University to pursue a degree in agriculture. My grandparent’s initial disapproval had prompted me to withdraw my application, but after they gave me permission—they believed that knowing the subject matter would help in my desire to be an advocate for students studying agriculture—I was able to pursue this course of study.

    Craig Berning, Class of 2017 Representative 

    ’17 BSAGR Agribusiness and Applied Economics

    Legislative Aide, U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska 

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

    A: When not at work, I’m often found hanging with friends (lucky to have a great crew of Ohio State friends that now live in DC!), been doing a lot of cooking during quarantine, and have rediscovered and been binge-watching previous seasons of “Survivor” that I used to love watching on Wednesday nights with my siblings growing up.

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

    A: The fellow board members really impress me with their passion for staying connected and giving back to the CFAES community. It really shows, even though many of us graduated decades apart, how much of an impact everyone's time at OSU had on their lives.

    Q: Tell us anything else that you want your fellow alum to know about you (family, kids, pets, etc.).

    A: No pets ... yet. I’ve been very close to wanting to get a quarantine puppy though. My favorite food actually developed in college—nachos. I made it through my junior and senior years of college living off of Monday and Thursday $5 nachos that could feed three people at Ethyl and Tank. But to this day, I love nachos! After three years in D.C., I’m still on the search for the best place to get them.

    Cyndi and Craig are both ending their terms on our board at the end of June. We want to thank them for their years of service and their countless hours of dedication to CFAES and its alumni family.  

  7. Alumni in the news

    Luke Baugess

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

    Here are some recent CFAES newsmakers:

    Cassie Jo Arend ’06 BS Agricultural Communications, Local butcher shops busy as national processing hiccups

    Robert Ascheman ’62 PhD Agronomy, Dr. Robert "Bob" Ascheman

    Christi Bachman ’89 BS Agricultural Communications, Honoring Ohio’s agricultural educators

    Courtney Baker ’18 AS Biochemical Science, ’20 BSAGR Animal Science, Years of hard work pay off for local veterinary students

    Madison Baker ’18 AS Biochemical Science, ’20 BSAGR Animal Science, Years of hard work pay off for local veterinary students

    Luke Baugess ’16 AS Agricultural Systems Management, ’18 BSAGR Agricultural Systems Management, Ambition bests troubling times for young farmer

    Nathaniel Birkhimer ’13 AS Agriscience Education, ’15 BSAGR Agriscience Education, Honoring Ohio’s agricultural educators

    Jim Chakeres ’86 BS Animal Science, ’89 MS Animal Science, Foodbanks still in need and being supplied by Ohio farms

    Samuel Custer ’81 BS Agricultural Education, ’84 MS Agricultural Education, 'Right now, we're all struggling': COVID-19 pandemic adds to farm stress

    Shelby Faulkner ’16 BSAGR Agriscience Education, FFA members and advisors making due during COVID-19

    Tony Forshey ’77 BS Animal Science, Ohio Agricultural Council announces 2020 Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame inducteesJohn Gilson, Madison Baker, and Courtney Baker

    John Gilson ’18 AS Biochemical Science, ’20 BSAGR Animal Science, Years of hard work pay off for local veterinary students

    Laura Gordon ’12 BSAGR Animal Science, Gordon Joins World Wide Sires Team

    Kenney Gray ’79 PhD Education: Vocational and Technical Education, Kenney Gray

    George Harris Sr. ’58 BS Agricultural Economics, George Richard Harris Sr. 

    Dan Hohman ’96 ASC Greenhouse Production and Management Technology, Hohman is new head grower at Wagner's 

    Roger Hunker ’90 BS Dairy Science, New alternatives for county fair auctions

    Stephanie Jolliff ’96 BS Agricultural Education, ’03 MS Agricultural Education, FFA members and advisors making due during COVID-19

    Timothy Knight ’87 BS Agricultural Economics, Sales and marketing positions filled by Marrone Bio Innovations

    Lynn Knipe ’78 BS Animal Science, Local butcher shops busy as national processing hiccups

    Sarah Lucha ’01 BS Agricultural Education, ’02 MS Human and Community Resource Development, Honoring Ohio’s agricultural educators

    Wendi Mizer Stachler ’99 BS Agricultural Education, Honoring Ohio’s agricultural educators

    Noah Neiderhouse ’02 BS Agricultural Education, FFA members and advisors making due during COVID-19Dan Hohman

    Gregory Pontius ’71 BS Horticulture, Ambition bests troubling times for young farmer

    Tyler Pope ’05 BS Agricultural Education, Honoring Ohio’s agricultural educators

    Jeremy Ryan ’11 BS Agricultural Education, Honoring Ohio’s agricultural educators 

    David Seif ’71 BS Agricultural Economics, Dave Seif

    Wendall Waters ’69 BS Agricultural Education, Ohio Agricultural Council announces 2020 Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees

    Charles Punch Woods ’61 BS Agricultural Economics, Punch Woods 

    Christopher Zoller ’91 BS Agricultural Education, ’97 MS Agricultural Education, 'Right now, we're all struggling': COVID-19 pandemic adds to farm stress

  8. The ‘Carmen’ heard ’round the world

    Join The Ohio State University Buckeye family in a singing of “Carmen Ohio” around the world!