CFAES Connect: March 2019

  1. Nationwide Foundation Donates $7 Million to Support CFAES

    Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory with the Nationwide building and the rest of the Downtown skyline.

    Building on 50 years of partnership with Ohio State CFAES, Nationwide Foundation is contributing $7 million to support the college’s vision of a modern land-grant institution with a mission to sustain life.

    “The Nationwide Foundation is proud to make this contribution to Ohio State and see our collaborative efforts around food production, security, and sustainability take a giant leap forward,” said Nationwide Foundation President Chad Jester. “Together, we share a long-term vision with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences that assures the land-grant mission of sustaining life remains strong for generations to come.”

    The Nationwide Foundation gift supports initiatives in translating research and making it accessible, strategic collaboration, workforce development, and new facilities. This new gift brings total contributions to $11.8 million for the CFAES collaborative over the past several years.

    “We are grateful for the Nationwide Foundation’s steadfast support of Ohio State and its land- grant mission,” President Michael V. Drake said. “This generous gift will enable our faculty and students to continue addressing critical challenges for years to come—benefiting communities across Ohio and around the world.”

    Learn more.  

  2. Come to the CFAES Spring Game Tailgate April 13

    Join us! Tailgaters gather.

    Come to the CFAES Spring Game Tailgate April 13 and bring your family for a time-honored Ohio State tradition! 

    Mingle with fellow alumni and enjoy great food and family-friendly activities at the Blackwell Inn and Pfahl Conference Center Ballroom and Mezzanine before heading over to the game. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Tailgate buffet and activities will begin at 9:30 a.m. Noon kickoff at Ohio Stadium.

    • $15 per adult, $10 for kids 6 to 12 & FREE for kids 5 and under
    • Catered lunch, game ticket & family-friendly activities included!
    • Free parking on campus lots for Spring Game
    • Buckeye Game Day Attire

    RSVP for Spring Game Tailgate by Friday, March 29 to the Alumni Association at or by phoning 800-762-5646 or 614-292-2281 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F) for a customer service agent.

    For event-related questions (non-registration), please phone Chan White in the CFAES Advancement Office at 614-292-8740 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or email for assistance

  3. Twelve Honored at the CFAES Alumni Awards Luncheon

    2019 CFAES Alumni Award Winners

    The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) congratulates its 2019 Alumni Awards recipients.

    “It is wonderful to see so many people from our college community here to share their support for these outstanding honorees,’’ CFAES Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs Steven Neal told 140 alumni, relatives, faculty, staff, and friends during an awards luncheon on March 2. “We are all inspired by the accomplishments of these individuals.”

    In all, 12 individuals received awards during the annual event, held on the Ohio State campus at the Fawcett Center:

    • The Meritorious Service Award is given to alumni or non-alumni who have been singularly significant in CFAES’s quest for excellence.
      • Bob Birkenholz, Fort Myers, Fla.
      • Virgil Strickler, Galloway, Ohio
    • The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to those who have brought distinction to themselves and to CFAES through their commitment and leadership.
      • Bryan Garton (`93, PhD, Agricultural Education), Columbia, Mo.
      • Steve Goodwin (`73, BS, Parks, Recreation & Tourism Administration), Johnstown, Ohio
      • Chris Henney (`98, BS, Agricultural Education), Columbus, Ohio
      • Phil Minerich (`76, BS, Food Technology), Austin, Minn.
      • Floyd Poruban (`64, MS, ‘61, BS, Plant Pathology, Horticulture), Avon, Ohio
      • Kristi-Warren Scott (`03, BS, Agribusiness and Applied Economics), Washington, DC
    • The International Alumni Award is given to outstanding international alumni representing, supporting and promoting CFAES and Ohio State worldwide.
      • Leandro Cruppe (`15, PhD, ‘11 MS, Animal Sciences), Goiania-GO, Brazil
      • Richard Edema (`01, PhD, Plant Pathology), Kampala, Uganda
    • The Young Professional Award recognizes young men and women for their early professional accomplishments.
      • Leah Curtis (`07, BS, Agricultural Communications), Canal Winchester, Ohio
      • Bo Harstine (`16, PhD, ‘13, MS, Animal Sciences), Columbus, Ohio

    “Our alumni serve as inspirations to our students and the entire CFAES community. They improve our college, their industries, and our world through their work,” Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Dean Cathann A. Kress said.

    Learn more about the 2019 CFAES alumni awards recipients at Find additional event photos at

  4. Nominations Are Open for CFAES 2020 Alumni Awards

    Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs Steven Neal, Leah Curtis, Alumni Board President Nick Rettig

    The 2020 CFAES Alumni Awards nominations are now open.  Awards are given annually in four categories:  

    Meritorious 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:

    • Sunday, June 30, 2019 - Nomination Applications due 
    • Saturday, March 7, 2020 - Alumni Awards Luncheon 

    Completed nominations should be sent to

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



  5. From Personal Tragedy to Worldwide Mission

    Kowalcyk Family

    After losing her young son to a foodborne illness, Barbara Kowalcyk, an assistant professor of food science and technology in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), has focused her work primarily on foodborne illness prevention in the United States.

    However, she recently received a $3.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. Department for International Development to improve the safety of food in Ethiopia, where people commonly drink unpasteurized milk and eat raw meat.  For more on this inspiring story, read on.  

  6. Learn About Gifts to Ohio State That Pay You Income

    Young scientist working in a CFAES lab.

    Benefit more from your giving. With a charitable gift annuity, you donate cash, appreciated stock or other assets, and The Ohio State University Foundation agrees to pay you (or a designated annuitant) a fixed amount for life. It is a great way to supplement your income and feel secure during retirement. Read more.

  7. Check Out These Alumni Volunteer Opportunities April 6

    Brutus Buckeyes

    CFAES Volunteer Opportunity - Register here!

    Volunteer at Highland Youth Garden with fellow CFAES Alumni.  Highland Youth Garden is a children’s education garden in the Hilltop Community of Columbus. Children of all ages are welcome to come enjoy the Garden, or even lend a hand! Some of the volunteer efforts will require lifting heavy objects, standing for long periods of time, and plenty of manual labor. The entire project will also take place outside, so please dress accordingly. Parking will be available on the street and in a vacant lot across the street from the Garden.

    Volunteers will be doing the following activities: planting spring crops, tilling the soil, spreading mulch, grooming flower beds and rows, light construction projects, transplanting seedlings, and other garden maintenance activities.

    Highland Youth Garden 

    67 S. Highland Avenue

    Columbus, Ohio 43223


    OSU Volunteer Opportunity - Register here

    The day kicks off the alumni association’s annual Buckeyes Give: Month of Service. We’ll engage in projects like neighborhood and park beautification, senior assistance, food security, recycling/reuse, and health and wellness.

    Volunteers will meet at Longaberger Alumni House and travel by bus to an agency for your service project. The day will end with lunch and reflection at the Fawcett Center.

    Saturday, April 6, 2019

    8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Longaberger Alumni House and the Fawcett Center 
    2200 Olentangy River Road 
    Columbus, OH 43210 
    Directions | Parking

    Participation is free.

  8. Positions are Open on the CFAES Alumni Society Board

    CFAES Alumni Board members

    The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Alumni Board represents the voice of all alumni of the college. The board serves as a resource for all relations between college alumni and the OSU Alumni Society, and it has representatives from every academic department, regions of Ohio, out of state and from the last three graduating classes.  The group meets quarterly in addition to events throughout the year.  Currently there are two openings on the board, 2019 Class Representative and Central Ohio Representative.  Central Ohio is defined as residents of Delaware, Franklin and Licking Counties.  


    • Sustaining Member of The Ohio State University Alumni Society (Membership Must be Maintained During Time on Board of Directors. This requires an annual donation of $75 to the Ohio State fund of your choice.)

    • Be Available to Attend Meetings of the Board of Directors in Person or By Phone

    • Be Able to Plan and Promote the mission of the CFAES Alumni Society

    • Not Have Previously Served on the Board of Directors as a Geographical or Departmental Representative for Maximum Number of Years

    • For Geographical Representatives: Live in Area that you are Representing

    Term Limits

    • 3-Year Term, Serve No More than 2 Terms Concurrently or Non-Concurrently

    • Term Begins July 1st Year Elected and Concludes 3 Years Later on June 30th


    If you are interested in applying please fill out the application found here!  Applications are due Friday, April 12th and can be emailed to 



  9. Alumni In the News

    David and Ginny Brown

    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:

    Dr. Andy Bowman, BS in Animal, Dairy and Poultry Science, 2002 - Scientists Studying Pigs to Develop Better Flu Vaccination Marilyn Rabe

    David Brown, BS in Dairy Science, 1962 – Ardent Supporters: David and Ginny Brown

    Marilyn Rabe, MS in Human and Community Resource Development, 2000 -  Marilyn Rabe Retired After 26 Years of Service   

    Kent Vertrees, BS in Fisheries & Wildlife Management, 1993 – Kent Vertrees Wins the Genuine Steamboat Award 

    Annie Specht, BS in Agricultural Communications, 2008; MS in Agricultural Education, 2010 – Dover Native Elected to OSU Senate  

    Mallory Zachrich, BS in Agricultural Education, 2007; Nick Zachrich, BS in Agricultural Education, MS in Agricultural and Extension Education, 2017 – Ag Speaker Series Features Hops Farmers

    Janelle Teeters Mead, BS in Agricultural Communications, 1997 - Mead to Serve as CEO of Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Annie Specht