At the beginning of February, the AgEd Club hosted their annual KSU Speech Contest in Bluemont Hall. There were over 180 Kansas FFA members competing and 45 K-State students helping throughout the day.
Categories of speeches included freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, creed, and extemporaneous.
The 2018 Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) was held in Jacksonville, Florida. Graduate students, alumna, and faculty from our department attend SAAS to learn, network, and present their agricultural communications research.
The SAAS conference is a great opportunity for professionals in the agricultural industry and the educational field to come together to learn from each other and collaborate ways to improve the industry. The conference is divided into sections; agricultural communications is one of them. This networking event allows for other agricultural communicators to challenge each other to find more effective way of communicating the agricultural message.
During one of SAAS’s paper sessions, recent graduate, Courtney Boman (’17) and department head, Dr. Jason Ellis (’98) presented their research focusing on the “Measuring the influence of Twitter-based crisis communications strategies on brand reputation via experimental design.” The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement managing director, Cassie Wandersee (’16) and graduate professor, Dr. Lauri M. Baker presented their topic, “A quantitative assessment of possession rituals and engagement in Pinterest: An examination of the agricultural industry,” as well during this session.
Graduate students also had the opportunity to share their research findings at SAAS with a poster session and talking one-on-one with other professionals at the conference. Andres De Leon, Deanna Reid, and Kelsey Tully’s research focused on the “The Next Generation of Video Marketing: A qualitative study exploring the use of 360-degree video to market plants to millennials.”
Graduate student, Deanna Reid, says, “Attending SAAS was a great opportunity to meet other graduate students and agricultural communications professors. It was also neat to be able to put faces with the names on the articles and research I’ve been reading.”
Kansas State University and the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education was well represented at SAAS. These events give students the chance to explain and defend their research as well as learning from other academicians in the agricultural communications field.
The department congratulates Rick Butler and Phylicia Mau as Department Employees of the Year through a nomination and review process. Each received a plaque, and their names have been added to the plaques in the conference room in the main office.
Butler (’93), who works for University Printing, reviews customer-pro
vided electronic files before plate output, completes customer-requested design work, and provides prepress design consultation for clients.
Mau is a part of the publishing in the department and provides clien
ts with graphic design assistance, including page layouts, logos, artwork, posters, electronic publications, and other visual displays. She creates designs and images for print and electronic use.
These awards were announced at the Groundhog Day breakfast celebration. Pancakes and sausages were enjoyed by all.
Although Amanda Tomlinson did not initially plan on a career in agricultural communications, the field has given her many opportunities.
Tomlinson has been working as an editor for the Publishing Unit in the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education for the past two years. She edits and publishes research reports created by Kansas State University faculty.
The faculty that she edits for receive research funds from the Kansas Agriculture Experiment Station, which include agricultural experiment stations located throughout the state. Before these faculty submit publications to outside journals and papers, she reviews the manuscripts to ensure correct formatting and grammar.
“My role is helping faculty get their message out there by editing, printing and publishing their work so that farmers, producers, and others can read the material,” says Tomlinson.
After a successful national search, the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education has chosen Dr. Jason Ellis (‘98) for the Department Head position. He previously held the Interim Department Head position, and his new position appointment began January 14.
Dr. Ellis completed his undergraduate degree in agricultural communications and journalism at K-State and has been with the department for almost seven years as an associate professor in agricultural communications. He brings a wealth of knowledge, ideas, and energy to the department.
“This department is full of great faculty, staff, and students who work hard everyday to make it successful,” says Ellis. “I encourage alumni to not just offer their time and talent but to bring us ideas to help us continue down the path of excellence.”
Communications and Agricultural Education students joined others across the College of Agriculture to discuss why diversity matters in the college. This student-led forum was standing-room-only in the Leadership Studies’ Town Hall.
The crowd included Dean John Floros, assistant and associate deans, department chairs, and faculty. Industry partners were also present like Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Department of Agriculture, Cargill, and other stakeholders.
The discussion began with the statement, “Diversity is our reality. Inclusion is our goal.”
Two ACJ students, Bryanna Cook and Kyler Langvardt, were brave enough to speak out against hate and stand up for inclusion.
Cook, a junior ACJ student, spoke up saying, “We are a K-State family, and we need to act like it.”
The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) is advancing its mission through outreach and training events on marketing and communications for audiences throughout Kansas and beyond. These events range from webinars and Facebook live videos to seminars and the annual New-Media Marketing Boot Camp.
“We remain focused on empowering people to feel comfortable using new-media marketing tools. Whether it’s Facebook, a newsletter, or a blog, we want people to understand the platforms they working in,” says Cassie Wandersee (’16), managing director of CREE.
Recently, CREE collaborated with partner organizations to host several events and webinars.
One of these partnerships is with the Marketing Learning Community of the Association for Communications Excellence (ACE). CREE began working with ACE to host bi-monthly webinars that focus on training participants in communications theory and practice. During the last webinar, they discussed content strategy and planning for small businesses and service organizations.
CREE has also partnered with K-State Research and Extension. Dr. Cheryl Boyer and Wandersee presented on content strategy and communicating through multiple channels at the K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference in November. It is also working with Kansas Pride on an online seminar in January focused on launching e-commerce stores. This webinar will discuss the benefits, as well as the preparation needed, for creating an online store.
Some faculty, staff and students of the department attended the KSUnity Walk on Tuesday, November 14 from 1-3 p.m. During the walk, participants came from their respective campus buildings and met on Anderson Hall’s lawn. Then, the KSUnite program took place. Participants heard a message of unity and steps that all K-Staters can take as the community moves forward to be an ever more inclusive campus.
Thoughts from department members that attended:
“I was impressed by the turnout of people that attended.” – Kelly Ingalsbe, accountant
“It was neat that despite the weather there was still a sizeable turnout of attendees.” – Audrey King, instructor
“It was a really awesome sight to see so many K-Staters in purple and on the lawn.” – Lori Buss, accountant
“K-State’s unity walk was a step in the right direction toward making everyone on campus feel like family. It was nice to see mobs of purple supporting the event.” – Dr. Katie Burke, instructor
The search for a permanent department head is well underway. The 13 person search committee has reviewed application materials from several qualified candidates and three individuals have been invited to interview – Dr. David Doerfert, Texas Tech University; Dr. Jason Ellis, Kansas State University; and Dr. Dwayne Cartmell, Oklahoma State University. Candidates will interview in late November and early December.
The full interview itineraries will be shared and posted to the department website as soon as they are finalized.
Rollin Mensch, the Printing Coordinator and Estimator at the University Printing Center, has been working in the print business for approximately 47 years, and almost 4 years working at Kansas State University.
“I’ve been in the Manhattan area most of my life, except for when I was in the service,” says Mensch. “It’s like home to me. I knew a lot of the people who work in the office already. I was lucky enough to find a position here.”
One main role in Mensch’s job is customer service and helping the incoming customers with the paperwork. He makes sure all the correct information is filled out or provided to complete the job to the best of the printing center’s ability.