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Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

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Professor Spotlight: Levy Randolph

by Jessica Schaeffer, agricultural education and communication master’s student

 

The department is happy to welcome one of the newest Agricultural Communications professors, Levy Randolph. Coming with new experiences, Randolph is helping students learn to use technology to communicate.

 

Living abroad in Japan until high school, Levy Randolph was first introduced to agriculture when his family settled in California. As a freshman in high school, Randolph enrolled in an agriculture class thinking it would be an easy “A,” only he found his passion. He became passionate about the agriculture industry and was involved in events and leadership roles as a member of FFA. Serving as the 2009-2010 National FFA President help solidify that he was meant to help others find their love for agriculture.

Randolph earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education at Fresno State University. He went on to earn his Master of Science and a doctorate in agricultural education and communication, with an emphasis in communication, at the University of Florida. His research focuses on multimedia influences in cognition change. He enjoys incorporating virtual reality, videos, photography and other media into his research.

 

He was drawn to Kansas State University thanks to glowing reviews from close friends, and found his new home, albeit a little colder and snowier than Florida or California. Being able to work at a university, valuing its students and welcoming to others made Randolph’s choice of workplace easy. He is happy to work in such a welcoming department and enjoys living in Manhattan. He especially enjoys the great food options around town.

In his first semester, fall 2019, Randolph taught theory in agricultural communication, intro to agricultural communication and supervised the internship class. This coming spring, he will be teaching crisis communication and an updated video production class. Starting spring 2020 semester, he will also be the head advisor for the student organization Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. Thanks to the help of the amazing faculty and students he says his first semester went great and is looking forward to the next.

In his spare time, Randolph enjoys playing video games, building Legos and traveling when possible. He is the proud dog dad of Beckett and Collins, two golden retrievers. He is also co-owner with his wife, Tiffany Rogers-Randolph, of the video production company Paradigm Productions. The company focuses on the agricultural industry. He enjoys being able to get to know farmers and their passion to help educate others about where food comes from. He finds that while the process can be long, it is fun and rewarding.

Professor Spotlight: Tiffany Rogers-Randolph

by Jessica Schaeffer, agricultural education and communication master’s student

 

The department welcomes one of the newest agricultural communications professor, Tiffany Rogers-Randolph. Throughout her life, Rogers-Randolph has been involved in agriculture and is now helping students find their inner communicator.

Tiffany Rogers-Randolph found her love for agriculture at a young age, which led her to a career that includes the agricultural community. Growing up on a hobby farm in southwest Michigan, taking care of draft horses introduced her to agriculture. Participating in 4-H and FFA in junior high and high school led Rogers-Randolph to understand what she loved most about agriculture. She fell in love with the people and serving within the agriculture community. Being able to affect the daily lives of those in agriculture and serve beyond the community led her to become involved in the leadership side of FFA. From 2010-2011, Rogers-Randolph served as the eastern region vice president for the National FFA Organization. Her time as a national officer shaped her perspective on the agriculture industry and helped her believe in the people who work within it. Helping those within the industry become empowered fueled her passion.

“I saw the people working and communicating within the industry and thought, I want to do that,” said Rogers-Randolph.

After earning her Bachelor of Science in agribusiness management at Michigan State University, she went on to earn her Master of Science and doctorate in agricultural education and communication at the University of Florida, with an emphasis in communication. Rogers-Randolph’s research focuses on developing the human side of communication. She helps students become more comfortable communicating about agriculture, professionals understand the tools to use when communicating, and organizations improve their communication campaigns. She researches the newest technology and how to make sure the agriculture industry stays up to date. To help students, professionals and organizations be better communicators she also researches strategies and techniques to improve agriculture communication.

While she is busy moving and settling in as professor, Rogers-Randolph still finds some time to dive into her own hobbies. She enjoys being a dog mom to two golden retrievers, Beckett and Collins. When she has time, she enjoys reading and running. She also is the co-owner with her husband, Levy Randolph, of Paradigm Productions, a video production company. They use their video and communication skills to help give those in agriculture a voice that may not otherwise be heard. Rogers-Randolph finds it rewarding to share someone’s voice through Paradigm Productions and also rewarding to help her students find their voice.

Advisor Forum presents November Charlie Award

submitted by Beth Stuewe for the K-State Today, November 6, 2019

The K-State Advisor Forum has selected Brandie Disberger, instructor in agricultural education, for the November Charlie award.

Disberger was nominated by her colleague, Gaea Hock, for the work that she does for both her advisees and students who have been reinstated in the College of Agriculture.

As an instructor, academic advisor, advisor to the agricultural education student organization and current doctoral student, Disberger sets a high standard in her department. In her nomination, Hock writes, “Brandie’s work ethic and dedication to students makes all of the faculty advisors in the department push to be better. We constantly go to her to ask her advice.”

Not only does Disberger encourage her peers, but she also encourages her students. Disberger encourages her students to push to get to the next level in their academic studies and extracurricular activities. She inspires them to take advantage of new opportunities as a way to better themselves for their future careers. Along with her current students, Disberger also works with newly reinstated students in the College of Agriculture. She encourages them and helps them be successful so that they can accomplish their goals of completing a degree.

Hock adds, “Brandie constantly goes above and beyond to make sure her students’ needs are being met. She is able to get them to open up to her and tell her their struggles. I have seen her go to extreme measures to help students succeed.”

Ulmer travels to Ethiopia

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

Agricultural education professor Jon Ulmer traveled to Ethiopia to attend the All African Post Harvest Loss Congress and Expo in Addis Ababa. While in Ethiopia, Ulmer visited different regions and interviewed farmers for a grant project with USAID. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-harvest Loss is a strategic, applied, research and education program aimed at improving global food security by reducing post-harvest losses in stored product crops, such as grains, oilseeds, legumes, root crops and seeds.

Hock presents in Alaska

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

Agricultural education professor Gaea Hock attended the 2019 American Association for Agricultural Education Western Region Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, September 17-19.  While in Anchorage, Hock took part in the Ag Literacy Multi-State meeting, a group of professors from across the nation working to research variables related to agricultural literacy.

Hock also presented an innovative poster titled: Connecting Research Stations to Area Agricultural Education Programs, co-authored by Dr. Jeremy Falk, University of Idaho & Dr. Marshall Baker, North Carolina State University.

Hock joins national committee

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

Gaea Hock joined the National FFA Agriscience Fair Committee in July. She attended the national selection process and will assist at National FFA Convention in October. Her role on the committee will help strengthen the event in Kansas and across the nation.

The National FFA Agriscience Fair recognizes student researchers studying the application of agricultural scientific principles and emerging technologies in agricultural enterprises. Students can compete in one of the following categories: animal systems; environmental services/natural resource systems; food products and processing systems; plant systems; power, structural and technical systems; and social science.

K-State agricultural education earns national recognition

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

The National Association of Agricultural Educators recently recognized K-State’s agricultural education program as Region II’s Outstanding Post Secondary Agricultural Program. The agricultural education faculty includes Brandie Disberger, Gaea Hock and Jon Ulmer. Congratulations on this well-deserved award.

Hock, Rogers-Randolph honored at NACTA conference

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

 

Drs. Gaea Hock and Tiffany Rogers-Randolph received awards at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Conference in Twin Falls, Idaho, June 18-21. Hock was awarded the NACTA Educator Award while Rogers-Randolph received the NACTA Graduate Teaching Award. Both awards require an extensive application and review process.

 

Katie Burke named Assistant Professor

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

Katie Burke recently moved into a new position within the department, going from instructor to assistant professor. In this new role, Burke is a 12-month faculty member with a 70% teaching, 30% research appointment. Burke will be specializing in strategic outreach regarding natural resources and conservation and giving natural resource professionals more tools to engage landowners.

“We’re excited to have Dr. Burke as an assistant professor with the agricultural communications and journalism program,” says Jason Ellis, communications and agricultural education department head. “This new role capitalizes on her talents and expertise beyond teaching, adding an emphasis in natural resource and environmental communication Extension work in Kansas.”

Congratulations, Dr. Burke!

Faculty changes

by Linda Gilmore

Lauri Baker will be leaving the department to work as an associate professor with the Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (Center PIE) at the University of Florida. She will have a tenure home in their department of agricultural education and communications. Her last day with the department will be June 22 and she will be completing some special project work for K-State Research and Extension through August 3. Be sure to wish her the best in her new position.

 

Tiffany Rogers-Randolph will join our agricultural communications and journalism faculty as assistant professor starting July 1. She recently finished her doctorate at the University of Florida in agricultural education and communication and has a research interest in social online media’s use in agricultural storytelling and engagement.