Kansas State University


Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Tag: Faculty

Department well represented at 2018 SAAS Conference

Story by Ashley Fitzsimmons, senior (ACJ)

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.

A Year in Review: Agricultural Education

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

A little over a year ago, Dr. Gaea (Wimmer) Hock (’03, ’06) and Dr. Jonathan Ulmer joined the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education as agricultural education faculty.

Throughout the past year, these two have been busy preparing students to go back into the classroom as teachers, adding technology into their projects, and igniting positive change within the program. One prominent change they are working on together, with the help of instructor Brandie Disberger, is to revise the agricultural education curriculum credit hours and add three new courses to the program.

In addition to teaching courses, Hock also offers opportunities for students to conduct undergraduate research projects regarding agricultural education and FFA programs in the state. Furthermore, she intends to lead a study abroad trip to the Czech Republic in the future.

The agricultural education program has more opportunities than ever, and students are noticing.

Continue reading “A Year in Review: Agricultural Education”

Alumni Holiday Card Exchange

Here’s a holiday card from us to you. We are thankful to have such a successful and supportive alumni network. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season full of friends, family, and enough time to enjoy each other’s company.

Featured in the front row (from left to right) are Lisa Moser, Steven Harbstreit and Kristina Boone; in the back row are Richard Baker, Lauri Baker, Brandie Disberger, Shannon Washburn and Jason Ellis.

Please send us a digital copy of your family holiday card by December 12, so we can share it in the December newsletter. You can email your photo and holiday message to graduate teaching assistant, Jennifer Ray at jlray@ksu.edu. We can’t wait to hear from you! If you only have a print format available, you can mail it to:

Kansas State University
301 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-4004

Attention Facebook users: If you are not already connected with K-State Agricultural Communications and Journalism (ACJ) or K-State Agricultural Education on Facebook, follow the embedded links to “Like” us.


Faculty Collaborate on Global Initiative

Story by Audrey Green, sophomore (ACJ)

Jason Ellis took this photo on a research trip to Guatemala.

“We take a lot of things for granted in our U.S. ag production systems,” says Jason Ellis of his recent trip to Guatemala. Ellis, associate professor of agricultural communications and journalism, and his team are actively working to improve the livelihoods of Guatemalan agriculturalists. The initiative is one of four grants awarded to Kansas State University from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and it aims to reduce post-harvest loss and food waste in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana and Guatamala. Continue reading “Faculty Collaborate on Global Initiative”