by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student
The Department of Communications and Agricultural Education graduated 29 undergraduates and 10 master’s students this spring. Agricultural communications spring class of 2019 includes Danielle Comstock, Bryanna Cook, MiK Fox, Leah Giess, Megan Green, Kyler Langvardt, Janelle Marney, Taylor Belle Matheny, Ashley McKenny, Sarah Moyer, Tarra Rotstein, Kelly Schrag and Kennedy St. George.
Agricultural education graduates include Rachel Bellar, Moriah Cobb, Sydney Cullison, Allyson Dorrell, Cassandra Ebert, Hannah Fry, Christina Hoffman, Caroline Howsden, Trent Johnson, Eric Koehlmoos, Ashley Lauinger, Savannah Pryor, Matthew Schick, Meghan Strassburg, Melissa Strassburg and Caitlyn Thompson.
Students graduating with a Master of Science in Agricultural Education and Communication include Mariah Bausch, Chelsea Bowen Whittle, Darcie Gallagher, Ernest Jones, Laura Miller, Deanna Reid, Kelsey Tully, Anna Williamson, Lauren Worley and Anissa Zagonel.
Congratulations, graduates! We are proud of you and wish you the best of luck.
By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communication master’s student
Agricultural education and communication graduate students attended the 2019 National Agricultural Communications Symposium (NACS) in Birmingham, Alabama, February 3–4, 2019. Students Anissa Zagonel, Mariah Bausch, and Kelsey Tully along with faculty sponsor Lauri Baker presented papers and posters focused on current research and professional development. Bausch and Baker’s poster titled “Student perspectives of agricultural communications research” won second place in the poster competition. The paper by Rumble, Wu, Tully, Ruth, Ellis, and Lamm titled “A mixed-methods comparison of self-reported and conversational trust in science” placed second among academic paper presentations.
Papers presented included:
Beyond the post: Equine operators’ communication processes for conservation practices
Anissa Zagonel, Lauri Baker, Shelly Ingram, Jon Ulmer, and Joann Kouba, Kansas State University
Student perspectives of agricultural communications undergraduate research
Mariah Bausch and Lauri Baker, Kansas State University
A mixed-methods comparison of self-reported and conversational trust in science
Joy Rumble, Yu Lun Wu, The Ohio State University; Kelsey Tully, Kansas State University; Taylor Ruth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jason Ellis, Kansas State University; and Alexa Lamm, University of Georgia
How consumers contrast and assimilate information about agricultural biotechnology
Taylor Ruth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Joy Rumble, The Ohio State University; Alexa Lamm, University of Georgia; Jason Ellis, Kansas State University
Coauthor network analysis of Journal of Applied Communications articles from 2008 to 2017
Audrey King ’13, ’16 and Quisto Settle, Kansas State University
Professional Development Session presentations included:
What are reviewers looking for?
Quisto Settle, Oklahoma State University; Lauri Baker, Kansas State University
Posters presented included:
Scholarship in action: Student perspectives of undergraduate research in agricultural communications
Mariah Bausch and Lauri Baker, Kansas State University
Communicating through chaos: A quantitative content analysis investigating the prepared responses of articles about zoonotic disease on the CDC and USDA websites
Topanga McBride, Lauri Baker, and Mariah Bausch, Kansas State University; Angela Lindsey, University of Florida
By Rachel Waggie, agricultural communications master’s student
Kansas State University hosted its second annual Science Communication Week Nov. 5–10, 2018. The Nov. 8 graduate student poster session focused on “Research and the State.” About 50 K-State graduate students, representing five academic colleges and 25 graduate programs, presented research posters. Approximately 17 presenters were from the College of Agriculture, two were from the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education. Mariah Bausch and Anissa Zagonel presented posters titled “Undergraduate Research Perceptions in Agricultural Communications” and “Printing and Mailing for the Brand: An Exploratory Qualitative Study Seeking to Understand Internal Branding and Marketing within University and Extension Communication Services Units,” respectively.
Experiences such as these are great chances for graduate students to present research in a more relaxed setting. “Opportunities like these are helpful for me to practice communicating my research, as well as learning from other disciplines,” says Zagonel, a second-year master’s student from Girard, Kansas. “Additionally, during this poster session, I enjoyed connecting with other graduate students from across campus.”
Both students presented their posters to a panel of judges, as well as other students and interested individuals, for the chance to earn a spot at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit hosted in Topeka this coming February.
Other events throughout the week included communications workshops, lectures, panel discussions, and other activities to engage graduate students across campus.
Gaea Hock is part of an interdisciplinary team awarded a National Science Foundation grant to train graduate students to help communities address complex issues of water management and rural vitality. Melanie Derby, K-State assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering and Hal and Mary Siegele Professor of Engineering, leads the team. Derby will help meet these challenges by training students to work at the nexus of several disciplines.
“The whole goal of interdisciplinary research is that someone else’s perspective makes both your work stronger,” Derby said. “We do fundamental engineering work, but we want it to go to the field. We need to know how to make that happen. One of our goals is to help western Kansas and other semiarid communities be resilient in the future. We need all the components — engineering, agricultural economics, sociology, and more — to solve these important challenges.”
Derby and her colleagues will mentor graduate students as they conduct fundamental research in three areas of the crucial food-energy-water system: conservation of and producer relationships with the Ogallala Aquifer, soil-water-microbial systems, and technologies to transform animal waste into energy and water. They also will work to understand engineering, economic, and sociocultural barriers to implementing emerging innovations.
Building communication skills and a common vocabulary across disciplines is a crucial aspect of the training. Students will engage with policymakers and attend state legislative sessions in Topeka, plus they will spend time at the Southwest Research-Extension Center in Garden City to research smart water technologies and meet with farmers and others whose livelihoods depend on conserving the aquifer and other resources.
In addition to Derby and Matt Sanderson (co-principal investigator and the Randall C. Hill Distinguished Professor of Sociology), the team includes co-investigators Jonathan Aguilar and Stacy Hutchinson, biological and agricultural engineering; Prathap Parameswaran, civil engineering; and David Steward, civil and environmental engineering department, North Dakota State University; educational lead Gaea Hock ’03, ’06, communications and agricultural education; and advisors Nathan Hendricks, agricultural economics, and Ryan Hansen, chemical engineering. The program will train 50 master’s and doctoral students, including 25 funded trainees from the colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering.
By Kelsey Tully, agricultural education and communications master’s student
A group of international students and researchers from Cambodia and Senegal arrived in Manhattan, Kansas, on October 11 to begin their U.S. agricultural experience. Kansas State University’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL) hosted the group before the World Food Prize events in Des Moines, Iowa.
While the international guests were in the Little Apple, the SIIL team provided a glimpse of Kansas agriculture in a variety of settings. Dan Devlin, director of the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE), set up farm tours for the SIIL group to see U.S. agriculture up close and in action.
Their first stop was River Creek Farms, which started in 1890. Brothers, Joe and Bob Mertz, discussed how they operate and manage the family farm using a crop and livestock integrated production system and the challenges that face U.S agriculture. This conversation posed an exciting opportunity for a bidirectional learning opportunity, where both native Kansans and international participants shared stories about different production practices used globally, including antibiotic use in livestock, livestock genetics, the use of GMOs, and the cost of farm products.
After a traditional U.S. lunch at Manhattan’s local Tallgrass Tap House, Devlin took the group to see the research side of Kansas agriculture – K-State’s agronomy department research plots. Elliot Carver, an agronomy doctoral student, led the tour. The plots are used to test multiple dimension of cover crop practices, and participants were able to discuss how Carver is applying his research to everyday farming questions and concerns.
Campus SIIL faculty and their colleagues from Cambodia and Senegal participated in a panel discussion on youth engagement and capacity building at the World Food Prize in Iowa on October 18.
Kelsey Tully is the social-media assistant for K-State’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab.
By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communications master’s student
Darcie Gallagher, a Missouri native, is pursuing a master’s in agricultural education and communications and conducting research on the involvement of talented and gifted students in agricultural education. Before coming to K-State, Gallagher earned an associate degree of applied science in agriculture business and management technology from Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Nebraska, and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture sciences from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri.
In August, Gallagher was hired as a precision agriculture instructor at Highland Community College in Wamego. She is working to expand the program and teach new technologies and farming methods.
When asked why she chose to attend K-State, Gallagher said, “I loved the atmosphere of the communications and agricultural education department and the opportunities that I knew I would experience throughout my time at KSU! I have never been happier in my choice of a master’s program and what the future holds.”
When she is not in the classroom, Gallagher enjoys running, gardening, and working on her family’s farm.
Kelsey Tully, a Wichita native, is pursuing her master’s degree in agricultural education and communication. Tully graduated from Fort Hays State University in 2016 with a bachelor of science degree in animal science. As a graduate student, she works with Professor Jason Ellis on his research, and she is a teachingassistant for the Agricultural Business Communications class.
When asked why she is attending Kansas State, Tully stated, “I’m in graduate school because I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture and be able to not only use my undergraduate degree but also be able to work hand-in-hand with farmers and ranchers.” Her thesis focuses on integrating new-media technology in extension as an educational tool.
Tully also works for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification at K-State where she helps with graphic design, webpage design and maintenance, and research.
She said, “I grew up in the city not knowing much about agriculture. But I have been very fortunate to work in many different settings with all kinds of livestock, from cattle to alpacas, and I have loved every minute! I look forward to finding a job in which I can keep learning and helping others.”
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 of Communications and Agricultural Educations is excited to announce a partnership with the Staley School of Leadership Studies and the Department of Communications Studies to offer a Doctorate of Philosophy in Leadership Communication coming in the fall of 2018.
“We are excited about the collaboration between our departments as we launch the interdisciplinary PhD,” says Dr. Lauri Baker, Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education.
Story by Cassie Wandersee (first year graduate student)
Agricultural education and communications graduate students presented two research papers and five posters at the 2015 SAAS (Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists) Conference. Topics ranged from extension communications to undergraduate research experiences. Continue reading “Grad students present at research conference”→