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Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Tag: Agricultural Communications and Journalism

Alumni Spotlight: Jennifer Hotchkiss Shike

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

This May will mark 20 years since Jennifer Hotchkiss Shike graduated from Kansas State University’s Agricultural Journalism program – now the Agricultural Communications and Journalism program. Shike transferred to K-State for her final two years of college and was a dual-major in agricultural journalism and animal sciences and industry. During her collegiate career, she was a member of both the horse and livestock judging teams and completed three internships, which she credits as a key part of her educational experience. Shike interned

with the Washington County Extension Office in Washington, Iowa; Seedstock Edge/National Swine Registry in West Lafayette, Ind.; and the Angus Journal in St Joseph, Mo., before graduating in May 2000. She notes that internships “opened doors to opportunities for my future careers, helped me build a network in the industry, allowed me to get real-world experience and maybe most importantly, helped me realize things I did and did not want to do in a future career while having respect for the growth process.”

Before entering her current role as Farm Journal’s PORK editor, Shike served as National Swine Registry director of junior activities. She later went on to work for the University of Illinois as a news writer and then director of communications and marketing.

“Organizing the National Junior Swine Association from the ground up was an amazing opportunity that I still can’t believe I was able to do. Through that I learned so much about communication, organizational development and people – I can’t imagine my perspective at this point of my life without it. Going to work for the University of Illinois…just grew my experience base tenfold,” Shike remarks. “If I would have limited myself to immediately going to work for a livestock magazine as I had dreamed in college, I would have missed out on so much.”

Reflecting on her time at K-State, Shike fondly remembers working with faculty and staff in ag journalism. She says they were very supportive of her as a dual-major and especially appreciates Dr. Boone’s encouragement and support. “I was involved in ACT and she always made that a fun and rewarding experience. She encouraged me to get out in the industry and experience ag communications firsthand,” Shike recalls. Shike also credits her peers from K-State who motivated her to push her boundaries and sharpened her as a writer and communicator. Currently, Shike serves on the Livestock Publications Council board of directors and as a committee co-chair in AAEA – The Ag Communicators Network.

Shike and her husband, Dan, who is also a K-State alum, live near Champaign, Illinois. The Shikes have three children – Olivia, 13; Hunter, 11; and Harper, 6.

“Our kids definitely keep us on the go – we all enjoy showing pigs as a family and the kids pretty much live in the barn in the summer when they aren’t in school,” she says.

Jennifer and Dan originally met at Black Hawk College East Campus while on the livestock judging team. Both continued their judging careers at K-State, and judge at livestock shows still today. Dan judges livestock shows throughout the country and has been fortunate to judge in some amazing places outside of the U.S. like the Sydney Royal Show in Australia and most recently, the Royal Adelaide show in Australia. Jennifer recently judged showmanship at the Arizona National Livestock Show. At the community level, with all three kids involved in 4-H, the Shikes assist with the county 4-H livestock judging team.

When asked what advice she would offer to current students, Shike says, “Be open minded and push yourself to think outside of the box. The very best part of this major is the flexibility – there are so many ways to apply what you are learning and that is exciting! I know I’ve been able to get to where I am today because of that strong base I developed at K-State.”

Wakefield named Student of the Month

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

Agricultural Communications and Journalism senior Allison Wakefield was honored as the K-State College of Agriculture’s December 2019 Student of the Month.

“My experiences within the College of Ag have been nothing short of remarkable and memorable. The relationships I’ve made and skills I have learned from everyone are irreplaceable.”
– Allison Wakefield

 

 

 

 

 

 

This honor is awarded to one College of Agriculture student per month in the academic year. With 10 departments and over 2,500 students in the College of Ag, being selected as a Student of the Month is no small feat. Congratulations, Allison.

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.

ACT photo calendar fundraiser

K-State’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter is selling 2020 calendars to support club activities. The calendar features photos submitted by communications and agricultural journalism students. Order copies at the K-State Research & Extension Bookstore before they sell out. Keep up with ACT club news by following the group on Facebook, @kstate.act.

ACT photo contest

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

 

K-State’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter hosted a photo contest for students, faculty, staff and friends of the program to select the cover photo for the 2020 ACT calendar. The calendar serves as a fundraising opportunity for the ACT chapter. Wyatt Minihan, ACJ senior, had the winning photo, pictured below. Follow K-State ACT on Facebook (@kstate.act) to learn more about ordering a 2020 calendar to support K-State ACT.

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.

 

Spring capstone class works with alumni

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

In the spring 2019 agricultural communications capstone class, teams of two paired with alumni clients to create a strategic communication plan related to a work project of their client. Students worked with Jesse McCurry (’00), Kansas Grain Sorghum; Robin Kleine (’12), Focus Marketing Group; Nicole Crosson (’13), Wyandotte County 4-H youth development extension agent; Jessica Bowser (’03), USDA rural development; and Maggie Seiler (’15), Hoard’s Dairyman.

“This class brought together all of the elements that I learned about throughout my collegiate career,” spring graduate MiK Fox says. “Delving into the background about a company or campaign, unpacking problems and possible solutions and learning the various strategies and tactics necessary for the creation of a campaign that encompassed all of the qualities needed for a successful campaign will help me in my future. Being able to see the real world implications throughout the class has helped to bring what I learned in the classroom into fruition in the real world.”

“The class helped them think critically and strategically about audience analysis and modes of communication,” Dr. Katie Burke remarks. “The alumni were great to work with, too!”

Fall 2018 Agriculturist earns national award

Congratulations to the fall 2018 Agriculturist editorial staff on being awarded top student publication at the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association competition in Louisiana June 10-13. View the publication here.

 

 

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!