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Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

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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.

Passing of Jeff Campbell

provided by Gregg Hadley, director for extension

Jeffrey “Jeff” Campbell passed away Thursday, December 5, in Manhattan, Kansas.

Jeff was a printer specialist in University Printing. A highly skilled pressman, he was known for his impeccable attention to detail. He cared a great deal about the projects he worked on and made sure they were of the highest quality. Jeff was a valued member of K-State Printing Services and University Printing for 35 years.

Jeff is survived by his parents, Sammy and Donna Campbell, Manhattan, Kansas; one sister, Renee Adolph and her husband, Alan, Manhattan; an aunt, a niece, a nephew, and numerous cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Katie’s Way and sent in care of Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

New personnel joining department

by Linda Gilmore

Two staff member additions were announced recently in the department. Nathan Leatherman, video producer, joined our staff November 4, providing video support for K-State Research and Extension and College of Agriculture initiatives. His office will be in Dole until the transition to Umberger 212 takes place. Meg Drake will join the department as a marketing specialist on December 2, providing marketing planning and support for K-State Research and Extension, primarily extension and 4-H and Youth Development. Her office will be in 213 Umberger.

Meg Drake
Nathan Leatherman

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.

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.”

Agricultural Education video wins contest

by Linda Gilmore

K-State agricultural education students won the Collegiate Commercial Contest, sponsored by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. Zachary Callaghan, student in agricultural education, designed the video featuring many K-State Ag Ed students. The video competed against nine other university submissions and the winner was based on number of views. The K-State entry received more than 2,500 views. The video Zachary and other ag ed students created to highlight the program is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ9u4XWw7BQ

K-State Ag Ed attends AAAE Conference

by Brandie Disberger, agricultural education instructor

Faculty members Gaea Hock, Jon Ulmer and Brandie Disberger, along with Jason Hughes, graduate student, and undergraduate students Trenton Smedley and Zachary Callaghan attended the National Learner Centered Teaching and the North Central Region of the American Association for Agricultural Education joint conferences hosted October 10-12 in East Lansing, Michigan.

Hock managed the social media during the conference for the American Association for Agricultural Educators and for K-State Agricultural Education. The research portion of the conference was coordinated by Kansas State University, led by Ulmer. Hock served as chair of the Program Improvement Committee; Ulmer and Disberger served on the Member Services Committee. Smedley and Callaghan presented research and participated in the student experience portion of the conference, which included a tour of the Michigan State campus and research farms.

Attendees from Kansas State University presented the following research during the conference:

Paper Presentations:

Prescribed pedagogical outcomes versus real-world challenges: A content analysis of Kansas AFNR course competency profiles

Zachary Callaghan & Gaea Hock, recognized as distinguished abstract

 

Agricultural education teachers knowledge and perceptions of service-learning

Trenton Smedley & Jon Ulmer

 

Kansas ag teachers’ perceptions of diversity & inclusion in agricultural education

Laura E. Miller, Gaea Hock, Jon Ulmer & Jason Ellis

 

The contributions of George Washington Owens to the development of agricultural education opportunities for African Americans

Zachary Callaghan & Gaea Hock

 

Teacher perceptions of the impact and challenges of middle school agricultural education experiences in Kansas

Anna Williamson, Gaea Hock, Jon Ulmer & Lori Goodson

 

Poster Presentations:

Showcasing agricultural education programs with Book Creator.

Gaea Hock & Zachary Callaghan, recognized as distinguished innovative idea poster

 

Examining secondary talented and gifted and agricultural education experiences relative to college major and career choice.

Darcie Gallagher, Jonathan Ulmer, Gaea Hock & Jason Ellis, recognized as distinguished research poster

 

A districtwide look at agricultural educators perceptions of standards based grading.

Lauren Worley, Jonathan Ulmer, Katie Burke & Gaea Hock

l to r: back – Jason Hughes, Jon Ulmer, Trenton Smedley; front – Zachary Callaghan, Gaea Hock, Brandie Disberger
Jon Ulmer
Zachary Callaghan and Gaea Hock
Zachary Callaghan