Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ag Ed Year in Review #success

Image result for year in review

Don't blink you might just have missed an amazing year for our department faculty and students! 2016 has been a year full of many rewarding experiences for our department. If you did not stay connected with us throughout the past 12 months, we have outlined below a few of the amazing individuals and events. 

JANUARY

Dr. Laura Rice Recognized for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching-

The Paul R. and Joan M. Shellenberger Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching is an honor for any teacher here on the Penn State Campus. This award recognizes full time instructors who exhibit excellence in undergraduate teaching and contribute significantly to the education of undergraduate students. Dr. Laura Rice was honored with this award as an instructor in the Agriculture Education and Extension Department. She teaches AEE 100 and helps prepare student teacher candidates by working with them one-on-one.

FEBRUARY

Dr. Daniel Foster Receives Recognition as PAAE Mentor of the Year-

The Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture Educators recognizes many members each year for their outstanding service, dedication and accomplishments. This year Dr. Daniel Foster is the PAAE Mentor of the Year!  His continued dedication and mentoring to various secondary ag teachers makes him deserving of this award. He was nominated by the Directors of Pennsylvania Agricultural Educators.




APRIL

Teach Ag! Banquet-

Teach Ag! joined with Collegiate FFA to celebrate the 80th end of semester banquet! The banquet recognized the organization’s and individual members' accomplishments. Guests in attendance were Mr. Cliff Day, retired agricultural educator,  and Mr. Scott Sheely, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The following individuals were honored for their service to our program: Diane Glock Cornman (Educator of the Year), Matthew Snyder (Outstanding Teach Ag! Member of the Year), Katie Andrews (Collegiate FFA Outstanding Senior).

MAY

PSU College of Agricultural Sciences Graduation Ceremony-

The twelve 2016 Student Teachers returned back to University Park to put on their caps and gowns, and walk across stage to receive the diploma they worked hard for throughout the year.  All of these graduates have since been hired, and are creating change in programs across the country!

Domestic Study Away-

Seven future agricultural educators participated in the 4th annual Domestic Study Away trip. The focus was STEM in agricultural education in urban and rural settings. Although they each had different reasons for going on this trip, they all ended with renewed passion for agricultural education.



JUNE
PA FFA State Days-

This year the Penn State Teach Ag! Essay Contest had 52 participates. The contest allowed agriculture students from across Pennsylvania to experience a day in the life of an ag teacher. Students had to pick an agriculture topic, develop a lesson plan to teach their class, and then write an essay.  Their essay had to answer the following questions; “Why teach Ag?” and “What I learned as an Ag teacher for a day!” The top four individual students awarded at PA FFA State Days were Bethany Comp (Greenwood High School), Alaina Davis (Octorara High School), Thomas Gabel (Newport High School), and KamiLee Woodring (Bald Eagle Area High School).


SEPTEMBER

FAST Symposium-

The 2016 Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) symposium was held September 20 - 22 in conjunction with the National Teach Ag Day celebrations in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Of the twenty-three individuals selected, two were members of the Penn State Teach Ag! Society, and Agricultural Education Student Teacher Candidates. Congratulations to George Dietrich and Victoria Herr for being selected to participate in the FAST symposium!

Big E-

Eight members of Penn State Collegiate FFA traveled to West Springfield to assist with preparation and facilitation of several CDEs. During the first day, they assisted with the Extemporaneous Speaking, and Vet Science CDEs. Participants then assisted supervisors with Poultry, Environmental and Natural Resources, and Food Science CDEs.


OCTOBER

National FFA Convention-

Seven, 2017 Penn State Student Teachers, and eighteen students studying Agricultural and Extension Education participated in National Alpha Tau Alpha competitions. there were many high placing individuals and teams.  With all the individual and team achievements, the Penn State Teach Ag! Society was able to receive recognition as the recipient of the A.W. Nolan Memorial Leadership Award at the ATA Conclave. These are achievements our members can be proud of! 

Dr. John Ewing Receive Honorary American Degree-

Dr. Ewing was chosen to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree at the 89th National FFA Convention. He was nominated by the Pennsylvania FFA Association, then the members of the National FFA board of directors approved Dr. Ewing's nomination. The Honorary American FFA Degree is an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students by inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists. 

NOVEMBER

Dr. John Ewing Receives Northern Region Award –

Congratulations Dr. Ewing for being recognized as the Community of Scholars 2016 Northern Region Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences.The Community of Scholars Honoring Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences program recognizes outstanding college professors of agriculture, natural resources, veterinary and human sciences was launched in 1992 to recognize university faculty for preparing students for the future. 

Operation Christmas Child-

The Penn State Collegiate FFA and Teach Ag! Society joined together to give back to those less fortunate. Together 35 members channeled their holiday spirit to join in celebration of National Collection Week to pack 60 boxes for Operation Christmas Child! Operation Christmas Child uses gift-filled shoeboxes to ensure that children in need around the world have something worth celebrating.

DECEMBER

Alpha Tau Alpha Initiation-


Seven students were initiated into the Alpha Tau Alpha Eta Chapter. Alpha Tau Alpha is a national, professional, honorary agricultural society founded in 1921. The Eta Chapter was organized at Penn State in 1931, and has continued membership since! The organization strives to promote the high standards and ideals in agricultural and extension education. The seven students that joined will enjoy the fellowship with members in an atmosphere of high scholarship that is dedicated to teaching, and who have a sincere desire to be a leader. These students are the following individuals: Michael Cahill, Rose Cowan, George Dietrich, Victoria Herr, Sara Lang, Matt Snyder, and Halee Wasson. 

As you can see, 2016 was a fantastic year! All three of our faculty members were awarded with academic excellence awards.  We are swelled with Penn State Pride!
Stay tune to find out the larger impact we will leave in 2017 as we continue to Teach Ag!  WE ARE................



To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.




Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas... (well, not this time) #NAAE

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Well, not this time because Kayla Hack, Miranda Kane, and Matthew Snyder want to share their experiences from their week spent at the NAAE Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada!

Although these three 2017 student teacher candidates have not claimed the title as an “Agriculture Educator” quite yet, they were provided the opportunity to attend the National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention as scholarship recipients and passionate learners for agricultural education. This experience was well worth the adventure across the United States. Kayla Hack shared, “It was awesome and really opened my eyes to some of my own views and ideas; while highlighted areas of growth- and of course lit the flame even higher in my excitement to be in the classroom.” It truly was an experience that all three took so much away from. Read below to find out more take-aways and thoughts in Vegas for NAAE shared by Miranda, Kayla and Matt!

Miranda Kane:

“My biggest take-away was understanding that agricutlural educators may not be perfect, but they continue to work hard in order to give the best to their students. I was able to experience their willingness first-hand as the teachers provided guidance and help to others. I loved asking questions to teachers and hearing their responses. They all gave great insight and shared some really crazy and amazing stories about their experiences as a teacher. I also loved being under the same roof with many amazing agricultural educators from across the nation and hearing their wisdom. Almost all of the sessions were led by current or past agricutlural educators. They all had some really great things to share which provided me more confidence for teaching in the future.

Also during the FAST Symposium, we got some really great resources to use in the classroom. But more than anything, I now know I have a unique and loyal support network of teachers in and out of Pennsylvania who I know will be more than happy to help me. Seeing the Ag Ed family put their heads together at the convention, and welcome us student teachers makes me feel good about the profession I am getting into. Even in the smallest of ways, the teachers are helpful. I am so thankful for this experience, but it would not have been possible without the co-sponsorship from Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators!”

Kayla Hack:

“The National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention is one of those conferences that you know others have LOVED- so you can’t wait to go, that was me, and I don’t regret it.  There were many highlights from my experience at convention that are  below.

It’s a tough job, but it’s not about you- so put on your sassy pants and deal with itThis is a combination of many quotes I heard from Rachel Sauvala, an agriculture teacher from Wisconsin during her workshop at NAAE convention.  Her workshop of delegation and utilizing community support and resources reminded me that no matter how nervous/unsure I am, I can do this job- and there are people that WANT to support me and my future students.  

Inquiry Takes Practice. I LOVE new resources and ideas and attending Future Agriscience Teacher Symposium as well as other inquiry based workshops provided me with supplies, content and cool tools to implement these new ideas.  The inquiry model and labs are two things I will use during my student teaching experience as I try to move students toward more student centered learning. 

Overall, professional development is extremely important and as a learner- I love it, and can’t get enough.  I am thankful that Penn State’s Center for Professional Personnel Development, the Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators and Teach Ag! Society choice to support students like us- as well as the Future Agriscience Teacher Symposium sponsored by CHS, Growth Energy and DuPont Pioneer.”

Matthew Snyder:

“What a week! I am so thankful for the experience at NAAE Convention I became truly inspired to teach Ag!

This experience provided me with so many resources beyond what I had ever imagined. There are numerous ideas for not only lessons, but classroom structure, behavior, and more.

This experience also provided me with  a lot of new insight for the classroom. I always have to remember that I cannot to everything, but I can create change through my abilities that I have, and students will still appreciate and learn from that! Thank you to everyone who supported this experience.”

All three of these students have brought so much back from Vegas, we are glad they did not keep it there! Check out their blogs for more insight on the experience and their utilization of these resources throughout their time student teaching.

Blog Links:

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Mikaela Hermstedt named Shinoda Scholar of the Year #studentsuccess

“Believe deep down in your heart that you're destined to do great things.”

Mikaela Hermstedt named Shinoda Scholar of the Year!
These are the famous words of Joe Paterno that every ‘Nittany Lion’ exemplifies throughout their journey at the Pennsylvania State University. Mikaela Hermstedt, a senior majoring in Plant Sciences, believes that her journey has allowed and prepared her to do great things in her future.

Mikaela has put much time and effort into her academics as a Shreyers Honors College student, and as an officer in multiple university clubs and organizations. Through this hard work and effort she has had the opportunity to work with the Penn State botany greenhouses and complete a Nursery Management Internship at Longwood Gardens. All while serving as President for Collegiate FFA, President for Agricultural Student Council, Treasurer for International Association of Agricultural Students, and a Team Member for Student Organization Resource Team. From these experiences she was able to build multiple skills that she plans to use in her future in commercial greenhouse production of flowering plants.

Mikaela’s hard work and work ethic is what has earned her The Shinoda Foundation highest honor as the Shinoda Scholar of the Year! One professor recommending her for the award noted, “I would rank Mikaela as one of my top students in the past 10 years at Penn State in terms of work ethic, but also in terms of attention to detail, cooperative spirit and excellent communication skills.”

The Shinoda Foundation’s sole purpose is to provide scholarship assistance to deserving students who have chosen to prepare for careers in the flower industry. It is only through education that the interests and potential of young people can be developed in order to meet the expanding demands of the floral industry. “These students represent horticulture’s best and brightest,” says Bob Otsuka, president of the Foundation. “It’s our industry’s duty to grow our future, and we’re proud to play a small role.”

Mikaela is truly one of those deserving students! She is destined to do great things to help grow the future of the floral industry.


Congratulations Mikaela Hermstedt!

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Celebration Continued: Dr. Ewing Receives Honors @jce122

As we begin to wind down from last week’s celebrations with family and friends, this week we join in celebration to recognize Dr. Ewing for being recognized as the Community of Scholars 2016 Northern Region Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Launched in 1992, the Community of Scholars Honoring Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences program recognizes outstanding college professors of agriculture, natural resources, veterinary and human sciences. A selection committee of nationally recognized teachers and scholars choose two national recipients and two early career awardees. Also selected are six regional award recipients. The nominees are evaluated based on their instruction ability, educational innovation, service to students, professionalism and scholarship. Sponsored by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the award is presented at their annual meeting.
Excellence in College and Teaching Awards also recognizes university faculty for preparing students for the future.  Requirements of eligibility for a Regional Award include: a person who exhibits sustained and meritorious teaching, as well as maintained at least eight consecutive years’ experience in higher education teaching. While a sustained pattern of meritorious activity is expected, this award does not recognize teaching longevity so much as it recognizes the quality of recent achievements involving teaching philosophy, methodology, and self-assessment aimed at improvement.
Dr. John Ewing many accolades made him eligible for this award.  Dr. Ewing's accomplishments are highlighted below!
Teaching- A Penn State faculty member since 2006, Dr. Ewing’s teaching focuses mainly on undergraduate education. He has taught eight different courses related to teacher education. Dr. Ewing has the ability to connect theory and practice into each class topic, allowing students to see relevance in their learning. Also, by connecting his research on experimental learning and content specific to agricultural education, Dr. Ewing has been able to help future teachers prepare for management of their own high school agricultural education program.
Service- Dr. Ewing has served as the undergraduate program coordinator for Penn State's Agricultural and Extension Education major since 2008. This role helps guide students to opportunities that enhance their Penn State experience and their educational journey to becoming an agricultural educator. 
Other Recognition- Dr. Ewing’s desire to help students has been recognized through multiple organizations and awards. These include the following: North Central American Association for Agricultural Education’s Outstanding Early Career Agricultural Educator Award, College of Agricultural Sciences Community of Teaching Excellence Award, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agricultural (NACTA) Teaching Award of Merit, Penn State Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award of Merit, and the NACTA Teacher Fellow Award.
Through Dr. Ewing's hard work and dedication to teaching & service, he has achieved much as a teacher educator at Penn State. He gives credit to Dr. Tracy Hoover and Dr. Rama Radhakrishna. He says “They have both provided me excellent mentoring over the past 10 years at Penn State. Both have supported me in my teaching, and have always encouraged me to be the best teacher and advisor that I can be for my students. I appreciate all of their help.” It is evident the continued effort Dr. Ewing puts forth to achieve what others have helped him become. This recognition is quite an honor, and we thank Dr. Ewing for his time and dedication.

Congratulations Dr. John Ewing!

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Joining the American Tradition of #Giving @psucollegiateffa @psuteachag

Tis the season of giving! As we approach the holiday season many are starting to brainstorm ideas of continuing America’s great tradition of giving. There are some that already have ideas to give to friends and family, but what about giving to the local community or those less fortunate?

What have we done to give back? 

Members from Collegiate FFA and Teach Ag! Society pose for a picture
with the assembled and gift-filled Operation Christmas Child boxes.
Last night, the Penn State Collegiate FFA and Teach Ag! Society joined together to give back to those less fortunate. Together 35 members channeled their holiday spirit to join in celebration of National Collection Week to pack 60 boxes for Operation Christmas Child! Operation Christmas Child uses gift-filled shoeboxes to ensure that children in need around the world have something worth celebrating.This week Samaritan’s  Purse and other orgnizations will collect these gift-filled shoeboxes at more than 4,000 drop-off sites in the United States. These shoeboxes collected will then be delivered to children in need in more than 100 countries.

What we packed in the gift-filled shoeboxes?
  • Toothbrush  
  • Toothpaste             
    Members filling boxes with the items listed on the left side of picture.
  • Holiday Pencils
  • Stuffed Animal
  • Socks
  • Coloring Books
  • Crayons
  • Bars of Soap
  • Washcloths
  • Comb
  • Floss
  • Ball
  • Eraser
  • Hard peppermints
  • Card
How we created an impact by giving. What can you do?

These small shoeboxes filled with small items have the ability to bless many children in need around the world. Overall, it creates a large impact that exhibits how the smallest actions can make a difference. It is not too late to do something for someone else! Find ways to celebrate America's great tradition of giving by donating a gift or time to those in need! There are many opportunities to create an impact to make a difference in your community or to an indvidual across the world. You have to ability to grasp many opportunities to create positive change, so go and find a way to give back this holiday season!


To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mr. Furry’s PSU Visit: Building on the Past to Elevate the Future

On Friday November 4th, 2016 Penn State students enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences had the privilege of attending a time sensitive opportunity hosted by the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education. This time sensitive opportunity featured former Penn State Agricultural Education graduate and Greenwood High School Vocational Agricultural educator – Mr. Ted Furry.

L to R: Miranda Kane, Michael Clark, Ted Furry.  Miranda
will student teach at Greenwood High School, Spring 2017.
Michael Clark is a current Greenwood High School agricultural
educator.  Mr. Furry, retired agricultural educator from Greenwood
High School.






Mr. Furry was a 1951 graduate of Penn State in Agricultural Education. In 1955 he began teaching vocational agriculture at Greenwood High School, until 1963 when he became a school administrator.  In1980, Mr. Furry would retire from his involvement in education and community service. Although retired, Mr. Furry never stopped educating.




Fifteen Agricultural and Extension Education students had the opportunity to learn from Mr. Furry’s 92 years of wisdom and experience. He shared stories about his professional and personal experiences in vocational agriculture. The experiences he shared, exemplified the battle it was to include vocational agriculture in the high school. Mr. Furry spoke how The Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act of 1917 created a window of opportunity for many rural areas, yet many were hesitatant to adopt in their educational system. “In the 1920’s education was academic, and vocational education was thought to have no place in academia. To get where we are today was not easy. Our place in education had to be gained through trust and relationships that would continue in the future,” Mr. Furry shared.  

As a high school vocational agriculture teacher, Mr. Furry made it a goal to gain a trusting relationship with students and parents to help continue support for the program. These relationships were fostered through project visits. Mr. Furry claimed project visits were the greatest part of his life because he was able to gain a connection beyond the walls of the classroom and become a trusted partner in the community. Mr. Furry continued to share many great stories of how he built on the past to help create a brighter future for vocational agricultural education. He has truly impacted his high school’s education and local community. 
Penn State TeachAg Avenger, Victoria Herr with Mr. Ted Furry


The two hours spent with Mr. Furry seemed too short to truly hear all his wisdom, but students were able to take away some keys points:
  • Agricultural educators are stakeholders in the community
  • Visits for SAE projects build relationships with students, family, and community
  • Agriculture education has withstood the test of time and continues to elevate

Dr. Foster, Associate Professor in Agricultural and Extension Education, hoped students gained new insight of the important role of vocational education in the past to the present. He stated, “We are standing on the shoulders of giants as we appreciate where we come from as we go to new generations.” 

Penn State students, faculty and staff would like to thank Mr. Furry for lending his time to provide our students the opportunity to discover and gain understanding about the role of vocational education, past and present. Mr. Furry's wisdom has instilled many valuable lessons students can use throughout their future in agriculture education.

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Student of the Month: Kurtis Miller @skurtains


Every month, we like to highlight students that have gone above and beyond in the Agriculture Education department! In November, we are proud to share some stories and accomplishments Mr. Kurtis Miller!

Kurtis is a Sophomore majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education with a minor in International Agriculture. His passion for teaching agriculture developed with his interest of learning how to increase food security and agricultural literacy. Kurtis wants to create positive change, "Poverty and hunger are two things that I want to see eradicated; while that may be a loafty goal, it is something I will strive towards learning more about in school, and what I hope to contribute to in my professional career." This determination has brought many opportunities for Kurtis at Penn State to grow in effective teaching and technical agricultural skills to use to teach in developing countries.

During Kutris's first year at University Park campus, he has taken an active role in CFFA, Poultry Science Club, Rainbow Roundtable, and is already serving as President for Students Cultivating Change a club he co-founded this fall. Kurtis has much ambition to participate in many activites our clubs, department, and college provide. He has many accomplishments, and will contiue to do more throughout the rest of his time at Penn State. 

Kurtis is a great student and leader. Congratulations Kurtis for being November’s Student of the Month!

Want to know some fun facts about Kurtis? Check them out below!

Hometown: Honey Brook, PA
Graduation Year:  2019
Birthday: March 22, 1994
Favorite PSU Class: INTAG 100
Favorite place to eat in State College: Cozy Thai 
Favorite hangout on campus: ASI Building (I'm always there studying or doing homework)

If you would like to read more about Kurtis, connect with him via Twitter: @skurtains


To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher