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