Thursday, May 25, 2017

@TeachAgPSU Family Helping College of Agricultural Sciences be Inclusive

Dr. MeeCee Baker,
Versant Strategies
A newly started club at Penn State University, Students for Cultivating Change, received a gracious gift last week from an alumna member. MeeCee Baker graduated from Penn State in 1982 (#psuaged82) with a bachelor’s in Agriculture and Extension Education and later earned her doctorate in Agriculture Education also from Penn State. Baker has served as the first woman president of the National Association of Agriculture Educators (, was a faculty member at Penn State and North Carolina State, and worked at Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. She is now the owner of Versant Strategies ( which is a firm that works with agriculture, environmental and rural issues where Caleb Wright  (@TheWrightCaleb; #psuaged14) serves as chief operating officer.

Caleb Wright, COO
Versant Strategies
Wright is also Penn State graduate who earned his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Extension Education in 2014. This gift to the college is a tribute to Caleb. In Baker’s words ‘I wanted to honor him, and since he's an active participant in the national Cultivating Change organization, I thought the support of Penn State's affiliated club would be appreciated."

Baker’s gift consists of a $20,000 endowment for students who are enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences and demonstrate advocacy for the LGBTQA community by being an active member of the Students for Cultivating Change club. She also is pledging $1,000 a year for the next five years to support the award, Baker Students for Cultivating Change Award.

Members of Penn State Student's Cultivating Change Club
In her words "It's especially important to me to support students and education, and I encourage others to do the same, no matter what amount.” She is a true advocate for student success as she stated, "I hope this gift lifts up Students for Cultivating Change and lets them know there are alumni and others who recognize they are a vital part of the agricultural industry and revel in their successes." The college is honored and thankful of Dr. Baker’s gift and admires her for advocacy of student inclusion, respect and acceptance in agriculture!

To read more about Baker, Wright and the gift to the college, read the article at the following link

Thank you MeeCee and Caleb for investing in the future of Penn State's Cultivating Change student organization! Alumni like you are what make our University so great!

Macy Fisher, Student Blogger
Twitter Handle: @macy_fisher
#psuaged18 Cohort Member

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