Hometown: Mt. Gilead, Ohio. It’s a rural area about 45 minutes north of Columbus. My family lives on a 2,000-plus acre grain farm. I raised a variety of livestock growing up and graduated high school with only 92 classmates.
Favorite part of ag or natural resources: Just talking with people from all walks of life about agriculture and natural resources. It helps me to understand different perspectives and allows me to share my story and love for the industry as well. My secondary love would be heading out to the barn and taking care of and spending some time with livestock, especially pigs.
Expected degree/graduation date: May 2013
Completed degrees: MS in Agricultural Communication, Ohio State University; BS in Animal Science with minor in Agricultural Business, Ohio State; AS in Livestock Science with a specialization in Swine Science, Ohio State.
Time with the PIE Center: Since fall 2010, five semesters.
PIE Center projects: Ag Institute Message Testing Focus Groups, FL Nursery Growers & Landscape Assoc. Branding Focus Groups, FL Extension Small Farms & Alternative Enterprises Barriers and Marketing Focus Groups, FL Forestry Assoc. Communications Audit, Ag Institute Content Analysis, FL Forest Service Focus Group & Employee Survey, Ag Institute Message Framing Focus Groups, FDACS 2011 Specialty Crop Block Grant, Southern Group of State Foresters content analyses
Goals after graduation: Continue to conduct awesome research at a land-grant university while also teaching college students about the wonderful world of agricultural communications.
Hidden talent: Tap dancing. I took tap dance lessons from kindergarten all the way through my senior year of high school. I haven’t broken the tap shoes out recently, but I am occasionally caught tapping away under my desk or while standing in line.
Favorite food: Chocolate! Sometimes I think it is what gets me through the day.
Best superpower: I guess just being me. Grad school has taught me that being yourself will take you a lot further and make you a lot happier than trying to be someone you’re not. My dream super power would be the ability to multitask while getting a restful night of sleep. I think it would be amazing to go to bed knowing that you didn’t get everything done that you wanted to for the day, but you wouldn’t have to worry about it because it would get done while you were sleeping. Then you wake up and “ta-da” everything is caught up and you are well rested!
Favorite animal: Pig.