ACEL Graduate Students Attend National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Annual Conference

Oct. 31, 2016
ACEL PhD student Christy Clary presents a poster on Teen Leadership

Five ACEL graduate students participated in the annual NAE4-HA Conference earlier this month.  The National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE-4H) is an organization committed to helping youth development professionals through professional development, networking, and research.  More than 1,600 participants were in attendance at this year’s conference hosted in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The theme of the conference this year was “Bayous and Byways: 4-H Navigating the Future” and ACEL graduate students presented posters, presentations, and workshops highlighting this theme.

ACEL PhD student and Brown County Extension Educator, Christy Clary presented a poster titled “Teen Leadership 20” detailing the work of the Teen Leadership Design Team which also includes Perry County Extension Educator Jessica Rockey, Hancock County Extension Educator Cassie Anderson, Scioto County Extension Educator Jo Williams, Fayette County Extension Educator Nadine Fogt and Highland County Extension Educator Kathy Bruynis.  This program is designed to teach leadership and life skills to teenagers. 

ACEL PhD student and Ross County Extension Educator Katie Feldhues was a co-presenter of the seminar “Buckeye Buck$: Ohio’s Innovative Local Fundraising Options”.  This program highlights some of the innovative methods these local agencies are using to increase funds for their programs.  Her co-presenters were Medina County Extension Educator Morgan Domokos as well as Muskingum County Extension Educator and ACEL Alum (MS 2006) Michelle Fehr.   Katie Feldhues also presented a program showcase titled “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round: Combating Employee Turnover by Innovative Training” with Dr. Hannah Epley and a competency seminar on “Camp Evaluation Methods” with University of Kentucky Extension Agent Danielle Hutchins, University of Maryland Extension Agent Amanda Wahle,  and West Virginia Extension Agents Jason Burnside and Philip See. In addition to these presentations, Katie Feldhues was also the recipient of the Achievement in Service Award.


Assistant Professor for Extension in Hardin County and a current ACEL PhD student Mark Light served the organization in his first year as Vice President for Member Services.  In addition, he presented a poster with ACEL distance Master’s student and Hardin County Program Assistant Amanda Raines.  They presented a poster titled “WeGrill: Strengthening Relationships between Youth and Their Fathers through Grilling.”  This program brings together adolescent youths and adult male relatives for a series of workshops that center on the themes of awareness, responsibility, decision-making, and connection.   Mark Light also was a co-presenter of a seminar titled “STEM Pathways… Engagement + Problem Solving = Learning.”   Mark presented this poster with along with Clark County Extension Educator Patty House, Adams County Extension Educator Carolyn Belczyk, Professor Bob Horton, Meigs County Extension Educator Michelle Stumbo, Vinton County Extension Educator Travis West, and Gallia County Extension Educator Tracy Winters.  

Graduate Research Associate and ACEL MS student Dustin Homan presented two posters: the first titled “AND MY WORLD: Linking Locally to Impact Globally”  which presented activities 4-H professionals could facilitate locally to foster global and cultural awareness and competency in youth through 4-H activities.  Dustin presented his second poster with Dr. Hannah Epley and Dr. Kirk Bloir. The poster was “Adding a Youth Flavor to OSU Extension’s Signature Program, Local Foods” and presented information about a program which leveraged peer education to increase awareness and interest of local foods in Ohio youth through 4-H teen leaders.

All participants presented using the digital poster boards available at this year’s conference.  These interactive displays allowed participants to embed multimedia in their presentations which provided a richer visualization of the programs being presented.  Next year’s NAE-4H conference will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana before coming to Columbus in 2018. For more information about the Doctoral, Masters, or Distance Masters programs offered by ACEL, please visit  To become a student member of NEA4HA, visit their membership page linked here.