Annie Specht Joins ACEL

March 18, 2014

ACEL is pleased that Dr. Annie Specht will be “coming home” to Ohio and joining the Department on August 15, 2014 as an assistant professor in the agricultural communication program.

Dr. Specht grew up in Dover, Ohio and was named a 2008 Top 20 Senior in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  She graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Agriculture (agricultural communication) and B.A. in Humanities (English) from Ohio State in 2008.  She earned a M.S. degree in Agricultural and Extension Education (agricultural communication specialization) from OSU in 2010.  Her Ph.D. in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication (agricultural communication and journalism specialization) was received in 2013 from Texas A&M University.

Dr. Specht currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). 

Annie brings teaching and research experiences that will complement and enhance ACEL’s agricultural communication program.  In Nebraska, she currently teaches an introductory public relations course, focusing on theories, tactics, and tools for reaching specific audiences.  At Texas A&M, she served as social media coordinator for the Texas A&M Center for Food Safety as well as the graduate teaching associate for a number of courses, including agricultural media writing, electronic media production, agricultural publication production, and television production for agricultural journalists.

ACEL Department chair Gary Straquadine remarked, “We are happy to have Dr. Specht join us this year. Following a highly competitive search process, Ohio State is fortunate to have Annie join us with a significant commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and outreach.”

Her primary research interests are in the areas of visual communication, social semiotics, and discourse analysis of news and media portrayals of agriculture.  At Texas A&M, she investigated the use of Twitter to further communication and relationships among agriculture professionals.  More specifically, Annie studied public misconceptions of H1N1 influenza outbreak and the public’s association of “swine flu” with animal products.  She is currently part of a team from UNL, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech proposing a Higher Education Challenge grant focusing on media monitoring of food safety issues.