Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership
Maryellen Bliss has a passion for storytelling, agriculture, and finding the good in others and in the world; in her future as an educator, she seeks to align these passions. She is currently spending her final undergraduate semester as a student teacher, beginning the transition from learner to instructor and applying her classroom education in a hands-on setting. She enjoys the opportunity to feel truly immersed in a learning space of her own, navigating lesson materials and student-teacher interactions, and discovering her own teaching style in a way that can only happen in the classroom.
Having been named a 2021-2022 National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) National Teach Ag Ambassador, Maryellen has been given the unique opportunity to promote agricultural education as a profession to prospective students. One of just eighteen pre-service educators from around the country chosen for the honor, she has spent the year attending conferences on agricultural education, networking with other future and current educators from around the country, and making lifelong friends along the way. She considers this honor her greatest undergraduate accomplishment.
Her time with the Agricultural Education Society stands as a highlight of Maryellen’s undergraduate career. The oldest student organization on campus, Maryellen believes the society has persisted owing to the spirit of its members. Her fellow society members’ zeal for actively promoting the values and messages of agriculture education throughout their personal and professional networks let Maryellen know that she had found her community. She expressed pride in her time as the society’s President, reflecting, “Leading this organization has been one of the most rewarding things I was able to do in my undergraduate career. The torch of the oldest student organization was passed on to me.”
As her mentor, Maryellen identifies Dr. Amanda Bowling. She shares the following: “Since day one I have always known she is in my corner. Moving to Columbus from a small town and becoming a student at this large campus was a tad intimidating and having Dr. Bowling as a constant in my life really helped shape my confidence in that first semester of college. She shows up daily as her authentic self, seeking and wanting the best for students and the future of agriculture education. That inspires me. I see her as a mentor and one of my role models.”
In addition to internships as a counselor with Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s ExploreAg camp for high school ag students in summer 2019 and as a Fellow at the Franklin County Farm Bureau in summer 2021, Maryellen has worked alongside her mother for their family business, Red Haw Supply, at Ohio State Tractor Pulls across the state throughout her time at OSU.
After graduation, Maryellen will seek employment as an agriculture instructor and FFA advisor in a high school setting. She looks forward to helping students become informed citizens and preparing them for successful careers in agriculture.
Service, involvement, and accolades: Agricultural Education Society, CFAES representative, treasurer, president | NAAE, National Teach Ag Ambassador | Kellogg-Moser Food Security and Sustainability Learning Community | OSU Jazz Swing Dance Club | Ohio Farm Bureau | Jacob’s Porch Campus Ministry, student board president