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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Madison W. Kacica

Madison W. Kacica Madison W. Kacica  

Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering - Ecological Engineering 
Burton, OH 

2023 Distinguished Senior Award Recognition Reception Program (.pdf) 

2023 Distinguished Senior Award Recipient Reception Poster (.pdf) 

Madison Kacica considers the ecological restoration 
service trips she participated in through Buck-ISERV some of her most rewarding undergraduate experiences. In New Orleans, her group helped plant thousands of cypress trees throughout the bayous, cleaned up natural spaces, and assisted at local food banks and community gardens. Madison served as a leader for a subsequent trip to Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park in Memphis to build aviaries to house the park’s endangered owl population. When another trip was cancelled due to the pandemic, 
Madison coordinated her own solo service trip to Tennessee to aid the efforts of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

As a Research Assistant in Dr. Jay Martin’s lab, Madison pursued her interests in water quality and food sustainability. She developed a skillset to support the team’s research, including sample preparation for nutrient analysis, inventory organization, and database maintenance. Her dedication eventually won her greater responsibilities, and she became responsible for training new lab personnel. She pursued her own research project geared toward evaluating the benefits of targeting nutrient best management practices to agricultural fields with elevated phosphorus levels. In FABENG-3200S – Engineering for Community Development, Madison utilized engineering design principles to support the efforts of a local community garden whose mission combats food insecurity in Columbus. She contributed to the design of a rainwater harvesting system which functioned as a thermal heat bank for an outdoor high tunnel. 

Interning with Batelle Memorial Institute, Madison was able to expand and apply her research skills in an industry setting while gaining experience in project management. As a member of teams comprised of professionals from a variety of technical backgrounds, Madison worked on numerous precision agriculture projects and utilized state-of-theart technology. She independently managed a research project examining the effects of rain events on the volatility of agrochemicals, co-authoring a poster presentation at the American Chemical Society conference last summer. 

Madison recognizes Drs. Jay Martin and Michael Brooker as mentors. Reflecting on a talk with Dr. Martin that influenced her course of study, Madison shares, “That conversation ended up being one of the most formative moments of my academic career. Jay has been invaluable in guiding me to work on projects that I’m truly passionate about and excited for.” As she reflected on Dr. Brooker’s influence, “He has devoted much of his time to helping me sharpen my research and analytical skills and has been one of my strongest advocates as I realize my academic and professional goals.”

A first-generation college student, Madison will remain at Ohio State for her graduate degree to continue her research on sustainable agriculture under the advisement of Dr. Martin. She considers her Early Offer Fellowship to be her proudest undergraduate achievement.

Service, involvement, and accolades: Buck-I-SERV, trip leader | Ecological Engineering Society, co-president

Madison Kacica - Press Release