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Oklahoma State University

OSU students win big at national contest

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Oklahoma State University students took home 56 awards, twice the number of any other school entered in the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) annual competition, held in Snowbird, Utah, this summer.

Students enrolled in the OSU Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership took on 11 other universities in the competition and brought home 12 first-place awards, in addition to the 44 others in various categories that ranged from writing to publication design and layout.

“We are extremely proud of what students have accomplished this year and each previous year,” said Dr. Shelly Sitton, professor and adviser for the OSU ACT chapter.

Students submitted their communications work in April to be critiqued. The work included portfolio items they completed for classwork and during internships. Awards were given in six divisions – writing, publications, electronic media, photography, design and layout, and public relations.

OSU also received the National ACT Outstanding Fundraising Chapter award. Each year, chapters across the nation submit reports about their annual fundraising activities and the award is presented for the most unique fundraising techniques.

“The competition was held during the annual Ag Media Summit this year, so it was an incredible opportunity for students to network with future employers and co-workers,” Sitton said. “They also developed professional skills in the various educational workshops at the conference.”

OSU students have participated in this annual education and networking event for 19 years. This year, through a competitive grant process that evaluated students’ communications samples, the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative granted $3,500 for OSU AECL students to attend.

Short Feature Story Category

1st – Kaitlyn Merriman, “It’s Goat Time”

3rd – Tim Taylor, “Powerhouse of Nutrients”

4th – Naomi Lemon, “Memorable Methods”

5th – Katie McKinley, “Get Snacking”

Long Feature Story Category

2nd – Bailey Stacy, “Pasta of the Earth”

4th – Kyndal Reitzenstein, “One Family. One Dream.”

5th – Jenna Kool, “From Farm to Field”

Short Personality Profile Category

1st – Abigail Arthaud, “Bennetts and Blue Spruce”

4th – Qi Liu, “Footsteps to Success”

Long Personality Profile Category

1st – Alexis Shanes, “Mark Your Cards”

3rd – Tim Taylor, “Small Choices – Big Impact”

4th – Chelsea Coulson, “Ag on Air – Courtney DeHoff”

Single Blog Entry

2nd – Abigail Arthaud, “Seven Hard Things Every Communicator Must Do”


2nd – Oklahoma State University, “Cowboy Journal”

Newspaper, Tabloid or Newsletter

1st – Julianna Albrecht, “Cowpoke News”

Brochure or Pamphlet

2nd – Jera Pipkin, “The Story of Flavor”

Short Video Package

2nd – JD Rosman, “Gameday – Gear Up”

Long Video Package

1st – JD Rosman, “50th Anniversary Showmanship – NJAS 2016”

Video Advertisement Production

1st – JD Rosman, “Own Your Success”

Electronic Media Award of Excellence

JD Rosman, “50th Anniversary Showmanship – NJAS 2016”

Photo Series

2nd – Keely Brown, “Dancing in the Salt”

3rd – Erica Graessle, “Everything I love is at the end of a dirt road”

4th – Braden Schovanec, “Hereford Cattle”

5th – Alexis Shanes, “Czech Out The View”

Scenic Photo

3rd – Erica Graessle, “Evening Glory”

People Photo

3rd – Morgan Vance, “Happy”

4th – JD Rosman, “In the Zone”

5th – Macy Griswold, “Beauty and the Beast”

Animal Photo

1st – Kyndal Reitzenstein, “Diamond in the Rough”

3rd – Dally Clark, “Blue”

4th – Macy Griswold, “Driven”

5th – Kaitlyn Merriman, “It’s Goat Time”

Plant Photo

1st – Braden Schovanec, “Spring Time”

2nd – Erica Graessle, “A Harvest Day”

3rd – Dally Clark, “Edmon Low Library”

4th – Paige Crawford, “A Dollop of Daisy”

5th – Wyatt C. Shaw, “Yellow and Pink”

Food Photo

1st –  Logan Van Allen, “Nature’s Treats”

2nd – Braden Schovanec, “Night in Italy”

3rd – Katie McKinley, “Get Snacking”

Other Photo

1st – Spencer Dennis, “A Spark in the Dark”

2nd – Elizabeth Nixon, “The Caretaker”

3rd – JD Rosman, “Sowing the Future”

4th – Braden Schovanec, “Lady Bug”

5th – Reighly Blakely, “Bottle”

Photography Award of Excellence

Logan Van Allen, “Nature’s Treats”

Page Layout

1st – Chelsea Coulson and Erin Larson, “Ag on Air”

2nd – Lindsay Tasos, “Gardening Ghana Style”

3rd – Emily Gould, “Guarding the Fabric of Life”

5th – Kaitlyn Merriman, “It’s Goat Time”

Graphic Design for Print or Web

4th – Abigail Arthaud, “Abigail Arthaud Logo”

Advertisement Design

1st – Jeromy Lee, “CASNR Recruitment”

2nd – Paige Crawford, “The Cowboy Stampede”

3rd – Julianna Albrecht, “OSU Animal Science Ad”

5th – Michaela Burns, “The Lodge at Rock Creek”

Public Relations Single Item

1st – Tim Taylor, “Texas Wheat Annual Report”

2nd – Jacob Sitton and Emily Gould, “OK FFA Foundation Calendar”

News Release

1st – Alexis Shanes, “ATV Safety Week”

More on the Ag Media Summit:

AMS is the largest gathering of crop and livestock media professionals in the U.S. This annual get-together welcomes the agricultural industry’s top writers, editors, photographers, publishers and agricultural communications specialists. The industry-wide gathering offers an opportunity for professional improvement and professional networking.

Story by Hayley Bondank

The OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources believes in the value of hands-on education and the importance of having a well-rounded student experience. CASNR’s award-winning faculty members are dedicated to developing students and passionate about adding value to the total educational experience. With 16 majors and 52 study options, plus more than 60 student organizations, the college is committed to expanding minds and inspiring purpose. Learn more at

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