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Ohio State ATI welcomes three new faculty members

Three new faculty members joined Ohio State ATI this fall. 

DSCN1396.jpg Dr. Deana (pronounced Deena) Namuth-Covert lives in Lincoln Nebraska where she has been a faculty member at the University of Nebraska for fifteen years. She continues to reside there while being a faculty member at Ohio State and teaching classes at Ohio State ATI utilizing her great skills in electronic learning. She comes from a wheat farming family and did her bachelor’s studies at the University of Nebraska in Agronomy.  She did her masters and doctoral studies at Colorado State University in agronomy with specialization in plant genetics. Dr. Namuth-Covert conducted postdoctoral endeavors in Genetics Education at the University of Helsinki in Finland. She develops, directs and conducts distance education and is recognized as a national leader in plant sciences electronic learning endeavors, particularly in university student instruction and teaching employees of plant breeding companies. In addition to the agronomy classes she is teaching here at Ohio State ATI through online and other modes of electronic learning, she will be developing and directing online learning for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.  Her responsibilities include leading the development and delivery of dual role modular-format, distance delivered courses in the area of agronomy (including general plant science and genetics), targeting audiences such as academic credit students, continuing education participants, extension clientele and outreach partners, as well as high school students earning college credit.  She is researching the effectiveness and impact of distance education teaching methods, student mentoring and advising.  

Dr. Ryan Haden is originally from West Virginia, did his bachelor’s studies at the University of Richmond in biology and masters and doctoral studies at Cornell University in 2010. Prior to coming to Ohio State ATI, he was at the University of California, Davis conducting postdoctoral endeavors as an Associate of the Agricultural Experiment Station & Postdoctoral Associate Agricultural Sustainability Institute. Ryan has had a considerable amount of experience in working with the Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Philippines and the Bogor Agricultural Institute, West Java Indonesia. Ryan has a strong background in sustainable agricultural practices and is providing leadership for this program at Ohio State ATI. Ryan teaches soil science and agronomy classes at Ohio State ATI. Ryan has strong relationships with faculty members in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and works closely with them in research and teaching endeavors. He is advisor for students majoring in the Associate of Applied Science Agronomy program at Ohio State ATI. Ryan works closely with the faculty in the Ohio State Department of Horticulture and Crop Sciences in developing a curriculum in which a bachelors’ degree can be obtained in a 4-year time frame. 

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Dr. Jonathan (Jon) Witter is a native of Ohio, born into a family that had a vegetable produce operation on which he worked as a child. He did his bachelor’s and master’s studies at The Ohio State University in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science graduating in 1988 and 2000, respectively. He completed his Ph.D. degree in the CFAES Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering (FABE) in 2006. Jon has previous work experience as a graduate student academic advisor, field engineering specialist in the private sector, program director in FABE, and most recently as a research engineer and research assistant professor in FABE. He has a very productive funding record, particularly with State agencies such as the Department of Roads in the realms of water management and water quality. He has great expertise in the area of precision agriculture, particularly as related to global positioning systems and GIS software that is used in the industry. Furthermore, Jon has considerable experience in working with students in extension outreach programming as well as in academic advising of students both during his graduate program and more recently in his work endeavors with FABE. Jon teaches agronomy, soil and water conservation, and precision agriculture courses at Ohio State ATI. He is the academic advisor for the Ohio State ATI Crop Management and Soil Conservation students.