Edit this–Stratcomm class!

An Ohio State University College of Agriculture alumnus is coming home.

Bruce McPheron, former dean of Penn State University’s college of agricultural sciences, will be starting as the OSU vice president of agricultural administration and dean of the college of food, agricultural, and environmental sciences on Nov. 1.

McPheron will be taking the position of Bobby Moser, who announced his retirement from a 20-year term in September 2011.

“I need to be respectful to my colleagues back at Penn State and help with the transition. I was offered the job in mid summer and accepted it in August,” Mcpheron said when asked why he’s starting so late into the semester. “We have made a lot of changes in Penn State’s college of agricultural sciences, structural changes, philosophical changes, budgetary changes, and I felt that I owed it to them to be able to help our current president, Ron Erikson, made the transition in finding new leadership for the college.”

McPheron’s dedication to Penn State is nothing new. He’s been a faculty member there for 24 years after starting in 1988 as an assistant professor of entomology. But when given the chance to come back to Ohio, McPheron felt it was an opportunity he had to “really take a hard look at.”

“I come from Ohio originally, I actually started my career in bugs as a 4-Her in Union County, Ohio, and then grew up in Hardin County, in the northwest part of the state,” he said.

McPheron earned his bachelor’s degree in entomology with honors at Ohio State, and a master’s degree in biology and a doctorate in entomology at the University of Illinois, according to a university press release.

Besides getting the chance to return to his home state and alma mater, McPheron says it was OSU President E. Gordon Gee who convinced McPherun to take the job.

“(President Gee) began to talk about the discovery themes that are going to guide Ohio State’s thinking over the next many years. And as he listed those off, food production and food security, energy and environment, health and wellness, those are all the core mission of this college, and I thought to have a university president of a university of this quality sit there and tell me that the university’s going to be driven by things that my college would do was a really compelling argument,” McPheron said.

President Gee has made it clear that he is “delighted”  to have McPheron take the job.

“Dr. McPheron is an Ohioan by birth, an Ohio State alumnus, and spent three years working as a county Extension educator in the state,” said President Gee in a university press release. “He brings a global view and worldwide experience back to Ohio to lead one of Ohio State’s most important educational programs.”

McPheron is internationally recognized for his research in insect genetics, including the development of new genetic tools for monitoring the spread of invasive fruit fly species, according to a university press release.

He has also testified before the U. S. House of Representatives regarding the Farm Bill, which is “the legislation that really authorizes how the federal government deals with agriculture,” said McPheron.

“In 2008, we were working on a reorganization of the part of the US Department of Agriculture that works with our land-grant universities. This is really a critical component of universities like the Ohio State University which is Ohio’s only land grant university. That agency oversees the competitive grants that fund research in food and environment and agriculture production, they oversee the programs that support agricultural research and cooperative extension, and so I had a chance to carry a message on behalf of the nation’s land-grant universities to help them get a sense of why we were suggesting some changes in that structure,” he said.

McPheron has also served as chair of the experiment station component of the Board of Agriculture Assembly of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and he is currently chair-elect of APLU’s Policy Board of Directors of the Board on Agriculture Assembly. He has also has served nationally in LEAD-21, the country’s professional development program for agricultural leaders that promotes linkages among research, academics, and extension, according to a university press release.

McPheron is “excited” for the changes to come, but that what he’s going to do first is “a lot of learning.”

“I need to look at leadership and helping our staff, faculty, even students, understand the importance not only of the subject matter we look at, but also the importance of being a leader in that subject matter. We have a lot of issues of infrastructure, facilities that we need to take a look at, you know, there’s been some storm damage a couple years ago from a tornado at Wooster that we’re recovering from, there was storm damage this summer out at Don Scott field and our animal facilities, a lot of the buildings here on campus look very much the same as they did when I was a student here,” he said. “There are some opportunities to really take a look at that.”

But equally important to McPheron is “getting to know the students.”

“I try to be visible to our students because I think it’s important. It was important to me as a student and I think it’s important to our current students to reinforce that we’re a family here and we’re committed to your success because you’re the future,” he said.

There are around 2000 students in the college on main campus and over 700 more students at the Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio, said McPheron.

Faculty and students in the college of food, agricultural, and enviromental sciences are as excited as McPheron about his transition.

“I am thrilled. I think, if I had the opportunity to pick somebody, I would have picked someone with the exact characteristics that he has,” said Joan Lieb, Executive Assistant to the vice president and dean. “I have not heard one negative thing. I think everyone really excited and anxious to work with him and it’s all been very positive.”

“I watched a couple videos that our college put up about him … He was a great ambassador for agriculture in (Pennsylvania),” said Krysti Dubler, a second-year in animal sciences and community leadership. “It seems like he’s going to be a great replacement for Dr. Moser.”

McPheron is married with two children: his son is a Navy rescue swimmer in San Diego and his daughter is finishing her final semester as a photography student at Penn State. Although they grew up in Pennsylvania, McPheron says they’re “all really excited about the opportunity.”

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Lantern class — edit this!

Though political candidates always give their political campaign ads, voters in Ohio and across the country might not be paying attention, especially if viewers have strong political beliefs.

A recent study from the School of Communication at The Ohio State University, suggested that political campaign ads are ignored by people who do not support the candidate. Zheng Wang is an assistant professor and the lead author of the study.

Wang said the study involved 15 college students who watched political campaign ads during the 2008 presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain. The students’ physiological responses based on indicators from the skin, facial muscles and heart rate were used to examine their reactions to the political ads, she said.

Those who had strong political beliefs would mentally tune out the political ad of the candidate they do not support, she said, whereas viewers who did not have strong political campaigns reacted similarly to both candidates ads.

Wang said “there have been so many different studies” on the effect of political campaign ads. However this study goes beyond the oversimplified classification of political ads, she said.

Political ads are usually classified as either negative or positive, she said. “It’s much more dynamic and complex though,” she said.

Wang used the example of the Daisy Goldwater ad that Lyndon B Johnson used in the 1964 presidential election used against Barry Goldwater. The ad shows a little girl counting flowers where suddenly the scene freezes and slowly zooms into the little girl’s eye as a countdown is occurring which switches to an explosion from a nuclear bomb.

Since the ad had ended with a nuclear bomb detonating, the ad is considered negative, she said but pointed out that it’s much more complex from the beginning to the end of the ad.

Wang said where other studies focus on the effect of political ads, her study focuses on whether viewers are paying attention.

“In order for there to be effect, there needs to be attention,” she said, “Just because your expose, doesn’t mean you’re paying attention.”

The study shows that even though participants had to watch the political ad they are “mentally tuning out,” she said.

Wang said the effect of political ads is different for each individual because of what the viewer is feeling and thinking at the moment they see the political ads. “It’s not a uniform effect,” he said.

However, most students ignore political ads from both parties especially for the upcoming election between President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney.

“I ignore them,” said Peter Marzalik, a third-year whose double majoring in international studies and Russian. “(Political ads) became so dirty that don’t even provide legitimate research.”

Marzalik said ads are basically 30-second bits of bias information and thinks that voters can find other good sources to get their information.

“I do appreciate the ads that present the candidate views,” he added.

Ashley Cochenour, a first-year in exercise science, agreed that political campaign ads have become more negative. “I think they’re a lot of times where they’re harsh,” she said adding that she usually flips the channel whenever a political campaign ad came on.

Cochemour said political campaign ads are not trust worthy. “You don’t think they’re coming straight from Obama’s or Romney’s mouth for example,” she said, “It’s basically other people speaking for them.”

Things to work on for Profile re-writes! StratComm class

Rewrites can be 600-700 words.  Must have 4 sources in story and at least 3 must be quoted directly. Don’t forget 2 printed copies on Thursday!

1. Get rid of opinion.
2. No first- or second-person writing. That means don’t use I, me, we, our, you, us, etc. unless in a direct quote.
3. AP style.
4. Follow directions.
5. Avoid this construction: When asked about….When asked why.  Turn the sentence around to state the fact and the avoid the long wind-up. Readers know you asked questions, they want answers.
6. Attribute everything!
7. Edit ruthlessly. Too many errors in fact.
8. Make sure profile focuses on the main person, not a couple or a business or a team or anything except the main person.
9. Spell checking is NOT editing. It “defiantly” is not editing!

10. You are all nice, smart people, BUT GET RID OF ALL OPINION LIKE THAT IN YOUR PROFILE RE-WRITES.

More on politics

CNN vs. the State Department. This is quite the ethical, political case study.

Fox News story on Libya and Obama administration handling of  recent attacks.

Dispatch previews Romney/Ryan visits to Ohio next week.

NYT looks at Romney going for Hispanic vote.

Rachel Maddow is paid for her opinions, but she makes some interesting points about how most people who watch political conventions actually watch them.

Covering politics

Let’s look at the recent controversy involving Mitt Romney….and one from a few years back involving Barack Obama.

Daily Show goes crazy on how Fox responded to Mitt’s video and how Romney campaign did as well.  Daily Show from 2008 after Obama video.

Inverted pyramid…news judgment….on deadline!

Check this out. You’ll be glad you did. This is Blues Traveler.

Stratcomm folks– Edit this! Be ruthless!

One mother’s advice has led to $60,000 and a promising small business for one Ohio State student.

Anthony Pentz, a forth-year in aviation management, got the idea for his small business three summers ago when he was trying to earn some extra money during his time off school.

“She (Pentz’s mother) said ‘you know, why don’t you go out and wash airplanes?’ cause that is how it started, just washing airplanes,” said Pentz. “So we sent out flyers to some of the area hangers and within a week and a half I had like $500 bucks in my pocket and I thought wow, there is a market here.”

Foxtrot Aviation Services is an aircraft detailing service that accommodates to all types of aircraft needs. Some of their clients include cargo companies, who want to keep up the appearance of the aircraft, and charter companies, who want the interior and exterior of the airplane serviced. They also do surface work like waxing and polishing various parts of the airplanes.

“Think of it as a detailing business to the exponential degree,” said Pentz. “We do a lot of surface restoration on the outside of aircrafts, in terms of like restoring a vintage automobile.”

Once Foxtrot Aviation Services began to pick up business, Pentz decided to ask long-time friend Chris Stump, a fourth-year history major at Walsh University, to become his business partner.

“Anthony comes to me with this business idea saying there was no detailing at the Akron/Canton airport,” said Stump. “So he handed out flyers and he made so much money that summer that Uncle Sam was going to find out about it. He said, why don’t you go ahead and join me and let’s make something of this.”

And make something they have.

Since its early stages, Foxtrot Aviation Services has grown exponentially. Pentz said that he and Stumpp currently have six employees, four of which are Ohio State students. The co-owners plan on hiring a manager in the near future so they can focus more on expanding their business. They are also branching out of their Akron/Canton market and are trying to set their feet in the Columbus area.

“We are really starting to make the transition from a micro-business to a small business. By the end of this fiscal year, my target revenue is $60,000,” said Pentz. “I’m making the projection that our goal is going to be $250,000 next year. It has been nothing but good news.”

Stump added that Foxtrot Aviation Services is trying to expand out of Ohio.

“We are going to try and expand to all of Ohio and maybe in the tri-state region to try and solicit more business,” said Stump. “See where that goes, try to invade the Pennsylvania market, West Virginia, Indiana.”

Some students have taken notice of the co-owners’ early success and hard work.

“It’s pretty impressive that a student was already able to create a successful company like that,” said Laura Grudzinski; a second-year in middle childhood education. “And to be expecting to make ten times more next year is even crazier!”

With strong community support, Foxtrot Aviation Services is beginning to reach a much larger market than when the business first started in the Akron/Canton area.

“It really grew out from there and it has become what it is today,” said Pents. “It has been a fun ride.”