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ACE Update – January 2017

  • Message from the President
  • Exciting, new approach for 2018 Scottsdale conference
  • The Development Committee needs your feedback
  • ACE Service: A job with benefits
  • Mark your calendars for January 30 and 31 for two great webinars
  • News podcasts introduce agricultural communication faculty
  • JAC Volume 100 Issue 4

Message from ACE President Steve Miller

The ACE Board of Directors has a pivotal decision to make in the coming months. Board members, at their fall meeting, decided they wanted to explore the options of continuing with an executive director management model or contract with a management organization. The board believed the timing appropriate, as the end nears of a second, three-year contract with executive director Holly Young.

At my request, a committee of two former presidents and one current board member, prepared a report on the pros and cons of various management models. They’ll discuss their findings with the board on January 23. The timeline calls for deciding a management strategy by March; conducting interviews during our annual conference in New Orleans; and making a final decision at the fall board meeting.

If you have opinions on future management, contact the ACE board members. Our contact information is under “ACE Board of Directors” on the ACE website or here.

We have new members joining us, but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge current members who are retiring from their universities. The Ohio State University is celebrating Martha Filipic’s retirement, and her office has chipped in to buy her an ACE life membership. Martha is a past president, recipient of many awards, and participant in many key activities.      

The ACE legacy left by Linda Benedict at LSU is much the same. I feel I share a connection to Linda, but she probably will think it odd. Linda, while a student at the University of Missouri, knew William Stephenson, the founder of the play theory of  mass communication. I used the theory in my thesis. Most times, theories studied in communication departments are those dominant years ago, probably moldy now, and most times the scientists are no longer alive; no opportunity to have a window to them. It was fun talking with her about Stephenson.         

I bet there are others who are retiring that I don’t know about. If so, I apologize for not being able to mention you and also wish you the best.

A Request for Award Nominations

Put your fingers to work and nominate a deserving ACE member for one of the following awards. All award deadlines are February 17. Please send your nominations to me at SLMiller@uwyo.edu and/or Executive Director Holly Young at holly.young@unh.edu.

Professional Award

The Professional Award is the highest recognition given by ACE to one of its members. The award recognizes excellence and professionalism in a communicator. It is based on achievements over an extended time (at least three years) and on participation in and support of ACE. Members must be nominated by a fellow member to be considered for the award. Current board members are not eligible.

Awards of Excellence

The Award of Excellence recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the Learning Community area as well as leadership and involvement in ACE. A recipient may be a current or a past member of the Learning Community. Nominees may be nominated by anyone in ACE. Download the nomination form to get started.

Pioneer Award

These awards honor communicators who demonstrate exceptional leadership and technical skills and make significant contributions to ACE early in their careers (first 10 years of ACE membership), as did the pioneers of the profession whose hard work and vision founded the association in 1913.

Any ACE member may submit a nomination form to the ACE executive director. No more than five awards will be given in any one year. Current board members are not eligible.

Retiree Award of Excellence

This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, service, and involvement with ACE retirees and life members or within the larger organization.

We hope to see as many nominations as possible; ACE has many members deserving of these awards.

 - Steve Miller, ACE President

Exciting, new approach for 2018 Scottsdale conference

ACE and the Ag Media Summit (AMS) have sealed the deal. We will join forces in 2018 for a combined conference, connecting ACE members with the American Ag Editors Association, the Livestock Publications Council, the Conectiv Agri-Media Committee and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.

Save August 5 to 8 on your calendar – not only are we meeting later in the summer, we’re also meeting for a little less time. And the conference will be affordable. The nitty gritty:

    Location: Westin Kierland Scottsdale, http://kierlandresort.com/
    Rooms: $139/night plus taxes and fees
    Registration: $385   
    About eight or nine restaurants, fast food and shops are within walking distance of the resort with shuttle service also available. http://www.kierlandcommons.com/Directory.

ACE will have members on both the steering and program committees for AMS. ACE will manage its own breakout sessions, using the same process as always, but our members will be able to attend AMS breakouts, and vice versa.

The program committee is forming now. Please join us! We need diversity of thought and discipline to make this a great conference. Contact Suzanne Steel at steel.7@osu.edu.

 - Suzanne Steel, ACE President-elect

The Development Committee needs your feedback

Help us improve your professional development opportunities by responding to a brief survey. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Thank you. Link: http://tinyurl.com/ace-development

 - Donna Sheffield, Development Officer

ACE Service: A job with benefits

ACE members have many opportunities to serve the organization in committees, in learning communities and in other leadership roles. Retired members recently shared some of the benefits they experienced by volunteering to take on service roles with ACE and here are two of those accounts:

Jim Evans, University of Illinois

One of my favorite memories of ACE traces back perhaps to about 1990 when our Illinois members hosted a North Central Region conference in Champaign-Urbana. Anita Povich was a key leader of the planning team and all of us got into the spirit of the occasion. A theme, "On the Horizon," permitted featuring this prairie region of the Midwest and helped give a forward-looking thrust to the program. I remember attending an evening planetarium show about prairie skies. We hoped the visiting ACE members enjoyed this conference and I recall how the planning and hosting activities added teamwork and ACE spirit here.

Ralph Ballew, Mississippi State University

My involvement in ACE was primarily to learn more and get to know personally many of those professionals in the organization from around the country who were tops in the field of communications. I would read about what these men and women were doing in their particular state, or on the national level, in our ACE publications. I was “awe struck” then, and still am by these many communication trail blazers! I did learn from them and they did help me do a better job! Even now, after 26 years in retirement, I still get a thrill when reading or hearing about them. And getting to know many of them personally was a major highlight in my career.
 - Janet Rodekohr, Retiree Director

Mark your calendars for January 30 and 31 for two great webinars

Professional Development Resources for Communicators, Creatives & Content Producers
Tuesday, January 30 at 3:00 pm EST, location: http://oregonstate.adobeconnect.com/ace/
A quick overview of online resources, many of them free, for creative professionals looking to advance their professional development.

This webinar is aimed at ACE (Association for Communication Excellence) members, but is free and open to all.

The webinar will be presented by Victor Villegas, ACE Professional Development director and Technology & Media Support coordinator for Oregon State University Extension.
The ACE Writing Learning Community Presents: The Art of the Profile: Setting the Scene
Tuesday, January 31, 2:00-3:00 PM CST.
Connect to the webinar at: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/335129501
Some of the best writing starts with good painting. Painting “word pictures,” that is. Courtney Leeper, writer for The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, will share her approach to turning any story into a “people” story and drawing in readers with scene setters. Examples will include the 2016 ACE Gold Awards in Writing for Magazines (“The Fruits of Their Labor”) and Writing Within a Specialized Publication (Beyond the Numbers, the Noble Foundation 2014 annual report).

News podcasts introduce agricultural communication faculty
The ACE Research and Learning Community has started a series of monthly podcasts featuring interviews with faculty and professionals interested in agricultural communications education and research.

January’s interview is with Dr. Emily Buck an associate professor in The Ohio State University's Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. As a researcher, Emily looks at how images of agriculture in the media affect consumer perceptions and how online tools can be used to communicate about agriculture. Check out the podcast to learn more about her and her work.


Prior Episodes:

Dr. Leslie Edgar, professor and Assistant Dean for Student Programs in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, Executive Editor of the Journal of Applied Communications.


Dr. Katie Abrams, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Communication, Colorado State University, Chair of the ACE Academic and Research Learning Community.


 - Lisa Lundy, Associate Professor, University of Florida

JAC Volume 100 Issue 4

The latest edition of the Journal of Applied Communication articles focus on issues such as social media and water quality and analysis of a campaign using comic books. Below are summaries of a couple articles:

Making a Case for McDonald’s: A Qualitative Case Study Examining the McDonald’s “Our Food Your Questions” Campaign
Written by Laura M. Gorham, Courtney Gibson, and Erica Irlbeck

In this qualitative case study, McDonald’s social media video campaign, “Our Food, Your Questions” was analyzed to determine how a specific corporation provided content to meet consumers’ demand for food-based information. Findings suggest user-generated information helped develop the content for the social media campaign in terms of video topics and specific content addressed. The authors provide recommendations as to how multimedia content should be incorporated in campaigns to better facilitate communication.

Tweeting with Authority: Identifying Influential Participants in Agriculture-Related Water Quality Twitter Conversations
Written by Ashlan E. Wickstrom and Annie R. Specht   

In August 2014, Toledo, Ohio, experienced a dangerous algae bloom that led to a citywide water ban. News media coverage of the incident was widespread, as was social media conversation. To better understand the dynamics of the conversation—especially as it pertained to agriculture— researchers used a social media analysis platform to identify high-influence Twitter users who participated in the water-quality discussions both before and after the ban.

Researchers revealed a dearth of agriculture-related content and also identified three categories of Twitter users in the conversation, including news sources, activists, and agriculture advocates. Identifying these users allows practitioners to monitor influential accounts for emerging issues and to engage with authoritative users in their geographic regions. You can read the article here.

 - Courtney Meyers, ACE Research Director

Send submissions, upcoming webinars and ideas to forbes@purdue.edu.

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