Honors third-year senior and Chancellor’s Scholar Rebecca Brown will begin graduate work at The Ohio State University Fall semester 2021. Brown has been accepted to the Department of Animal Science where she has received a research assistantship. She will be working with Dr. Sheila K Jacobi, assistant professor, whose research is focused on swine nutrition and immunology.
“At The Ohio State, I will be able to dive deeper into research and grow in my understanding of swine nutrition, meat science, and agriculture as a whole. I will also be able to expand my knowledge in other agricultural sciences involving other livestock…. Expanding my knowledge on research and agriculture at The Ohio State, I hope to find a career that I am able to help farmers, educate the public about the agricultural system, and help produce food.”
Brown is a sustainable development major with a concentration in agroecology and sustainable agriculture. For her Honors thesis “Phosphorous Application Comparison between organic fertilizers and hog manure in the High Country.” she has been studying whether hog manure can be used as a soil fertilizer. For her thesis research, Brown is working with Dr. Anne Fanatico, associate professor in the Department of Sustainable Development as her thesis director. Eddy Labus, Livestock Agent for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension is serving as her primary investigator/director. Her second reader is Julia Showalter, adjunct instructor in the Department of Biology. Brown will defend her thesis at the end of May.
“The Honors College has prepared me for this graduate work by providing me with a supportive community of students and faculty who encourage and inspire me every day. The Honors College has taught and shown me that college is what I make of it, which has positively impacted my experience as an undergraduate education as well as my professional career. My work in the Honors College has contributed to my success by challenging me to be open-minded as a person and to be persistent by not giving up. Being persistent and patient, specifically with my Honors thesis has ultimately taught me to always find the fun and the passion in my work. The connections I have with the faculty, staff, and students within the Honors College is what led me to choose The Ohio State University. Dr. Jacobi, like the Honors College, appreciates who I am as a person and a student. She sees my potential and I am eternally grateful to have learned that through the Honors College.”
In her three years in Honors at Appalachian, Brown has also been serving our local food systems. She has worked with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA), the High Country Food Hub (Food Hub), and F.A.R.M. Cafe She stated, “In wanting to grow as a student, I also want to be a lifelong learner, whether that be in agriculture, but also as a person.”
Brown offers this advice for incoming or current Honors College students,
“If there is a will, there is a way. If any student is willing to be open-minded or find passion and fun in what they do, there are so many opportunities that lie ahead!”
Graduate school—the next step for many Honors students—comes with a lot of different challenges and responsibilities. We are all excited to see what lies ahead for Brown and all our upcoming Honors graduates. Brown would like to recognize her advisor, Dr. Rick Rheingans, Chair of the Department of Sustainable Development, who she credits with support in her major department. She also would like to thank Drs. Klima (Mr. and Mrs.) for their support and guidance as her Honors academic mentors. She said, “I thank them along with my thesis committee for all their help and support.”
Top photo of Rebecca Brown by Rachel Brown.