Regional Devastation Forces #NACTA22 To Move Exclusively Virtual

Next Steps:

If you have made flight, hotel or rental car reservations for your trip to Wooster, we encourage you to cancel those reservations immediately. Please refer to your individual reservation regarding specific cancelation policies and refunds in the event of a natural disaster affecting the destination.  

Earlier this week, a severe weather event known as a derecho occurred in the central Ohio region that is home to the OSU Wooster campus. Overnight on Monday, four EF1 tornadoes touched down in a five-county radius in mere minutes of one another, destroying homes, damaging businesses, and leaving thousands of people without power in the hottest week so far in 2022.

Four days later and many are still displaced or without reliable power, including The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Wooster Campus. Businesses are shuttered and the community is working as quickly as possible to restore livable conditions to their friends, families and neighbors.

All week, the NACTA President’s Council and our partners at CFAES have been watching and praying for speedy progress so that we might be able to welcome you all to our home here in Wooster. Unfortunately, given these extreme circumstances, it seems that gathering as we had originally planned will simply not be possible. Therefore, we must officially cancel all in-person activities planned for the NACTA Annual Meeting next week.

#NACTA22 to continue virtually!
Even though we will not be meeting in person this year, we have shifted our focus to creating a virtual event that promises to be as educational as you’d expect from NACTA events.

  • Workshops – We hope to offer the same synchronous educational opportunities that you had planned to attend in Wooster on Thursday. More information regarding these sessions and their virtual components will be shared next week.
  • Poster and Oral Presentations – We hope to provide participants both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to interact with authors and their content. All poster presentations are already prepared to be shared with attendees next week and we are working diligently to secure a schedule of live oral presentations as well. Many of the planned oral presentations will also be made available next week as part of the updated agenda.
  • Abstracts – As with previous meetings, all accepted and presented poster and oral abstracts will be published in a special issue of the NACTA Journal and will be made available digitally to all attendees.
  • Awards – All awards normally associated with the Annual Meeting will still be conferred. Individuals will be recognized through online announcements and will be honored live at the virtual award ceremony.
  • Business Meeting – Consistent with our bylaws, each June we hold our annual business meeting as a public event to inform members about the current state of NACTA. We will still hold this meeting and will send along more information as it becomes available

I want to recognize and thank so many of our members for the work they have devoted to the 2022 Annual Meeting over the past year. NACTA Leadership is especially grateful to J. Marcos Fernandez, who has led the meeting planning thus far, and to the Annual Conference Committee and the EITI Committee for their work. They have responded graciously to our announcement to transition the in-person meeting to an online format and are in full support of the decision.

I understand that attending the NACTA Annual Conference in a virtual manner may not have been your original intention, but it is my hope that you will join us as we continue a tradition of rich, engaging and worthwhile educational discourse in 2022. Please be on the lookout in the coming days for additional information regarding the conference.

Please take care of yourself and your communities. We are sending positive thoughts and needed energy to our friends and colleagues in Wooster and the surrounding area.


M. Susie Whittington, PhD
2021 – 2022 NACTA President

Meet Our Blue Ribbon Speaker

Dr. Mark Russell

Head/Professor Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN USA

Dr. Mark Russell began his career with animal science degrees from Cornell University (BS) and the University of Illinois (MS and PhD). After serving as the Horse Extension Specialist at Illinois and Purdue, he taught 18 different animal sciences courses and expanded the curriculum, which positioned students to use their technical information by applying it to real-world problem-solving experiences—focusing on team collaboration and effective community engagement. Over the last 15 years he has become most known for his focus on extension methods, leadership development, and intercultural effectiveness outcomes through service learning and travel courses where his students have learned informal educational engagement strategies in many international work settings, including Ecuador, Romania and Haiti. He is passionate about students discovering a worldview of cultures beyond their comfort zone and became the Head of the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication in the College of Agriculture in 2015.

Meet Our Keynote Speaker

Dr. Bruce McPheron

Professor of Entomology, Dean’s Chair in International Programs for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Dr. Bruce McPheron is a Professor of Entomology and the Dean’s Chair in International Programs for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at the Ohio State University. Having returned to his alma mater in 2012, he is back on the college’s faculty after serving as Dean of CFAES and Executive Vice President and Provost of the university.
While Executive Vice President and Provost, McPheron partnered with then Ohio State president Michael Drake to create the University Institute for Teaching and Learning (now the Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning). The Institute developed and implemented the Teaching Support Program, which provided tangible training for over 3,500 faculty at Ohio State to improve their teaching.
Dr. McPheron is an alumnus of The Ohio State University, with a B.S. degree in Entomology, followed by M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He served as a county-based extension educator responsible for 4-H in southwestern Ohio prior to his career as a faculty member and administrator at Penn State University and Ohio State.