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You are here: Home / News / Valerie Novak promotes animal and food sciences through ag communications

Valerie Novak promotes animal and food sciences through ag communications

Valerie Novak won first place in the graduate student section of the CAO scholarship competition. She received a $2,500 scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Alliance’s 2019 Stakeholders Summit in Kansas City, Missouri.
Valerie Novak promotes animal and food sciences through ag communications

Valerie Novak

Valerie Novak, a graduate student in the OSU Department of Animal and Food Sciences, participated in the 2018 Animal Agriculture Alliance’s College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition, which connects college students with an interest in promoting agriculture. Throughout the nine-week national scholarship contest, students post information about current and emerging issues on social media while receiving instructions and training from industry experts. The students earned mini scholarships for having the best social media posts, videos, blog posts, and infographics.

“In this competition, I was challenged to promote animal agriculture on various social media platforms,” Novak said. “On a weekly basis, I created social media content on relevant issues and misconceptions of animal agriculture, and it was judged by industry professionals for its relevancy, quality, and effectiveness.” Novak won first place in the graduate student section of the CAO scholarship competition. She received a $2,500 scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Alliance’s 2019 Stakeholders Summit in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Winning this competition was a humbling experience,” Novak said. “Besides walking away with a newfound understanding of the importance of promoting animal agriculture today and practical skills in social media content development, I experienced the reward that dedication to a cause and hard work can produce.” Prior to her involvement in the scholarship competition, Novak would have described herself as having ‘below average’ social media participation. She believed her lack of experience made her one of the less likely candidates to win a social media development contest.

“In the beginning of the competition, I overcame my deficiency by committing myself to create the best content of my abilities, researching topics and tools to encourage relevancy of my work, and being engaged at my fullest with the activities of the competition.”

In addition to the CAO competition, Novak has been working with her faculty mentor, Jerry Fitch, as a graduate teaching assistant in the department of animal and food sciences.

“I am currently working on a project for our department that aims to increase student participation in internship experiences,” Novak said. “My role is to design a database of internship and job opportunities and share these opportunities with the students of our department.”

Novak’s strong passion for both animal agriculture and student success led her to choose this project. Her goal is to increase the awareness of and involvement in internship opportunities on state, national, and global levels in order to match animal and food sciences students with worthwhile, developmental experiences. “The cumulation of my interests and academic and professional experiences have led me to this work of assisting students in their professional development.” Novak said. “The students of our department are the future leaders and players of our industry. By matching them with relevant internship opportunities, we can build them up to be influential contributors to society and the industries of animal and food sciences.”

Novak also wants to increase awareness and student utilization of on-campus career development resources, including the opportunity to receive academic credit for their internship experiences. For Novak, helping students find success and satisfaction in their lives is highly rewarding and motivating. After Novak graduates with her M.S. in animal science, she would like to work in career services at a higher education institution to assist students in their professional development.

Social media post by Valerie Novak Social Media Post by Valerie Novak.

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