College of ACES
College News

New faculty added to U of I agricultural education and leadership program

Published February 27, 2012

David Rosch, Kari Keating, and Debra Korte recently joined the University of Illinois (U of I) agricultural education faculty.

"We are very excited to add outstanding new members to the agricultural education team to accommodate the growth of the program," said Walt Hurley, Interim Program Director. "We are experiencing a demand for our courses and programs as a result of an increased number of course offerings, emphasis on experiential learning opportunities, and an increased number of students outside of agricultural education wanting to take our courses."

A New York native, Rosch received his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton in psychology, a master's degree from Colorado State University in student affairs in higher education, and his doctorate in higher education administration from Syracuse University.

"Dr. Rosch has a strong background in the research and practice of leadership as a field of study," Hurley said. "He is familiar with the opportunities available for our students that will elevate their knowledge and experience in this field. His addition to the agricultural education team further solidifies the strong foundation of professionalism and scholarship that we are building in the program."

Rosch's appointment combines teaching and research. His research focuses on the mechanisms by which college students learn leadership skills. He said he hopes to develop a measurement method for effective leadership.

In addition to research, Rosch also has a strong teaching role in agriculture leadership. He is responsible for teaching the theory-based courses.

"I would love it if every College of ACES student graduated with exposure to leadership in the classroom," he said. "But, for now, my goal is to expand the leadership opportunities for students who want a career in agriculture leadership."

Keating, a native of Taylorville, Ill., attended Bradley University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in marketing. She continued her education at the University of Iowa, receiving a master's degree in educational psychology.

She then moved to St. Augustine, Fla., and work for the St. John's County chamber of commerce. After 11 years with the chamber and advancing to Director of Economic Development, she chose to move back to Illinois to study for her doctorate. She received her Ph.D. in human and community development from the U of I.

"We are that excited Dr. Keating has joined the agricultural education team," Hurley said. "She adds another important component, not only to teaching some of the agricultural leadership education courses, but to the success of the overall program. Dr. Keating will be working closely with students in helping them pursue important out-of-the-classroom experiences that can define their identity as a graduate of the program."

Keating said she is excited to be working in the agriculture leadership program after spending time in Extension. The courses she teaches focus on enhancing practical skills, such as communication and professional development. She is also the coordinator of the internship program.

"I built a database of contacts from my years working in the field and in Extension," Keating said. "We want to match our students with an organization or company that will generate a meaningful experience for their career path."

Korte grew up in southern Illinois on a grain and livestock operation. She received her bachelor's degree in agricultural education from the U of I and taught at Kansas High School for six years. She said she had always been interested in teaching at the collegiate level and completed her master's degree in education at Eastern Illinois University.

"The addition of Ms. Korte to the agricultural education team further solidifies the agricultural science education, or teacher education, component of the program," Hurley said. "She brings significant experience as a member of the Illinois agricultural education community, a passion for teaching and working with students, and a knowledge of the agriculture teacher certification program. She has already made exciting contributions in the short time since joining the program."

Korte said her goal is to be able to prepare her students to be successful teachers in agriculture education programs. Her experience as a high school teacher is a tremendous help to her students because she is able to discuss her own encounters.

Rosch, Keating and Korte all said the decision to join the U of I faculty was simple.

"The U of I is fertile ground for leadership and education development of students," Rosch said. "The university has a strong tradition in agriculture education and recognizes the growth opportunity and value of leadership development." ###