November 12, 2014
Master of Agribusiness program, staff receive regional awards
Kansas State University's Master of Agribusiness, or MAB, program and communications staff have received regional awards through the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. Awards were presented at the association's conference Oct. 22-24 in Denver.
Mary Emerson-Bowen received the association's support specialist award. In her role as a program associate for the Master of Agribusiness program since 2005, Emerson-Bowen develops and executes the program's marketing and communications plan, including online, print and social media advertising campaigns. She also is responsible for coordinating the program's extensive international and on-campus events and meetings, as well as assisting with student recruitment, enrollment and communications.
"We are pleased, but not surprised, at Mary's successful nomination for this award," said Deborah Kohl, Master of Agribusiness program coordinator. "Mary is one of the most loyal and thoughtful professionals I have worked with and she consistently puts the needs of students above her own. She also is innovative and committed to moving the program, its brand and our level of service forward."
Emerson-Bowen has supported the program by designing and maintaining its website, developing and implementing a social media plan and continuing frequent communication with students, alumni and potential students.
"Mary chose to center the capstone project for her master's degree on social media in the MAB program and we continue to reap the benefits of that effort, having just recruited our first student solely through this stream," said Kohl. "She always is on the lookout for ways to improve the service we provide to students, alumni and industry. Her dedication is one of the reasons for the program's enduring success."
That success is evident through a new honor for the Master of Agribusiness program, which received the association's regional mature credit program award. The award recognizes an established credit program that has demonstrated sustained innovation, cost effectiveness, diversity, quality and exceptional measures of success through evaluations and graduate success.
The Master of Agribusiness program at K-State began in 1998 and was the first graduate agribusiness program in the nation offered through distance education. Not an MBA, and not an Master of Science in agricultural economics, the Master of Agribusiness program was developed to teach food and agribusiness professionals working in related fields the strategies for making informed decisions based on a thorough understanding of current issues.
Originally an outreach to largely underserved food and agriculture employees, the Master of Agribusiness program met a need for these employees living in rural areas who needed to complete an advanced education through an online option. Since its inception, the program has attracted more than 375 students from more than 40 states and 30 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Grenada, India, Italy, the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Senegal, Singapore, Uruguay and Venezuela.
"With classmates from North America, South America and Africa all involved in the agriculture industry, I gain a perspective that I would not normally have working for an aid program in Zambia," said Lydia Mtchotsa, Master of Agribusiness student.
The program utilizes online learning technologies and a combination of learning styles including audio, visual, text-based and face-to-face cohort sessions to provide professionals with a global agribusiness experience. The program's on-campus sessions provide valuable experiences for students to interact and connect with each other, program faculty and industry leaders.
Over the past 17 years, the program has sustained itself and has had a successful revenue stream allowing for the development of two additional program cohorts: one with an animal health focus at Kansas State University Olathe and an international cohort in Southeast Asia.
The program continues a high graduation rate and current student population that is almost equally distributed through the agri-industries supply chain. The knowledge and experience of Master of Agribusiness students create a professional environment for learning and keep discussion focused on industry challenges. The program produces creative leaders with analytical abilities in an increasingly complex global economy.
Learn more about K-State's Master of Agribusiness program and view a complete listing of Master of Agribusiness program, course and faculty awards.