Spring 2015 Newsletter/Program Updates/The One in Which I Say Goodbye

Summer 2015 Special Topics Course

Please note that we will once again offer the VIN20095 Special Topics class on Wine Laboratory Analysis. Mr. Eric Cotton will once again run this lab, and this is a great opportunity to become familiar with the techniques used in wineries and testing labs to evaluate wines. This analysis is part of the Ohio Wine Competition, so students taking this class will also play a key role in the OWC. This class is held on campus from May 20, 2015 to June 27, 2015. If you are interested in taking this class, please sign up! There will be at least one weekend option to complete hours for the coursework, and you can contact Mr. Cotton if you have any additional questions about the course or times it will be offered. Typically, for this course, once students are enrolled, a schedule of meeting times will be created so students can complete the appropriate number of hours for the course.

Log in to FlashLine and get registered ASAP!


Fall 2015 Class Schedule

Fall 2015 Schedule


2015 V&E Graduates

Another semester has wound to a close, and three more students now have their degrees in Viticulture (1) and Enology (2). Congratulations to the Class of 2015! Well done! I am proud of the hard work and dedication I see in students in this program, and I wish you all the very best. I’ve asked them to share a little bit about themselves with you.

Kay Gurtz: EnologyKay Gurtz 2

Enology student Kay Strausser Gurtz began her university studies in 1971 at Kent State University at Ashtabula when she was a senior in high school. She finished her undergraduate and graduate degrees and has had a career in nursing for 38 years. Most recently she has been a professor of nursing at Kent State University at Geauga. When she learned about the enology program at Ashtabula she was enthusiastic to learn more about vines and wines. A native of Ashtabula, she was delighted to return home to study at Kent Ashtabula. After three years of studies she completes the degree in enology and looks forward to using her new knowledge in winemaking.

Tonya Fields: ViticultureTonya Fields 2b

  • From Tallmadge, Ohio
  • Other degree – Bachelors in Adolescent to Young Adult Education for Integrated Language Arts
  • Goals – continue learning and working in the wine industry
  • Current position – Vineyard Manager and Winery Assistant at Maize Valley Winery and Craft Brewery in Hartville, Ohio

Brian Mikkila: Enology

Congratulations, graduates! Best wishes and good luck!


Welcome to our newest viticulture instructor: Megan Acord

Megan Acord

Semester: Fall 2015

Course: VIN11200 Botanical Viticulture (hybrid)

BIO: I have lived in Ashtabula County my entire life and reside in Harpersfield Township with my husband, 2 kids, 27 chickens, 3 horses, 2 dogs, and a cat. I received my B.S. in Environmental Science from Lake Erie College, my M.S. in Biology at John Carroll University, and have completed 3 years of doctoral coursework at CSU. I am a herpetologist by trade; my master’s thesis was on the native salamander, Plethodon cinereus, but I have broad teaching interests that include ecology, evolution, and botany. I am very excited to join the faculty at KSU and look forward to meeting my students in the fall.


Heads up! Upcoming changes to Viticulture and Enology Classes:

  • New ENOL prefix. Enology classes will now have “ENOL” as the prefix before the class numbers, instead of “VIT,” which is now reserved for Viticulture classes. For example, VIN14600 is now ENOL14600. Please make note of this as you register for classes!
  • “Field experience” instead of “Practicum.” You will also notice that as you sign up for internship classes or classes with an internship component to them, these classes and on-site work experiences are now called “field experiences.” This will be noted in the syllabi of the classes and the site selection forms, which….
  • ….will now be housed on the KSUA Wine Degrees website: http://www.ashtabula.kent.edu/academics/depts/winedegrees/index.cfm
    • (These forms may not be ready at the time this newsletter goes out, but they will be there before the start of the Fall 2015 semester.)

And finally…

Letter from the Program Director

Dear KSUA/VESTA V&E Students, Advisory Committee Members, Program Supporters, and Blog, Facebook, and Twitter Followers;

Some of you may or may not know that May 20, 2015 will be my last day as the Program Director for the KSUA Viticulture and Enology Program. There are plans in place to make this transition as smooth as possible, and my departure will NOT affect your abilities to continue taking classes in the program or to complete your degrees. You should still plan to schedule KSUA classes with the program’s academic advisor, Danielle Weiser-Cline. I do hope you all continue with your courses to complete your degrees.

I have enjoyed working with and for each and every one of you. It has been a thrill to watch you succeed academically and professionally. I’m honored to have been able to help you with your academic careers as best as I have been able. Thank you for your support of the program.

My warmest wishes to you all,

Jodi Creasap Gee

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