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Youth Development
and Agricultural Education


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Melissa L Welsh, CFCS

Youth Development and Agricultural Education 

  • Graduate Research Assistant
Agricultural Administration Building Room 221
615 W State Street
West Lafayete, IN 47907-2053

Graduate Student Profile
Melissa Welsh is a doctoral student in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education at Purdue University. Based on her 12 years of teaching experiences as a K-12 Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, she is particularly interested in developing professionals with innovative teaching strategies using the Learner-Centered Teaching model. As a research assistant, she facilities future plant scientists in their development of effective teaching skills and conduct for K-12 engagement and outreach activities. She is particularly interested in studying innovative pedagogies and teacher motivation theories in formal and informal education and their impact on students’ learning outcomes. Upon completion of her Ph.D., Melissa plans to be an assistant professor.

B.S.  Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Indiana PA: College of Health and Human Services - Family and Consumer Sciences Education
M.Ed. The Pennsylvania State University: State College, PA: College of Agricultural Sciences - Youth and Family Education

Professional Activities
Teaching Assistant for YDAE 591: Plant Breeding Research for K-12 Outreach (Fall 2011, Spring 2012)
Teaching Assistant for YDAE 591: Plant Breeding Education and Outreach (Spring 2012)
NSTA: Session assistant facilitator, Developing learner-centered teaching activities (Spring 2012)
NSTA: YDAE Education & Outreach display (Spring 2012)
SpringFest, AFRI display coordinator (Spring 2012)
LSESA (Life Science Education Signature Area) Group (Fall 2011 – Present)
Horticulture CDE (Fall 2011)
FFA, YDAE graduate student group coordinator: Recruitment (Fall 2011)
4-H Congress: Session Instructor (Fall 2011)
Collegiate 4-H (Fall 2011- present)
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) (Fall 1995-present)
Member of AAFCS state affiliates: Pennsylvania & Indiana
American Association of Agricultural Educators (AAAE) (Spring 2012-present)

Research Interests 
Personal epistemology, Motivation, Experiential Learning, Career Technical Education, (formal and informal) Teacher Preparation

Committee Members
Dr. Neil Knobloch, Lead Advisor
Dr. Helen Patrick
Dr. James Greenan
Dr. Levon Esters

Funding Sources
Partnership for Research and Education in Plant Breeding and Genetics at Purdue University: USDA NIFA, Purdue University, Industry (Ag Alumni Seed, AgReliant Genetics, ConAgra Foods, DOW AgroSciences, KWS Cereals USA LLC, Indiana Crop Improvement Association, Pioneer Hi-Bred International a DuPont Company, United Soybean Board, China Scholarship Council).