Date of Award

Winter 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agricultural Education

First Advisor

Kathryn Orvis

Committee Chair

Kathryn Orvis

Committee Member 1

Susan Curtis

Committee Member 2

Allen Talbert

Committee Member 3

Abigail Borron


The historical foundation of the agricultural communication community (consisting of both academics and the profession) is shallow and void of humanistic perspective, and there is a minimal amount of historical content that focuses on academic and professional history. The need to explore and interpret historical dimensions of this field is vital to further development of the discipline as an academic and professional field. Oral history was utilized to capture and preserve the interview content from a small sample of agricultural communication and Extension professionals and faculty while narrative research, interpretative theory, and constructivism were utilized to further understand and interpret their oral history data generated from the interviews. This process includes exploring the oral history transcribed from interviews, and then coded utilizing initial coding to identify themes. Numerous themes then emerged, but my research centers on three themes: women in the agricultural communication field, departmental mergers, and technology. Interpretative theory and constructivism were further utilized to explore themes that emerged during the transcription process. From there, narrative research was applied, and the purpose of narrative research is to further understand and explore perspective. It was important to see how narrative research can reshape the current historical narrative in order to include these perspectives which have either been ignored, misinterpreted, or unknown. The oral history content has also provided for a tremendous amount of new interesting and provoking historically-related content that can be discussed, debated, and utilized in numerous capacities.