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Jessica Rae Spence

Graduate Student
  • ICTAS Fellow
175 West Campus Dr., MC 0343
Blacksburg, VA 24061

B.S. Agriculture Communications and Journalism, Texas A&M University 2018 

M.S. Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications, Texas A&M University 2020

Ph.D. Agricultural and Life Sciences , Virginia Tech 2025

Parrella, J. A., Spence, J. R., Redwine, T., & Leggette, H. (2021). Characterizing viewpoints of scholars in agricultural communications as they relate to research themes in the Journal of Applied Communications: A Q methodological study. Journal of Applied Communications.  

Elliot, J., Spence, J. R.,Tumushime, I., Dado, M., Casas, A., Ilesanmi, O., Gould, M., &  Le Bon, M. (2022) It’s who we are: New approaches, supported by evidence. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education. 

Spence, J. R., Letot, C., Foster, D., Redwine, T.,  McCubbins, A., & Miller-Foster, M. (In Press). Global guides: Defining teachers’ viewpoints about global food insecurity using Q methodology. Journal of Agricultural Education, 64(4).

 Dado, M., Spence, J. R., & Elliot, J. (2023). The case  of contradictions: How prolonged engagement, reflexive journaling, and observations can contradict qualitative methods. Planned submission: The International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 22.

 Spence, J. R.,  Redwine, T., Rutherford, T., & Dooley, K. (2023). Unanticipated unity and independence: A photovoice of Ugandan gender-based agriculture issues. Advancements in Agricultural Development, 4(2), 74–90.

 Dado, M., Spence, J. R.,  & Elliot, J. (2023). Going the distance: Examining the impact of a long-term international fellowship. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 30(1), 59-73.

 Elliot, J., Spence, J. R.,  Tumushime, I., Dado, M., Casas, A., Ilesanmi, O., Gould, M., & Le Bon, M. (2022). It’s who we are: New approaches, supported by evidence. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 29(1), 86-96.

 Parrella, J. A., Spence, J. R.,  Redwine, T., & Leggette, H. R. (2021). Characterizing Viewpoints of Scholars in Agricultural Communications as they Relate to Research Themes in the Journal of Applied Communications: A Q Methodological Study.  Journal of Applied Communications, 105(3), 3.

  Dado, M., Spence, J. R., & Elliot, J. (In Review). The  impact of long-term international experiences on career and technical educators: A mixed-methods examination of the International Agricultural Education Fellowship Program. Career and Technical Education Research.

Jessica R. Spence is a doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural Leadership and Community Education at Virginia Tech. As a Research Fellow with VT's Institute of Critical Technology and Applied Science, Ms. Spence's role in her assistantship is to conduct research in her line of inquiry: international agricultural development, gender-based agricultural issues, and development communications. Ms. Spence is an experienced educator on agricultural communications topics, specializing in visual communications such as photography, branding, and graphic design. 

Previous to her studies at VT, Jessica was the Program Coordinator for the International Agricultural Education Fellowship Program in Ghana, where she oversaw nine U.S. agriculture educator volunteers in rural Ghanaian Schools. She began this work after completing a M.S. in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications and a B.S. in Agriculture Communications and Journalism at Texas A&M University, where she began her research inquiry in gender-based agriculture issues within a development context. 

Spence's international experience spans beyond her year working in Ghana to include trips in 2019, 2022, and 2023, to collect data and communications materials, to Uganda where she spent the most of her time in Lira working with farmers and educators. Prior to that, she co-led a study abroad program to Namibia with 17 students. 

Spence, J. R. (2023) Student Media Grant (Ghana).   Center for Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University ($5,000). Funded.

Rutherford, T., Crowder, V.,  Parrella, J., Westfall-Rudd, D., & Spence, J. R. (2023). ($12,000). Funded.

Spence, J. R. (2023) Fulbright National Geographic Storyteller Grant (Ghana). Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ($25,000). Submitted.


Spence was a Teaching Assistant for the following course(s) at Virginia Tech:

  • ALCE 3624: Communicating Agriculture in Writing

And Texas A&M University:

  • AGCJ 281: Journalism Concepts in Agriculture 
  • AGCJ 314: Writing for Agriculture Audiences II 
  • AGCJ 306: Theory and Practice of Agriculture Publication 
  • AGCJ 307: Design for Agriculture Media
  • AGCJ 308: Agricultural Photography AGCJ 308: Agricultural Photography 
  • AGCJ 312: Editing for Agriculture Audiences 
  • AGCJ 405: Agriculture Publication Production 
  • AGCJ 406: Agriculture Public Relations Methods 
  • AGCJ 481: Senior Seminar